Late Lessons and Proper Pedantry

There must’ve been a cosmic event somewhere in the world this week. You see, dear reader, the unthinkable happened. I’m not sure if I told you but aside from all of the craziness with pay cuts and fairly low bookings, I have started seeing more and more place holding. In particular, there is one student who used to be a level four through six regular for me at VIPKid, but once she got to level seven, I never saw her again. Perhaps that’s because when she first started level seven I was not allowed to teach it. The rules then changed, and I was able to certify and have been teaching for quite a while. Inexplicably, in the beginning of last year, her mother, or the learning partner, or something supernatural, I’m not sure which, started place holding at least one or two lessons every week on my schedule. They would place hold until 25 hours before the lesson when they would cancel. At that rate it’s no longer likely that the class will book for a lesson that cancels that close to the teaching time. This has been going on for about a year. It’s not just this student of course, but I feel like I’ve been singled out as a second best for this family at level seven. Not only do they place hold, but they are extremely disrespectful of my time. On  Saturday she, was on my schedule and had not dropped off. So of course I got ready for the lesson which was a unit assessment and was there just on time. This particular lesson, she showed up  at minute 36, Of a 48 minute lesson. I swear I have never given a unit assessment so quickly. It was a close thing, and I barely got to my next class in time. But was able to enter with six seconds to spare and so still maintain my perfect service record of no late arrivals and no early exits. Still, dear reader, I feel that just as a student’s time is valuable, the teacher’s time is also valuable and it is the height of disrespect to not show up in time. In the case of Bella, she claimed to have forgotten, which leads me to believe that she did not book the lesson and nor did her mother. Rather, I think that the learning partners are booking the lessons and the parents and students have no idea.

Over at Lingueo, things proceed quite nicely, and while I am not building up a following of students, I still have the three that started with me this month. I was hopeful that the five star review that I got from Delphine, would have pushed me to the relative top of some ranking and I would get more students, but that hasn’t happened yet. Still, I am enjoying the lessons that I’m giving to my three candidates. Delphine and Nicolas are easy enough. The challenge, is Maria Jose. This young woman speaks better English than I do. She is easily a C1 possibly a C2 level, and it has proven quite challenging to find things to teach her. We are currently working on sentence structure and word order in English but it quite a high-level. We are working on complex compound sentences, cleft sentences, and work order in English. She seems to like the lessons, and she continually keeps making reservations, but I am discovering that is difficult to find the lessons that are challenging enough for her but easy enough for me to teach. But I came up with a solution of sorts, and have switched the focus of the lessons to academic English like I do with one of my English Centrer clients. The switch seemed to work and we were able to fill the time, just enough to make it interesting for her. It helps that I’m a little bit of a self deprecating teacher, and can use my foibles and weaknesses as  teachable moments. But it is to say the least, pedantic as I am an American and don’t use the sentence structures that we’ve been working on as much as somebody who is British. I find that American English tends to be a little bit more direct uses quite a bit more simple language then British English.

In another, non-teaching related instance of pedantry, I have a friend who on my suggestion is reading Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue, And while she finds it interesting, it also is the thing puts her to sleep in the evening. I was quite amused because for me it made me want to finish the book in one day which I’ve done. But for my friend it’s a bit different. If you haven’t had a chance read it I recommend it, and if you have I’d welcome your thoughts on it,

My writing or rather, my editing on Thursday nights is going well and I am nearly done with the first edit based on comments from people in the Washington creative Writer’s club. Once I do that it will be time to sit through the comments of the Dutch Critique group or at least to take a break and actually create content. We’ll have to see how long that takes. But I’m finding that I enjoy being able to resolve, or not resolve issues as the case may be. One of the things that I’m having trouble with is figuring out when to stop editing. When is enough enough? And that was the focus of our critique group last Wednesday. I’m sure it will be an ongoing discussion but it’s proving to be a conundrum that I can’t currently solve.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Lingueo Like and Editing Endeavors

This week as you know dear reader, si basically an extension of my weeklong holiday between Christmas and New Year’s. Forgetting the frenzy, or rather intentionally not opening for the frenzy was a mistake. My short notice plan, as you all know, backfired spectacularly and I basically got two or three classes a day from 2 January through 8 January. While it is true that I did get some short notice bookings, they were all trials. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love it when trials don’t show up especially if they’re short notice. Because I’d rather get the $6.75 for a 15 minute coffee break then not have anything at all. Conversely, while I like getting $11.50 for teaching the class, I do not like how tired I am at the end of it. Saturday was a prime example of that. I had one major course class which means the student showed up and I got my $9.50  base pay plus the measly incentive that we get for teaching the first 20 classes, otherwise known as $.80 (honestly I’d rather get a straight salary). then, horror of horrors, I had four trials in a row. It was, truly an exhausting 2 1/2 hour period. Not even my one regular major course student was a bright spot that day. Her name is Wendy, and she’s a level four which means she should be able to use the present tenses and  past tenses with fluency. It can be hit or miss with her. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn’t. In fact, she likes to fall back on one word answers. I will say that a positive is that she does not just repeat after me. Parroting students at level four are the worst. I know. I’ve had a couple. Wendy is also difficult because it’s hard to get her to smile and to react.

