Saturday, March 8, 2014
SLICE #8- A hard conversation
It will be the fourth time.
And he still has not passed it.
I hear the discouragement, the flatness in his voice.
"I talked to the professor," he said.
"And I'm still gonna try to pass it this spring,
but I have to get 100% on all of the rest of the tests."
I doubt that he has even passed a math test this semester
Let alone aced one.
"The teacher said I can stay," he says.
"I can try to pass."
"But then he will let me withdraw at the very end
if I'm not passing."
I suggest to my oldest that possibly he should
visit the student services center
see if they have someone who can help.
He says that has tried
and all they do is put him on a computer
he doesn't understand math from a computer
any better than he understands math from a teacher.
"Maybe I will do better this summer.
When I only have one class" he tells me.
"I did better last summer in that writing class."
We talk a little longer.
Discuss the possibility of a tutor.
Zay thinks his running back coach,
a high school math teacher,
might be willing to help him.
I tell him to ask.
Tell him I will pay.
And then it is time to hang up.
I try to build him up.
Tell him I am proud of him
for sticking it out
when it's been so, so hard.
I hang up
and I am filled with doubts.
School, and especially math,
is sooo hard for him.
I don't know if he will ever
be able to pass Algebra.
He did it in high school,
but only because one of the coaches
worked with him
day after day after day.
I wonder whether the college thing is really right for Zay.
He's much happier working with his hands.
I wonder if some kind of trade school might be better.
But he really, really wants to play football.
That has been his dream
since he was a little boy.
Football is his happy place.
His place where he is strong and sure
I do not want to be the one to pop that dream bubble.
But I also don't know
if there's a time
when I should say,
"Enough is enough"
And ask him to consider