Tales from Academia: The Invisible Backpack

I have to say there are some things that have surprised me while I have worked as a tutor. It is one of the most fulfilling jobs I have ever had. The kids that I have worked with make me laugh more times than I can count and brighten my day. So, today I decided to share with you one of the funnier moments I have encountered as a tutor for your enjoyment.

One day, one of the boys that I tutor (for confidentiality I will call A) and his family had me in stitches. To set up the story, A splits his time between both of his parent’s house. One week he is at his mom’s house. The next he is staying with his dad. I meet him at his mom’s house as it is closer for me, and cover a variety of material with him. One tutoring session he was being dropped off by his dad while I waited with his mom. We were talking about many minor things when A came tumbling in and precede to sit across from me. What I had failed to notice, but his mom did was the lack of a school backpack.

“Where is your backpack?” she asked him in a tone that allude to her prayers that the bag was simply invisible and not missing.

Sure enough when I looked around, the backpack was missing. I remember saying a little prayer that the invisible spell on the backpack wear off or his dad come through for the rescue. Who has ever heard of tutoring with no school supplies?

When A responded that he left it at his dad’s, the room fell dead silent. Me in partial disbelief as he still needed his school supplies for our session. His mother in shock. A just stared back at us like nothing was wrong. That is when I wanted to laugh. Laugh at A’s lack of concern and his mother’s shock. His mother couldn’t figure out her 14 year olds thought process nor his dad for not bringing his school bag to tutoring. In his mind, I am sure it made senses, but the reasoning at the moment I couldn’t fathom. But I am sure some reasoning was there. I quickly looked behind him to his mother, who stood in the doorway about ready to say a few words to her son. I couldn’t help flashing back to my own childhood, where my mother would tan my hide over such an event. Then I really wanted to laugh. Laugh at being on the other side of this situation, and remembering my own foolishness when I was 14. But laughing would be highly inappropriate as it may encourage or highly discouraging for A during our session. Therefore, I tried to hold in my desire to laugh. I had to be an adult and do something.

Before his mother could get too frustrated with A, I intervened by pulling out extra supplies I had tucked away for emergencies. Reassuring her and him that I had it covered, the session started and moved swimmingly. It wasn’t until I got in my car and started driving away at the end of our lesson that my laughter was able to pour out. I laughed the entire drive home. I promised myself that I would never forgot this moment in tales from Academia!

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