Jun. 14th, 2017

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I’ve decided to give up on Imaan.

It’s been a year.

Two weeks ago, there was some issue with her phone, and she was texting about having had to go to the hospital but being at work… It was all very vague.

I am VERY concerned, and I’m sure u r 2! Lois Lane texted me.

Actually, I’m NOT concerned, I texted back. Cause I know for a fact she’s lying about being at work – Island Empress is closed on Mondays.

This week I let Lois Lane be the liaison. Imaan didn’t respond to Lois Lane’s texts and FB messages until 11 o’clock at night and then only with, Sorry! I can’t pay my phone bill.

Leading me to believe that she may have been fired from Island Empress.

Last time we met for tutoring, she was bristling over some workplace slight and announcing her intention to march in the very next day to confront the manager.

I cautioned diplomacy and restraint. “It was hard for you to find that job,” I pointed out.

“I get job at McDonald’s!” she sniffed.

I frowned. “You have a job at McDonald’s?”

“No! I get job at McDonald’s!”

Aha! “Get” is the future tense of “have” in the Imaan lexicon.

I feel badly for her. I see the terrible situation she’s in very clearly – essentially alone in a country she did not want to come to with no resources whatsoever. Living with that awful dysfunctional family. No friends her own age.

But, I’m necessarily limited in what I can do for her. I practically adopted Summer while I was tutoring her, but I don’t feel that strong emotional connection with Imaan. Missing tutoring sessions? It happens. But I cannot abide being lied to.

I’m replacing Imaan with a young Algerian man named Samir – 24 years old; has an engineering Masters; speaks Urdu, Arabic, a smattering of French, but practically no English. Lois Lane describes him as “driven.”

“Very, very driven. He already found a job! He’s fixing cell phones 48 hours a week in some underground tech sweat shop in Wappingers –“

“Oh, wow!” I said. “Free phone repairs! I love him already! And he can probably get us an excellent deal on iPhone 8s!”

I’d told Lois Lane that I particularly want to work with Islamic students.

It’s the one small thing I can do to strike out against the anti-Moslem sentiments espoused by the present clown act in Washington.


My intermediate English class continues to go exceedingly well. My students love me. They just love me. They do manual labor in 90-degree weather all day, and instead of hurrying home to take a shower and toss back a few brews in front of Telemundo, they come to my class.

That never fails to humble me.

They’re really thirsty for knowledge.

And they’re so smart.

I can’t speak to the nature of their sacrifice. My sense is that they come from horrible little towns in Mexico where their life would have been shit. Their lives are probably a lot better here. But their lives are not as good as their children’s lives will be, and that’s the real kicker.


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