After merely four sessions, the tuition ended on a sour note.
He couldn’t help blaming himself for this failure, this fiasco. From young, he had learnt that taking responsibility is the first step to resolving any problems. It was a paradigm that had served him well.
And for this tutoring disaster, he tried to blame himself.
What if he had taught with more excitement? What if he had prepared more thoroughly? What if he had just been able to solve that A. maths trigo question?
The greater the extent he appropriated responsibility, the worse he felt. It was neurotic to assume blame for something in which he’s not wholly at fault. The student was so reluctant to learn, so angry, so angst-ridden that it was taking all his patience to just not blow up. It was not his fault, he told himself.
Many people, both friends and family, told him that he should just give up on her. But he don’t want to give up. He would look down upon himself if he simply walk away and admit defeat.
And now, he had no choice.
He messaged the student’s mum, hoping to discuss the course of the tuition. He requested for a phone conversation. The mum apologized for her daughter’s rude and headstrong attitude. On the behalf of her daughter, she requested for a termination of the tuition.
To his surprise, he didn’t feel devastated. He felt relief washing across him and the dread that had been residing at the back of his mind diminished rapidly, conspicuous by its absence.
He felt a curious, somewhat numbing mix of disappointment, relief and yes, joy. He was free from having to dread tutoring, an activity he usually relishes.
He thanked God for this experience, one in which he lost much but gained much too. He would treasure the lessons learned and remind himself not to repeat it.