Finding Home Tutor for Oliver

After last Saturday’s volleyball and late dinner, Bernard, Oliver and I took a ride in Weitat’s car. We were asking about Oliver’s studies when he talked about his current tuition sessions.

His E-maths tutor charged him at the tuition rate of $45 per hour and he could not understand anything. He did not voice out and continued to waste his time and money. Then, he praised his chemistry tutor for teaching him “shortcuts”. This tutor had also offered to coach him on physics in an additional session per week but both tuition sessions were eventually spent only on chemistry. He told us that this tutor’s mum was working as a nurse and we came to the picture that this tutor had been chit-chatting with him during the tuition sessions. This science tutor charged him at the rate of $36.67 per hour.

Oliver sounded naive.

I was stunned to know about his $710 ($270 + $440) monthly tuition fee, which amounted more than half of his dad’s monthly income. His dad’s fatherly love for him touched me. He also mentioned that his dad had to delay payments for other bills just because of his tuition.

He asked me to help him to get a physics tutor. I knew I could do something to help him since I was running a tuition agency and we had been actively helping needy students discreetly (due to lack of manpower for even the daily operation with little revenue). At the very same night, I reached home late and approached Tricia. She responded fast to accept the challenge and I was filled with guilt because she had been sacrificing lots of time silently to do extra work.

Our objective was to assist Oliver to score better grades and also reduce the load (cash) on his dad.

It was not an easy process to help Oliver. I sensed that he did not seem to have proper communication with his dad, just like how I often found it difficult to talk to my mum. He refused to let Tricia talk with his dad somehow and insisted that he could make all decisions. We thought his dad had a great stake in this matter since he was footing the bill.

He mentioned that the tutors were introduced to him by his dad’s friend and thus both the father and son felt uncomfortable to sack them, which spoke well of his dad in term of his character. However, I felt his dad’s friend had wronged them by recommending such costly and inefficient tutors. The tutors could be good but it was proven that both of them did not have good chemistry with Oliver and the fact was that my tuition agency could provide him with similar quality tutors with more affordable prices.

He decided to reduce the number of tuition sessions with his science tutor so that the extra money could be spent on the new physics tutor instead. It was not a good solution since it would not solve the problems with his e-maths and chemistry subjects, moreover, it would not relieve his dad off the financial burden. For me, if the tutoring sessions could not help him much, I would rather he spend the time playing volleyball instead of tiring himself off mentally.

Being a short-term tuition assignment, it would actually turn most tutors away. Tricia managed to find a full-time tutor on our side who had proven track record and was willing to lower down his tuition fee. He was able to help Oliver on all the three subjects at the rate of $25 per hour. We made this possible because Tricia was on close term with the tutor and we were doing it free-of-charge (not taking any commission at all). However, over Oliver’s side, he insisted not to replace the tutors.

This tuition assignment bothered me for two nights. I even woke up thinking of it. It had cost me a lot of distractions while doing my work and I supposed Tricia had spent more time communicating with the tutor and Oliver.

Finally, on Monday, Tricia gave me a good piece of news that she finally got to talk over the phone with Oliver’s dad and he had agreed to replace the tutors. I was overjoyed because I was sure there was higher chance for the new tutor to assist Oliver in achieving better grades and it would lighten his dad’s burden financially.

The final result solely depended on how determined Oliver was to catch up with his studies after fooling around throughout his secondary school life.

Oliver’s dad was a great man and Tricia was a great woman. Oliver was lucky to have such a dad and I was lucky to have a good friend and co-worker like Tricia.