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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Volunteeritis

'A' reads well but is shy; her favorite book is Clifford the Small Puppy. 'J' likes dinosaurs but can't pronounce their names among other words. I haven't met 'V' yet. I am a "reading coach" for Reading Seed of Tucson, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tucson. According to Reading Seed's latest newsletter, nine elementary schools closed over the past summer in Tucson Unified. Every Tuesday I take two buses to Lilian Cavett Elementary School where 300 young ones learn the basics of reading and writing and walk through tiled halls leaking out the smell of cafeteria chicken.

The John and Vicki Click Clubhouse sits sandwiched in between two elementary school. Power hour is an hour of quiet time in the library room where kids can do their homework and get rewarded with free snacks. There are usually 30-50 kids and five adults giving attention to fake criers, doling out simple directions, pretending to enjoy chess with 3rd graders, and realizing these kids no higher than 5th grade will be smarter than him soon due to the length of the words on their vocabulary sheets and exponents in their math problems. Good luck, but I bet they won't ever know the glorious figures that is the boy-band NSync.

How could I ever, and why did I, call Tucson my home and not do anything to make it better? 

The neighborhood I live in currently reminds me too much of the one I grew up in. I want to teach kids that pre-conditions don't become aftermaths. I lived in a neighborhood where deadbeats were prevalent but I realized I didn't have to join them, nor would living in a neighborhood filled with lawyers mean I would have to prosecute. A benefit of being antisocial, among many, many, (many) others, is the time I have to myself to think, get to know myself, and what I want for myself. I don't understand how people are always seemingly at odds with their conscience, I think it's weird that I always walk slow yet I hate standing around waiting for the bus, I can't stand the egotism of Shakespeare, and above all, I hate the stylization, but not the sexualization, being forced on vampires. And I want to do all the things I want to do. Play music, have a personal library, go to Mardi Gras and Carnaval, and above all, learn all the interesting things the world has to offer. I was too big for where I lived, like a puzzle piece that doesn't fit. I keep moving like a story that continues past its book.

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