Dear Mary- Educating Katya
- Every week I give a half hour conversational English class to Katya(name changed). Thirty five, a graduate, Polish, she cleans for one or two of our neighbours. She is quite( not very) attractive and very nervous. She has been in England for five years and earns a lot more as a cleaner than she did in Poland and when she worked in a food factory.
Like many she cannot afford the time off or the fees to do proper English lessons. So she is grateful for her lesson. I too am grateful as it gives me a semi intelligent project. I also teach our Ukrainian cleaner.
Katya’s English isn’t bad,not fluent but good enough to have some conversation. However as a cleaner who lives with her Polish partner and with other co nationals she doesn’t have much opportunity to practice or improve her English. Which she would like to do as it might better her earning potential. This adds to her gratitude.
Last week ,not for the first time Katya went into riff which goes, You are so kind, you give me so much, what can I do to repay you, there must be something I can do, please tell me.
My heart, prostate and hip may not be what they were but other organs work remarkably well. An attractive woman half my age asks me to name my price, state my wish. Now every saint has a past and every sinner a future but I find myself sweating gently and crossing my legs. I lie and say, nothing just come to next week’s lesson. Was that the right answer?
A.You may have upset some deep cultural tradition. Many Eastern Europeans with their deeply religious anti usury cultures forbid debt of any kind. Katya may now feel as she has not been able to “pay you back” that she has committed a mortal sin and will be guilt ridden. This could lead to depression and worse. I suggest in the next lesson you wear only speedos , turn down the lights, put on Donna Summer, sit next to her rather than opposite and maybe use Kama Sutra as your text, this will allow intimacy, if that is required to flow freely without embarrassment from either side.