"Hi...This is an odd question, but my son needs help on an English paper for school," said a woman's voice on the other end of the line. "Do you have any ideas about who I should call?"
I sat up in my chair. "Your son needs a tutor?" I asked. "Why did you call Mount Pleasant Magazine if your son needs a tutor?"
"Well, I figured you guys would know someone and he could get help right away," she said. "The paper is due this week."
"You've found your tutor," I announced. We made plans for me to visit her house at 4 p.m.
Damn, I thought. I love it when work just falls into my lap like this!
It took me a minute to find the address once I found the street. I squinted up at the numerals on the houses, looking inside my email to make sure I had the right place.
"Are you the magazine editor who's here to help my brother?" asked a little boy who was walking a dog.
I said that I was.
He led me inside, where I had one of the easiest adaptations of my life. It felt like I'd known this family forever. The mother, Kristi, is super friendly (plus, we talked about everything from her art - she was painting in the family room - to relationships) and the 6th grade tutee, Mason, is precious. He listened to me explain to him how his paper should be outlined with less squawking than I get from college students.
"I like to write," he explained sheepishly, as we wrapped up our session. "I just think research papers are sorta boring. But I write poems."
"Really! You're a poet?" I was surprised. "So am I! We should trade poetry!"
"We should," he agreed. "I would really like that."
So, as you can probably imagine, I'm completely stoked to go back tomorrow. As you read this blog, I'm trying to figure out which of my poems would make good trading material with an 11-year-old.