Sunday, September 9, 2012

Then and Now 45 - George

Then and Now 45 - George
Time: Mid-2007, single and at the hostel.

George, one of my tutor students from my hostel days, was a young man who went to a local college in the big city. We got in touch on the internet, and he actually paid me $30 for an hour and a half of my services, which was far more than I was expecting. When we first met up at the subway station, I had a very good feeling about him. He had a bright smile, was dressed casually but cleanly, and gave me a nervous, but friendly, handshake. I wasted no time getting to know him and his work at college, where he was studying English for some work he wanted to do later.

At his campus, he took me on a quick tour around the place. There were little forest patches on the sides of a road that went around the campus, and the path made a ring all the way around the main dorm rooms and classrooms in the center. I asked George if he knew any other foreigners from this college. He said he didn't know any personally, but he had seen one or two hanging out around the place. Apparently, one was just looking around for a girlfriend, while the other actually studied engineering there.

We walked around for a bit longer, until we came across his dorm area. The door was locked and he wasn't interested in showing me inside, because he hadn't cleaned the place up. I said it was fine, so we went to the computer lab to have class. For our first tutoring session, I taught him English sentence order and simple words he didn't know, and asked him to speak for a few minutes on random topics that came to his or my mind. I asked him if he wanted me to be ruthless with correcting him so he would improve quicker, or only correct the important things so he wouldn't get discouraged. He laughed, and said I should choose whatever I thought was best, so I compromised and wrote down his mistakes on a piece of paper to politely bring them up later.

After a while, it was time for a break, so we got on one of the computers, and I showed him the "Atari Porno" episode of the Angry Video Game Nerd. He thought it was pretty funny, and I made sure to translate some of the better swear words and slang English for him to remember later. In no time, our ninety minutes were up, and I was on my way.

We met up a few more times for class after that, and I even saw a couple of his friends at the subway station once. The guys seemed pretty friendly, but the two girls kept staring at the floor and looking away shyly. Each time I met George, I would switch up the tutoring class to involve practicing listening, writing, phrases, slang, or whatever he seemed interested in. They were great classes that went by quickly with how much fun we were having.

After I moved to my apartment and started getting a regular paycheck, I called him and said that we could meet up for free from that moment on, and we could practice English while exploring the town. He seemed happy, but hesitant, when we hung up. That was the last time I talked to him, probably because he wanted the professional class to help with his English, instead of just messing around about town and practicing casual speaking.

And, as with many of my other good friends from my unmarried life abroad, by the time I realized George had fallen out of contact with me, I had already made twenty or thirty other friends and had completely forgotten about him. Then my email account went down, so I never got to hang with him again. He was a great student and friend, though, for the brief time we knew one another.

As for today...

I woke up at 10:30.
I went out to tutor a student.
I came home.
I spent an hour or two fixing the computer.
I played cars with my son.
I played Mario Paint with him. He wasn't impressed by my animations of a face snorting up a man, or a train riding a bus and running over another guy. But he couldn't stop talking about the last animation I did of Yoshi eating his own turds.
I watched DVDs with him and my wife.
I ate dinner.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I folded and put away dry clothes.
I did the dishes.
My wife and son watched internet movies, so I played video games.
I slept.

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