The Tutoring Method
Welcome to Read A Book, Write An Essay: The Tutoring Method, the homeschooling resource aimed at everyone, especially the poorest families courageous enough to opt out of public education and guide their children toward excellence.
But this post isn’t about the site, it’s about something I likely won’t talk about much again: me.
I am D. Jason Fleming, sole proprietor, Editor in Chief, Grand High Mucketymuck, and Assistant to the Copy Boy around here. (I am also, outside of this project, an indie writer, if you’d like to support me in that way, too. If not, no worries, I won’t judge you.) (Much.)
I was born and raised in a small town in the lower reaches of the Rust Belt. My childhood, while more fortunate than many, was not pleasant — far less pleasant in retrospect, viewed through the lens of experience, than I even knew at the time.
But I came out of youth knowing some things. I knew that my ideal profession was either child psychology or teaching. And I knew that I could never pursue either one.
Child psychology was out because I understood to my bones that I would never recover from the first case of abuse I came across, to say nothing of succeeding cases. I am too empathic with children to maintain the personal detachment that would be required. (Frankly, I’m not entirely sure I would survive seeing such a case and being unable to save a child from it.)
The reasons I could never be a teacher are more diverse, but can largely be summed up thus: every part of teaching that was not actual teaching would drive me insane. Dealing with school administration. Dealing with boards of education. Dealing with superintendents. Dealing with state (and, these days, federal) bureaucrats. Dealing with (some) parents. Last, and definitely not least, dealing with the evil teachers’ unions.
There’s also the fact that I love children. I would want to teach first or second grade. Which, in today’s American culture, would have every parent trying to “prove” I am a pedophile. Assuming any school would hire a man to teach classes so young to begin with — and they wouldn’t, be sure of that.
But I do love children. Watching them learn, putting pieces together in new ways, working through new concepts, and accepting them is, simply, one of the greatest joys of existence, in my opinion.
Yet I knew I could not teach. Life, I tell you.
So I pursued filmmaking (with spectacular lack of success), and over the years worked in the tech sector, the service industry, then gave up everything to pursue another passion, my lifelong sinophilia. I quit my job, sold most of my stuff, and moved to mainland China with little notice, few contacts, and no prospects. (You may now tell me that I am insane. I don’t deny it.) Of course, I ended up as an English teacher (ESL, technically), though I also had some dealings in textiles and a few other export/import goods, and the seeds of a few novels were planted in my head.
After several years, there were some shenanigans with my visa and bank accounts, and I was pointedly and officially invited not to stay. To this day, I am not sure if I was suspected of espionage, or if I simply stumbled across a case of corruption that “had” to be covered up. It might have been both, or even more than that. (In fact, I had encountered corruption to some extent, but that’s another story.)
So, I moved back to Los Angeles, and have been regretting that choice ever since, what with the complete disaster that the economy was and continues to be here.
So, that’s a bit of insight into who I am, and maybe some implied reasons for my pursuing this project, even though I remain childless to date.
Tomorrow, time permitting, I’ll go a bit into what the plan is around here. 🙂
By Way of Introduction by D. Jason Fleming is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.