The Better Half of Tutoring

January 20, 2010
By Shea-shea BRONZE, Glendale, Arizona
Shea-shea BRONZE, Glendale, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Can I get some help?”
“Give me a minute please.”
I turned to face a boy about the same age as me. He was dark as night, about five feet ten inches with piercing brown eyes, and his face was contorted with a look of frustration and puzzlement. He continually struggled with factoring equations. He couldn’t manage to figure out equations like x squared minus five x plus six factored to produce x minus two and x minus three.
I chose to volunteer half of my summer at MV High School helping to teach math 3-4 to adolescents between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. Most of the pupils were older than I, but not Musawa. Musawa was my age, fifteen. He was going to be a sophomore when school started up in the fall of 2008.
Musawa was from Saudi, Arabia. He lived with his father who was never home and barely knew his mother. He spoke five different languages, including fluent English. Musawa had a great deal many scars, especially on his arms. The one on his cheek intrigued me. He told me he had gotten into a fight with a boy his age from school on the way home. The boy had pulled out a five inch switch-blade in the middle of the fight and proceeded to graze his cheek, but it was not a serious puncture wound.
He told me various stories about his life back in Saudi, Arabia. Once, He cautiously sifted his way home from school and succeeded in hitching a ride on the back of a small ford-150 because he lived pretty far from school. However, they discovered him and started swerving to throw him off. As they went over a ditch in the road, he was flung up, and his head came hurling down and pierced the tail of the truck. He got ten stitches and never hitched a ride again.
In turn, I would tell him my life and a few stories. One day, a dog in my neighborhood ran around wildly as if he had been locked away and finally squirmed loose. Managing to catch him by the collar, I started walking to his owner’s house. While doing so, my brother advised me against taking the dog home and to let it go immediately. Little did I know, the dog began quietly growling and was now snarling and baring his teeth in a menacing fashion. I stopped abruptly and was greeted with a pouncing dog. Falling to the hard black-top with a big thump to the back of my head, the dog scrambled away as his owner rushed over. Cautiously, I stood up and hastily grabbed the scooter my brother dropped in the midst of screaming and stumbling past the ferocious dog to go fetch my mother. As I headed west to my apartment, blood droplets fell on my forearm. My mother haphazardly drove me to the emergency room at the hospital, and I got eight stitches right above the end of my right eyebrow. The dog’s tooth had sliced a one inch wide and half an inch deep cut into my head, like slicing an egg in two.
Musawa demanded to have a peep at the scar near my eyebrow. He must have thought I was joking for he got bug-eyed, and his eyes nearly dropped from his eye sockets when he saw the scar. It was at that precise moment, I knew we had entered a stage a friendship, and it would only get better here on out.
By and by, our friendship grew and more stories were shared. It was like reading scary novels one after another. We were like two peas in a pod.
When that summer in 2008 ended, more hearts were broken than relieved. Our friendship had grown to a maximum, and Musawa and I could hardly be separated. We got each others’ phone numbers in the hopes that we would stay in touch.
I learned patience with his long stories that trailed on forever and his varying questions. For once, I felt happy to be somewhere and at peace. He taught me that no matter the background a person may acquire, in the end, we are all the same. In other words, it doesn’t matter where you have come from or have been, we are all reaching to do better.
Although we do not talk anymore, the memory of all those days during the summer of 2008 will remain forever engraved in my head and heart. Musawa was one of the best friends I ever had.

The author's comments:
this piece is to inspire people to do more for their community and to volunteer more. they may find it relieving and may make friends they would have never known otherwise.

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