SHSAT Tutor With Future Circus Clowns

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Issue 15, Volume 111

By Sanjana Yasna 

I never knew the public school system had failed so badly until I had to tutor Jordan, Devin, and Nafisa over Zoom. Those seventh-grade dorks were brought up expecting gifts like iPhones for passing a class. The only present I ever got was a Tetris for being the valedictorian of my middle school! And I got bullied for that too! Of course, I don’t harbor jealousy at all. I was raised to actually care about my classes. The only similarity between me and those pea-brains is that the brightness of their futures matches the dark circles under my eyes.

There I go again! I can’t let my… distaste toward those morons tarnish my mood right before today’s tutoring session. I gotta loosen up, breathe in calmly, and open Zoom with ease. With Zoom open, I’ll just meditate for a few minutes since those dorks never come on time anyway.

Breathe in… breathe out. Imagine a happy place. Ah, I am now in peace as I am reaching the peak of Mount Everest, basking in the glory alone while all those losers behind me are huddled up on the lowest visible peak like mere mountain goats. Imagine the bone-chilling breeze that can’t even—wait, is that a helicopter hovering above me? It’ll reach the peak before I do! And Devin’s piloting it? The kid that said he values his waifu over his math grade? Pfft, as if he actually can. Ah, he’ll crash against the peak and instigate an avalanche that will kill me.

I break out of my stressful meditation trance to see Devin once again, this time headbanging to anime openings on my dingy computer screen. For my sanity, I respond on mic, “Stop being such a weeb. You wanna get bullied in high school?” The remark was called for, but the astonished Devin plays the role of a victim with a “how dare you bully Saeko-chan!”

In the background, a second student named Jason, a complete drama king, complements our exchange with absurd gesticulations and shocked countenances like a mentally disturbed prick subject to exorcism. Finally tired from the physically exhausting bystander act he tried so hard to maintain, he lets himself dramatically collapse onto his chair.

Apparently, Jason forgot that he had his armed chair replaced by an armless wheelchair only yesterday, hence the poor chap pushes his luck and hits the floor hard, his microphone capturing a brilliant thud. He mutters in pain and then lets out a… suggestive groan? To my horror, I immediately feel the absence of my headphones, meaning my mom definitely heard it from my speakers. Unfortunately, that assumption was proven correct as she barges into my room to demand I show her all my tabs and search history. The inspection yields nothing, so she continues to harangue me for trying to hide “that” again.

“Anyway,” Jordan The Illiterate remarks without reading the room, or more like the Zoom, “you should end the Zoom meeting early so that you can explain to your mother that it wasn’t adult stuff.”

That’s the final straw. I am in shambles by then, so I wail without filter, “Great! You always screw me over like this! Heck, I even daydream about you guys messing me up [which, mind you, is an allusion to that completely innocent meditation episode. Seek medical help if you don't remember]. I beg you, CAN YOU GUYS JUST SHUT UP SO I CAN GET SOME MONEY?”

“Oh, s***…” all the kids say, thinking I really am a loon, a menace to society. I can only imagine what’s going through their minds, probably how they should report this to the guy who hired me. Of course, they leave the meeting without giving me a chance to clear up what I meant. Though, how can I clear up everything when the evidence is all lined up against me? Is this God’s gift in exchange for my sanity?

Suffice to say, I was soon fired.