asakiyume (asakiyume) wrote,

how I clicked 'yes' for a tutor and ended up meeting a poet

I've been using Duolingo to learn/practice Spanish for more than three years now, and Portuguese for about a year, and while it's got its flaws, I basically enjoy and appreciate it a lot, so I decided to get a paid membership to help support its mission. Doing so got me some ancillary benefits that for the most part I was uninterested in, but one thing that came over the dash was an offer of a Duolingo tutor. "Would you like a tutor?" the app innocently asked. I pressed yes, thinking I'd get the chance to investigate a little before actually committing, but instead got a cheery message back: Your tutor will contact you shortly! Aaaahhhhh, I went into paroxysms of shyness. No no no! Undo undo undo! But that wasn't an option.

And then nothing happened for a couple of days, so I breathed a sigh of relief ... and then a message did come.

I don't know how other Duolingo tutee-tutor relationships went, but ours was a very pleasant, very minimal-but-not-disappointly-minimal interaction about every 27 hours or so, with each of us sending the other about three text's worth of communication. If I made an error, there was a special correction screen he could send me, so I could see the right way to say the thing.

We talked about this and that, and eventually got to what things his 12-year-old son likes watching and reading, which turned out to be Steven Universe and Harry Potter, which got me responding enthusiastically. When I mentioned that we'd read the last Harry Potter aloud in a readathon, cover-to-cover, he said he enjoyed reading out stuff ... and liked writing stuff even more, and I laughed inwardly, because in my experience, I cannot venture online in any form anywhere, ever, without encountering a writer--not that I'm complaining! I like being with writers and I am one too--it's just funny.

So I told him I liked to write too and asked him if any of his stuff was online and said I'd like to read it.

... And then Duolingo sent me a message saying that the tutor program wasn't working out and they were going to discontinue it on November 20! This was just about a month after I'd gotten the initial invitation.

So I sent my tutor my email address, and he sent me his. Six days after the tutor program was shuttered, he sent me his poems, plus a Soundcloud link where I could hear them--they were great! If we continue corresponding, and if he doesn't mind me linking, I'll share the links here (I can't imagine he'd mind, but I want to ask.)

Friends--you can make them anywhere!

This entry was originally posted at Comments are welcome at either location.
Tags: duolingo, friends, irl goodness
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