My 5 o'clock student brought in an illustrated simplified version of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" to show me, and to show how she's been reading it and expanding her vocabulary. I paged through it and was satisfied the ending wasn't altered. "Oh good," I said, "it's not like the movie. The mermaid dies in this one." She looked up questioningly. My throat clinched. "Have you finished it?"
Quite simply, she replied, "no".
I accidently said shit in front of an 11 year old. Double oops. I was able to cover it up by claiming I must have mistook it for a different story, because mermaids are popular in fairytales. She shrugged it off, agreeing. That was close.
Revisiting the story gave me an idea though. It reminded me of Oscar Wilde's version of a love between a mermaid and a man. I mapped out a plan to reread both stories and do a rewrite of the same fairytale. It can be a literary exercise focusing on inversion just for the sake of it. I'm normally a fan of fairytale and the clear-cut value they aim to inspire, but there comes a phase in a person's life where fairytales are put aside for a study of the gray areas in life, and that's what I'd like to look into. It would be interesting to see just how much I can invert while not actually going against the concepts of good and evil.
Anyway, that nearly distracted me from the session so I put the book away and reviewed her school material with her instead. The following session went well, the student responded to the material much more easily and showed good grasp of it, while feeling more at ease and joking with me in the process. I do get the impression she forgets easily between sessions but at least there's improvement DURING the sessions themselves. I'd be happy to give her homework and followup work doing the week but in all honesty, that's why she goes to school.
Tomorrow will be a busier day. It's all actually making me look forward to Sunday.
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