I had an interview this morning. The first one I’ve had in years. I’ve decided it’s time to move forward with my life. I’ve been in a major holding pattern with this whole fertility thing, and given the fact that I’m giving my ovaries some time off, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get back in touch with who I am and what I have to offer the world (aside from valiant attempts at procreation).
So no, I’m not getting a new job. Prior to doing that, I’m going to have to have lots of meetings with accountants and lawyers, secure office space, hire at least two people and get everybody lined up with benefits. In short, boys and girls, don’t go into business with your husband on a start-up; quitting is super complicated. But this is not that story.
What I did do was finally submit a volunteer application that’s been sitting on my desk for about six months. I mailed it off on Wednesday and by Friday already had a call back. It turns out that my timing was good. The local youth homeless shelter is desperately in need of English tutors right now.
I miss working with students. And not just speaking to auditoriums full of them like I was for the past couple of years. I miss the one-on-one interactions, investing in kids, helping them see their potential, trying to find a creative way to get them excited about learning. I have limited experience with this demographic of student, but I figure, these kids are in need of nurturing. And I’m in need of someone to nurture.
Don’t get me wrong – I get it that this is not about my needs. And I don’t have a messiah complex or anything. I’m going to be tutoring students, not saving them. And being as how I am now old, have maturity and a good sense of boundaries, I was not intimidated in the least when she asked me to take a test to gauge the appropriateness of my responses in a variety of potential scenarios. No problemo.
Most of the questions I answered easily. No, I would not give a youth my phone number if he asked for it. No, I wouldn’t confront a staff member about a decision he or she made in front of a youth. Yes, I probably would go to a student’s university graduation if she asked me to years later. Then question number four came. I discovered that my brain could not formulate an answer to it, so I skipped that one, finished the rest of them and went back to it and stared at it for a while. I was still sitting there staring at it when the woman called me back to reality. I said I had answered all but one question. She said, “That’s fine, we can just talk through that one.” Then she proceeded to read it out loud:
“If one of the girls you worked with were pregnant and asked you to raise her child because she had no support, would you agree to? If yes, why? If no, why not?”
Um, this was unexpected. Obviously, in terms of boundaries, this is by far the easiest question to answer. I see that now. But in the moment, all I could think about was that hypothetical baby. I sat there in what probably looked for all the world to be silence, but what was really going on can best be described in seconds 1.36-2.44 of the following clip:
When I came to, as if a spell had been lifted, I simply replied, “I would work with the staff to find the appropriate resources for the student.” Seriously, it wasn’t that hard. But you really wouldn’t believe how far that obvious conclusion was from my brain for several solid seconds. Holy crap.
Well, assuming no expectant mothers are foisting their children on me, I think we should be fine. And even if they do, at least I’ve already worked through my response. Now I just have to remember how to write an expository essay without the gratuitous use of run ons. And fragments. And I have to remember how to stay on topic. Again, should be fine.