The week did get better as I had three classes with new students on the Lingueo platform. That is a platform in France that is subsidized by the French government and has primarily employees from Disney and Air France as clients. As I might have mentioned in a previous post, I much prefer adults to kids because they take less energy. I also find  that my adults don’t mind if my materials are a little childish especially if I can make the class a little bit humorous. And I do find that the worksheets on the ISLCollective are great when you’re teaching online. The bright colors and pictures stand out on a screen. And make things a little bit easier to handle. It’s much nicer than just a simple black and white worksheet. I had two classes with a woman named Delphine who is a financial advisor at a bank. And a class with a young man who is a blah blah car driver. What’s nice about this platform is that I can basically use the same lesson for most of my clients. And they seem quite happy. In fact, Delphine gave me a five star review which I found out on Saturday afternoon. While I was pleased to receive five stars, my heart sank because I do not actually like getting feedback. My VIPKid experience has soured me on the whole idea of feedback and the fact that at least on VIPKid’s platform. until recently. your pay raise was contingent on receiving 25% five Apple reviews. I hope that is not the case at Lingueo, but we will have to see.

On Sunday in addition to my  VIPKid, my Greek lesson, and my Polish client, I had a new client on Lingueo  tested at a C1 level. My class was her 3rd out of a package of 21. So I decided that I would do a lesson on manners with her as well as an intake. I spent some time modifying the manners lesson that I have, to fit into an hour but also be higher than B2 level. It worked fairly well, And with a couple more modifications I can either lower or increase the level of the lesson. Sunday evening brought a late cancel from Sander, my English Center client so Monday was a day off, which was nice.

Over in the writing world, I have hit my stride on Thursday nights. While I am not producing much new content, I am slowly but surely extricating myself from the comments of people in the Washington writer’s group that I’ve had hanging around for the last three years, as well as looking at the comments of the current critique group. It’s been interesting trying to juggle and fix what is wrong with the novel, and as a bonus there have been glimmers of where I want to take it from where I have left off generating new content. With the Dutch government set to impose longer lockdown restrictions, it looks like the Writers Gand roup the critique group will be online for the foreseeable future. We may have a line on a place to meet once we are able to. I have a friend in the group who has a space that is free that she has access to. So I’ll have to maybe take a look at it.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Frenzy F*ck Up and a Polish Pickup

Things I learned this week: never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never miss a frenzy. Did I mention never? And yet, dear reader, that’s exactly what I did this week. I didn’t open for the frenzy, thinking that I could get short notice bookings and at least make an extra two dollars for every class that booked. The strategy was the most epic fail ever. I opened up on Thursday last week, And as of this writing I’ve only gotten four bookings. One was on Sunday at 9:30 AM. So not only did I have to wake up but I had to wake up and teach a free talk. They are not my favorite. At the lower levels the kids don’t have the language for what they’re trying to learn. It’s another flaw in curriculum design. I have been kicking myself. Short notice is only worth it if it works, and by that I mean more than the three classes that I was able to get yesterday. But that is rare, at least for me. It might work once the kids are on vacation themselves, in January for Chinese New Year. But my lesson has been learned: better a bird in the hand than two in the bush. I’d rather have non-short notice bookings throughout the week, then have a zero booking schedule and depend on short notice. So the first week of January was an extra week of vacation. You might think that’s really cool, but not when you’re trying to pay bills.

I do still have my private clients, though my Chinese twins are taking a break until nearly the end of January. English Center will pick back up on Friday with my student who is doing academic English. I work with her until the first week in February. And then on the 11th all goes back to normal with my Monday student coming back from Curaçao. At least I hope he’s able to come back. I also hope he tests negative for Covid. Because it’s an in real life lesson. Yesterday, brought a twice weekly client from Lingueo, and though I had to make some adjustments, schedule-wise, that student is on my schedule until the end of April. I just have to remember not to open VIP slots when she has her lessons.

But, dear reader I have learned my lesson. Never again will I not open for some sort of frenzy. Therein lies lots of danger, at least for me. And since there isn’t enough work on any of my platforms it’s not like I can refuse to do VIPKid. Having learned my lesson, I’m happy to report that I opened for frenzy this week and got at least some bookings. Of course, it’s not the 60 that I opened up it’s more like half that.

That’s all she wrote For this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Close Call and (an extended) VIPKID Vacation

 I am, dear reader, in the middle of a lovely vacation. I am doing nothing except reading, some editing, and some baking. I am taking the opportunity from now until the New Year to try and figure out my next steps. As a result, workwise it’s been fairly quiet even in the planning stages. My in real life class, doesn’t start back up until 11 January as my student went to Curaçao and was not sure whether he would be able to come back on 4 January given travel restrictions and a 10 day quarantine upon return. Or at least that was the plan. It may be that he didn’t leave for Curaçao at all, but I doubt that because he is one of the people who, while not a Covid denier, doesn’t believe that it’s as serious as people say. And therefore is willing to push boundaries a little bit. Luckily he has been following the rules and has been testing negative when he does need to travel. My other English Center client who is online doesn’t start back up until 8 January so I have some time to prep lessons.

