The days before we begin our Summer SAT/ACT/Enrichment courses, which were set to launch on 6/22, I get very worked up, stressed, and anxious about a variety of different things that can go wrong. Examples such as:
- The copy machine/printer stops working. My Darlin’ and I have a very complex relationship that goes far back (circa 2008, that’s longer than any romantic relationship I have ever endured). I have talked to this machine many, many times while caressing it with genuine love.
- Half of the students do not show up and the desks are littered with untouched test packets I’ve put out the night before (this reminds of the early days of my business when I “assumed” each student would bring 3 new friends each time). It creates an awkward, lonely feeling among the students in the room.
- The scantron software produces an error message like “Error lead-time 4,” which I can understand as well as when sometime opens his/her smoky car hood and states “I think it’s the radiator!” BTW: does anyone even know what a car radiator looks like or what it does? I. Do. Not.
- The proctor oversleeps and there is a line of students outside the office, a situation exacerbated by the angry parents calling me on my phone asking for a refund, an apologize, and my unborn child.
So instead of being worked up, stressed, and anxious, I prepare late into the night at my office. On this particular night (we’ll say 6/21 for arguments sake because it was a Sunday night), I was preparing material at my Cypress location. I had lost track of time and before I knew it, it was midnight. As I continued to work, I heard the door to my upstairs office building open and footsteps approaching my office door. I thought, “what sort of a sick individual is coming by his/her office at this hour?” (this has made me wonder about the many things that are wrong with me). As my door opened, I ran to see my past student, Matt (Cypress HS, 2014). I told Matt that he’d given me quite a fright and he laughed in the way he always had during my time with him. Yet, it was different. Instead of a young boy, a child, he was now grown-up.
The next hour flew by as Matt recapped me on his first year at the University of Washington. Friends, homesickness, fashion, girlfriend, food, etc. I was so thankful, both to Matt and to my Lord and Savior for giving me the respite I needed from my midnight anxiety attack. He was so candid about his loneliness the first weeks of college and about how much he really loved his girlfriend. He also shared with me his love for mathematics and we reminisced, not only about his summer SAT experience, but also about all the other students who touched both our lives that summer. Sensing some uneasiness, I asked how things were going between him and his girlfriend and he professed that they’d had an argument, tonight, and that he needed to blow off some steam. I understood. There were times during my college years at UCI when I would argue with my girlfriend (my first love) and would find comfort in Brian McKnight, cheap cigarettes, and sounds of the ocean at CDM. I realized Matt had come to my office as a display of instinctive behavior in seeking out a place of comfort in times of distress. I’d become that place for him. Whether entirely true or not, it meant the world to me that my place could be a haven of comfort for any of my past students. This is what I am most proud of. Most people know that when I talk about my “Kids,” it’s a love, joy, and pride that I cannot contain. They will leave to become the most amazing people in society and like Matt, they’ll make time to boomerang back and give me their time. I’ve won the Lotto.
As of late, there is doubt as to how much longer I will want to do this job. In one year, I will be an MBA graduate from my childhood, dream school. I know my next job may be more professional, more accepted by society/peers, and more sophisticated, but I am 100% sure that it will not come close to the gratification Matt gave me with his visit that night. Thank you, Matt. Along with everyone else, you are and always will be a part of my Family.