October 14, 2020

tutor, cancel, reschedule, repeat . . . oh well

I have been discovering that some things don't bother me the way they would've back in the day when we didn't wear masks unless it was Halloween and when we called people who washed their hands too much:  germ-a-phobes.

Then there are a few other things that probably bother me more, but we're gonna focus on the WHO GIVES A SHIT LIST . . . 

Back in the spring, we enrolled Tank for tutoring to help him prepare for the ACT.  Coach had a patient who knew someone who tutored for a REASONABLE PRICE. **Do you know over the years how many times I have said these words?  It's almost as if I'm married to the mob, "Yo, Coach knows a guy.  Comes into the clinic a lot.  Bad knees but he knows a lot about . .  ."**   Anyway, this woman (lady friend of a patient) was lovely and good at what she did and her fees would not break the bank.  

The plus side, and this comes as no surprise to me, although she never met him face to face (only computer screen stuff) - she was crazy about Tank.  He has that effect on people.  She called me a few times to review his progress, etc. and she told me what a kick she got out of him.  The bummer, she didn't do math.

We opted to do a 'just math' tutor through a place that is crazy costly.  Having discovered them when Ed was trying to increase his score, I knew they were good but they deliver an OUCH to the wallet.  Tank is deficient in math.  As in most-likely learning disabled in math.  But hey, the kid has a phone.  

Oh, don't be silly, I didn't mean he'd use the calculator, I meant he'd pick up the phone and call Reggie, our math whiz.  

Tank:  Hey Reg, how many pies would you get if the Smiths asked me to bring dessert for 9 people?  Remember I eat two times more than everyone else. (pause for equation to be calculated).  OK, thanks. 

So while everything was shut down and Tank had no sports and none of his many money-making-gigs were up and running (reminder to self, to post more on that later), he zoom tutored twice each week.

His June ACT test, cancelled.  I saw the email but I was busy when I saw it.  Days later, I was like OH CRAP I THINK I NEED TO RESCHEDULE THAT.  

By then, all test seats were filled within a normal driving distance.  I ended up booking him at a place in Indiana, like an hour away.  Tank didn't want to stay in a hotel.  He wanted to sleep in his own bed.  I made a hotel reservation anyway, and decided to make a game-day decision as to cancel or keep it.  

Now his ACT was in July. We agreed to continue tutoring, because we have a money tree in our backyard.  I have to keep a close eye on Mary Ann to be sure she doesn't try to help herself to it or anything, believe you me.

July ACT test:  cancelled.  

I have no photo of Tank tutoring, but
here he is making eggs while attending
an e-learning math class.
 Mutli-tasking, I guess.

Tank kept plugging away at the tutoring, but I said FOLKS, WE ARE SWITCHING TO EVERY OTHER WEEK.  Eventually, I bagged the whole thing.  No more tutoring.  

You know what was only slightly irritating?  My sister, Marie, in Milwaukee called me to say:  OH, I HEARD TANK'S TEST WAS CANCELLED.  SUZIE IS SCHEDULED SOMEWHERE IN INDIANA, BUT FARTHER AWAY (she was annoyed at how far she had to drive, insert my low-guttural growl).  HERS ISN'T CANCELLED.

Well, pin a rose on your ass.  Oh, and by the way, Suzie has ALREADY taken it once.  (insert image here:  me blood boiling as in quit complaining - she took is getting ready to take it a second time. Tank, no test).

I wanted 5 minutes alone in a room with the ACT people, particularly weeks later when they opened the fall test dates and I spent hours trying to reschedule him for the September test and the system couldn't handle all of the traffic.  Duh!  


Maybe the people who run this test thing scored highly on THEIR ACT, but how smart are they at handling run-o-the-mill type life issues?

Eventually the ACT folks announced that they would automatically reschedule people.  We got an email a few days later.  Tank was registered about 15 minutes from home on Sept 12th.  

