Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Two New Year Items

Tutoring at my house

Esteban was one neighbor who helped me with my husband and I have been tutoring him. At the end of my husband's life, my husband thought Esteban his son. My husband in his mind was living in an earlier time period. I kept reminding him that I was his loving wife and he did recognize people he saw regularly such as Kenny, Sally, Jake and myself.

Esteban is fifteen and in eighth grade which tells you that he has not passed some school years.  I just have that access in his middle school because I am known as Mrs. Johnson the substitute as well as MC AC The Rap Lady who raps at the end of good classes.  I decided I would do something about this young man after my husband died--help him in school.

Now this young man had been living with his uncle (not Kenny) near me, but had been kicked out of that house and was back with his single mother and four sisters.  I learned where he lived when I saw him at school--a mobile home about two miles from me. In the fall I started to take him out for supper at Plant City's Snellgroves or at Denny's for our public tutoring sessions. No more coming to my neighboring home, as he is not a neighbor now.

I found out that his older sister had dropped out of high school because of the bullies and encouraged her to get back in school. She and her mother promised me she would return for her second semester in February.

Those bullies won, Sweetheart,  I said.
You get back in school! 

It occurred to me that Esteban just wanted to follow the same path as that sister when he turned 16--be a school dropout.

So, I devised a plan.  Before I flew out of town for what we used to call "Christmas break", I went to all of his academic teachers.Those academic teachers all have my email and even cell phone.

We used to have two cell phones--one for my husband and one for me. I would pay for a cell phone for Esteban if he could pass this first semester with only Cs and Ds in Science, Math, History, Language Arts and Reading. He would have to work very hard over vacation and in January to pass. Then in the semester starting in February if a teacher took his cell away because he used it in class, I would not pay for that cell phone service any more. Strict behavioral modification! Find out what works for a young person. 

Monday, December 15 I substituted at his school and he was told in no uncertain terms that I was to tutor him Tuesday night. Tuesday December 16th we were scheduled for tutoring at night--only Esteban missed the bus and didn't have his work. Wednesday December 17th I called his house and got no answer. I went to his house and found him walking home--he had missed the bus. I drove him to school and got a school visitor pass and went to all his teachers. I told them again of my plan to help him, despite the fact he is a bit lazy--really an understatement. I told them again that they can contact my cell and my email. I got the study sheets for his Math final, and was loaned both a Science and a Math book. The teachers have promised to contact me.

Stay tuned and please pray
for Esteban and 
for my possible move.


  1. How sweet the interest you are taking in Esteban, Carol. I think it was a good motivator with the cell phone too. I bet in time he will come around and be a better student under you loving guidance.


    1. Back in town now and have no idea if he will come through and that cell phone incentive will work. I will know when grades come out later in January.

  2. I am so glad you posted this because you have mentioned him and I have prayed but now I see him and understand more what you have been trying to do --I will pray more fully. :) I too have a big heart for young people and it is a broken up heart too. :( But they do need us--and I will tell you those seeds are there! I remember my youngest brother got off on a terrible foot and had to leave town to avoid being shot. I witnessed to him, helped with homemork, picked him up drunk at a party... prayed prayed prayed. He came to god finally after drugs etc. Now he is very involved in his good lutheran church and has 2 lovely daughters and a beautfiul wife and is doing very well.. but it was not for many years. God knows though and he heard all those prayers. :)

    1. That's encouraging to me, Mary. It may take many years. We never know the influence we can have and you sure helped your youngest brother.

      Happy New Year!

  3. Good tutoring session tonight. Hoping for the best with his semester exams.