Always last

All my life, I’ve lived by a strict code of honour. I was raised by two wonderful parents who knew what was best for me. We’ve been through good times and bad times but no matter what kind of times, we went through time as a family. Because of them, I turned out to be the guy I am today. I’m a selfless guy that was willing to drop everything I was doing to help out a friend. What are friends for, right? I was willing to stop working on an assignment to help the countless other classmates with their assignments. Other people have consumed a lot of my time and I don’t have any left for myself.

I’ve always been the type that put others ahead of myself. I would rather see them accomplish things first before I got around to doing things for myself. In college, I was the guy that everyone got help from, the “go to guy” as Trisha would put it. I don’t think I was the smartest person in the class but I was the one that other students went to when they needed help. I knew just as much as they did about the course because I’m in the same year of the program as they are. But I guess I had a better understanding the subject than they did.

One semester, I was hired by the Student Services Department to be a tutor. The course that I was going to be tutoring was PHP, which was the course that I was taking at the time. My responsibility was to attend lecture and then apply everything that I learned in lecture to the people that I was tutoring. So, it was as if someone was teaching me something and I had to put it into use right away.

The problem was that I didn’t attend lectures. The professor was an ass and I didn’t think he could teach shit. He made lab time mandatory so I only attended those. I don’t know why he made the labs mandatory since he hardly helped anyone.

Tutoring took up at least an hour of my day, that’s if I only had one tutor session to worry about. At most, I could have two but that was rare. The girl I was tutoring was in my class. Maria, a beautiful blond Russian girl who still had her Russian accent. Guys would be staring at her all the time. I think she was like a part time model or something because one time I saw these black and white photographs of her with her hair running down the side of the bed… Yeah…

I spent a lot of time with her during fifth semester because I was her tutor and she was my partner for a project in the Java course. I had no problems talking to her in person because I understood what she was saying and I understood a bit of Russian. But over MSN, she types the way she talks so you’ll have to imagine a chat session where the words are in English but have a Russian accent to them. One time she asked about a cheat sheet for math.

Maria: Hey!
Me: Dah…
Maria: Have you started studying for math yet?
Me: No, not yet… no time…
Maria: Did you make your chet shit yet?
Me: I beg your pardon… a what?
Maria: A chet shit, with all the formulas.
Me: Oh! A “cheat sheet”
Maria: Ya, that’s what I said.
Me: Yeah, that’s what you said but that’s not what you typed….
Maria: Ya

I don’t even know why she just didn’t ask me in person because she was only sitting down the table. But, I guess that’s college students for ya. We have laptops and we’re too lazy to get up from our cheats so we send instant messages to each other even though we’re practically sitting right beside each other.

Sometimes while we’re doing our Java project, she would have a question regarding the PHP project. I’d stop the Java stuff and assist with the PHP stuff. How do you say no to a beautiful blond Russian? Well, you could say, “Nyet” but why would you?

PHP was the course that a lot of people had a lot of problems with. Not a lot of people could understand how to do things but I couldn’t understand how they couldn’t understand. I didn’t attend a single lecture yet I was able to pass the course with 100%. To me, that was one of the easy course that I’ve taken in college.

There were a lot of nights where I would set aside my project and go from computer to computer helping out the other students. Sometimes, there was a waiting list for my assistants. As I was helping one student, another one would tap on my shoulder and ask for help. I would tell them that I’d be over as soon as I’m done with the current student.

I did all this with my free time and didn’t get much time for myself. I would lose a lot of sleep because I was up during the night trying to catch up on unfinished assignments. Even now, I rarely get a change to do anything. I don’t sleep on Fridays because I have to drive mom on errands. When I do sleep, I’m awaken early because I have to drive my brother to work. I spend one third of my day at work in another city during the night. I have no time to do anything fun.

Right now, I’m trying to put my life in order. The days from my childhood to my pre-adult stage has been wasted on others. “When you put other people first, you end up last.” It has helped them a great deal but it has only inconvenienced me. I had to organize my own life on other people’s time. Quite frankly, I think I’m doing pretty well with the limited free time that I have.