As the date approached Tank changed his tune.  He no longer wanted to take the ACT.  WHAT?  Most college admissions were moving to test optional and it wasn't as if he intended to go to Princeton or anything.  He wanted to caddy and make money on a Saturday not test all day.  


Then the golf team scheduled a Ryder Cup tournament on Sept 12th.  He begged us to let him play in it.  

The forecast SUCKED.  I pointed out that golf would probably be cancelled and there'd be no caddying either.  Why not just take the test?  At least we would have some idea of where he would score so we knew what schools he should consider applying to.  

We finally agreed the night before, he could skip the ACT.  I was able to reschedule him in southern Illinois for October 24th or something, but we doubt he'll even bother.

The next morning, it rained cats and dogs.  Tank never even rolled out of bed as the golf coach texted early to say Ryder Cup event, cancelled.  

He could've taken the *&^$%&#$@* test.  

In all honestly, I just kind of chuckled.  Tank went to one of his indoor paying gigs (not caddying) and made some money.  Unphased.  As it should be, I guess.

Anyone out there with high school students? Testing, skipping? Anyone finding stuff that should drive you bonkers doesn't really matter anymore? OR does anyone else have a pesky neighbor they need to watch so they don't get into their money tree?



Kari said...

Well first, I have stopped caring about so much because of the pandemic. You're right SO much has changed and I thought testing was one of the them but what do I know? I think testing should go away altogether, personally but I have horrible test anxiety and failed all of my entrance exams (and graduated with highest honors IN college, btw) so I feel like they mean nothing in the long run. I give you permission to tell your bossy sister my story. You can embellish it too. :)

Ernie said...

Kari - I should add that I have stopped wearing mascara. Done. Maybe for a fancy night out - assuming those will return at some point.

I hate the test to get into college thing. Such poop. This year the colleges have mostly gone to test optional, but they also use test scores to figure out how much scholarship money they give students. Not sure how that will work. Tank was NEVER going to have such a high score that they were going to throw amazing deals his way anyway.

My sister, Marie, has one kid living at home - her youngest. She was so annoyed that she had to drive SO far from Milwaukee for her kid to take the test a 2nd time. Hello?! I was like SHUTUP.

Ally Bean said...

Thinking about taking those tests makes me anxious. I can see that getting the *opportunity* to take one is now ridiculously difficult. Because why make anything easy in 2020 when there's a good way to make people suffer more? Perhaps I'm getting more cynical as I go along. Related: do those tests actually prove anything other than some kids are good test takers and others aren't?

Kara said...

My daughter has an amazing GPA, is 26th in her class of 600, and is a TERRIBLE test taker. On her pre-ACT, she got a 13. That's REALLY BAD. We're hoping that colleges waive the test part of admissions, because that's the only way she's getting in. At one point, she had an IEP for untimed tests (ADD diagnosis), but we let that slide when her grades went up. But standardized tests, nope, no good at all.

Ernie said...

Suz - Tank IS lucky I haven't strangled him . . . for a number of offenses. His bugging me about what is available to eat is the thing he is currently doing that is threatening to land him in the 'bread and water only' category. It is certainly less stressful for a kid who is not going to try for a 'reach' school. Ed was stressed about raising his test score - not fun.

The hood - part of the 3 year kitchen/addition nightmare that is not over and now we have to figure out what to do with the cracked quartz. Um, the hood is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. It's a Christmas miracle.

Ernie said...

Ally - I would love to see most colleges stick with the 'test-optional' application process moving forward - that could be one of the positives to come of all of this. Looking ahead it would save me so much on future tutors for my other kiddos.

Sometimes I think those test are skewed slightly by the people who can AFFORT the tutoring and test prep classes, etc. When I was a kid, there was no such thing as spending bucks to get ready for admissions tests. We tested, maybe a second time. The end.

Ernie said...

Kara - I hope for her sake she can do the test optional admission thing. Or can you get her ADD extended time re-instated. I know it made a big difference for my guys. Such a headache. I feel like how they do in school should be enough of an indicator, although some schools are more rigorous than others.