Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My friend Emre!

My first tutoring experience was simply amazing. I couldn't have asked for anything better :D
I was so nervous. SO NERVOUS. I have a notoriously bad sense of direction, and language barrier aside, I needed to get to the durn place. Emma said thatshe would maybe be back to the Hostel in time to go with me to the center (and by 'go' I mean babysit and lead me), but if she wasn't there by 3, I was to leave without her. Emma, if you are reading this, let me tell you that I was basically PRAYING that you would get back...
But alas, some higher power had determined that TODAY was going to be the day that I learned to stand on my own two, directionally-challenged feet. After asking Veronica to repeat the directions twice, and then bothering the crap out of Maggie for directions to the station, I left, sweating. profusely. with an upset stomach.
But the journey was totally fine. haha. It was actually completely fine. When I arrived at Möckenbrücke U Bahn Station, it seemed as though a bomb of pre-teens had gone off. For real. It was that packed with kids. High-pitched chattering, a sea of trendy backpacks and awkward flirting. I took it as an omen.
I squeezed myself onto the train, wondering if maybe I would run into Emre. Did he go to the school that had just gotten out? Would he see me?? Would we say hi?? Would I understand him??? My mind was racing, ok? Trying to find my way around gives me this sick, crazed state of mind. It was dramatic.
But anyhoo, I did not run into him, and I made it to the center ALL BY MYSELF. without getting lost once. which doesn't normally happen. So needless to say, I was feeling pretty empowered. Until I realized that I was about to start my tutoring session. Holy crap.
Thank goodness I ran into Rashmi. She totally calmed me down again. Or calmed me down so that I could think a little bit more clearly. I swear, my heart was beating so fast. Between that and Lesen gegen das Vergesen this morning, my cardio vascular system has really gotten a work out today (L g d V was really awesome by the way, it rained and I was nervous, but what else is new? haha). So Emre arrived, and then shortly thereafter I was walking between him and his Schülerhelferin Kristin Schröder to our working space.
Is it gross to say that I was sweating so much?? Too honest?? Girls sweat too, you know. My heart was pumping and I felt like I was going to die. Maybe thats why I was all smiles afterwards. This single first day of tutoring has been one of the best experiences I've ever had. It was awkward a little bit. But not too much. I had brought cookies, and I just bit the bullet and told them about it. They laughed and we ate cookies while we helped Emre work on his math.
It was really nice. I was able to understand almost everything, and I didn't do too bad of a job speaking in German :) We were all able to laugh at things during the almost two hours we spent together. I learned a little bit about Emre and Kristin and told them about myself and America. Emre kept asking me about England haha and I had to keep reminding him that I wasn't from there :)) It was too cute. And I just had a great time in general.
Emre is one of the most polite 13 year olds I've ever had the pleasure to meet. He held the door open for me, helped me when I wasn't sure where to sit, asked for permission to eat some of the cookies I had brought, and had the most friendly smile!! He was just such a nice boy. So good natured. And I may have fallen in love with his Schülerhelferin, too. She was so nice. Apparently, she had wanted to live in Berlin for at least a summer. But she couldn't find a job. She decided to live here anyway, and joined up to help with the tutoring. She's not getting paid for it all all. And that was all she was doing for a while. Living in Berlin and tutoring Emre. My heart went out to her.
After the session was done (I hadn't even realized it, but we ran over by nearly 40 mins!) Emre left for home and I walked back to the office with Kristin. I was asking her about her plans for later and we were just talking and it was so amazing that I was genuinely COMMUNICATING with another person from another country, from another culture, from an entirely different background!! I suddenly gasped. I had addressed her as 'du' in a question that I had uttered just moments before. Crap! So I started apologizing, and before I could even finish my sentence, she assured me that it was fine-that she had used dir for me and that it didn't matter. This woman just warms my heart. :)
I will be seeing Emre again on friday, we are taking a break from school work and visiting the Reichstag because he and I have never been. He has a different tutor on fridays, so I'm sad I won't really be seeing Kristin again. She honestly was one of the nicest people I had ever met.
I can't wait to see Emre again either!! I want to bring him something, maybe some of the cool American ''heep-hop'' that he likes so much. He's a fan of T pain. and Beyoncé. and Rihanna. (''Do you understand most of the english lyrics?'' ''No, but it sounds good.'' haha)
So I really lucked out today. And I hope tomorrow's tutoring goes just as well.

By the way, I'm using a German keyboard. Which is awesome because of the sweet umlaut buttons that are oh, so convenient. ä ö ü ä ö ü :) yay!

Good night!!

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