In terms of VIPKid, I have decided not to open lessons In January that are not short notice. You see, I had a close call this week. I got a message from Preply, Saying someone had tried to book me for a lesson. The students name is Swan, leading me to believe it’s someone from China who wanted to book me on 23 December at 8 AM. I would have done it, too. Even at 8 AM. I sent a text message asking if they still wanted a lesson and if I could help to book the lesson at 8 AM and also if they wanted to do it another time. But alas, there was no response. Still, it was nice to have some thing thisclose 0n the books. Leading me to believe, that there may be a way out of teaching for VIPKid at least as much as I have been. It’s going to take some juggling I think. The plan right now is to not accept  any of the bookings that are floating around my teacher portal. And there are 20 of them. I’m just going let them expire. Instead I think what I’ll do is I will open up the French platform and see if I can get any bookings there.

My Greek student is going to continue with me and I am anxiously awaiting feedback from my friend at Lexis Amsterdam about the lesson. I sent her a video recording just before the holidays of a lesson. But I learned a lesson with them this week, I need to be mor clear with them about canceling a class. They came to class on Sunday. I felt bad, but not bad enough to have class. My other private clients are also on hold till January, with my twins having a short month as they have midterms again. I think that is in advance of their holiday break for Chinese New Year in that starts mid January. We will see if Karolina comes back from her month off.

While Jasper has essentially moved in, he has yet to bring any of his stuff over from his house because the last couple of days if too much overindulgence in terms of food and was reflected in how he felt. In addition the weather has absolutely been shitty with almost gale force winds overnight that don’t exactly allow for ease of movement. Also, the fact that he can sleep half the day away doesn’t really allow for him doing very much work on his house when he does happen to get there.

All of my writing related activities are also on hold until January. And I think with the writers group we are going to try and find a new space for January assuming things start to open up again. Right now everything is shut down until 19 January. Then we will have to see. The government has been giving press conferences every couple of weeks to let us know of any changes. But for right now, it will be online Thursday night sessions until we can figure out the logistics of meeting. One of my members has a free space that she is allowed to use when she wants to so I’m thinking to go and take a look at that as it might be a good option as well.

That’s all she work for this Inkreadable installment, But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Tech Turnoff and Vacation Vacillation

I never believed, dear reader, in the idea of Mercury being in retrograde. I am not a spiritual person and do not have a belief system. But I did come close this week. And because the tech turnoff was both personal And work related, I think it applies here. I have been having issues with my Kindle charging for about four months now. The charging contact inside the Kindle is damaged and I could only charge it sporadically by jiggling the cable until I saw a light, standing the Kindle up on its side and hoping that it wouldn’t fall over while it charged. Of course, that could not last and it ended quite spectacularly this past Thursday. My Kindle now does not charge at all, no matter what I tried. And I tried everything I could think of: changing cables and changing sockets. No Joy. On the “bright” side Jasper does not have to wrack his brain for a Christmas present for me. But I needed a solution for the inability to read a book.

Not to worry, I thought, I still had my phone. I duly downloaded the Kindle app onto my phone and used it to read, as well as do everything else that I needed to do. Including scheduling appointments, talking to students, and all manner of work related things. And then the unthinkable happened. Not a single one of my non-Apple branded chargers would work with my phone. Not the €27 native union cable, not the cheap six euro HEMA cable, And definitely Not the multi cables that I get from Jasper’s work for free. I could charge nothing. For those of you that don’t know HEMA is a mid-range, house branded department store here in the Netherlands. I spent a very stressed out weekend only using my phone extremely sparingly. But the technology gods seemed to be smiling on me. I ordered five different cables, two from Amazon and three from Apple themselves, to see which ones worked. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more money on cables in my life I think it was something like €115. According to people in the know, Apple recently installed a chip into their phones that is able to detect whether you’re using a Apple branded cable. Now while you don’t have to use an Apple cable itself, it does have to have a particular symbol that indicates it’s compatibility and approval from Apple. I had none of those. Anyhoo, on Saturday afternoon I got a message from DHL saying that a package from Amazon would be arriving on Sunday somewhere between 9 AM and 6 PM. I wasn’t sure which of my packages was arriving As I had placed quite a few orders from Amazon. It turns out that it was the Amazon cables and a couple other things that I ordered.  Not only are they Apple branded they’re actually original Apple cables so at least I can use my phone without worrying about charging my phone. But having to turn off my phone after every use was an annoyance that I didn’t need.

Tomorrow, dear reader, is my last day working until 2 January. At least that’s what I hope. The plan is to move Jasper into my house over the next week. But I am not sure that is going to happen. My Jasper is a great idea man. He had the idea to move in with me and then we find a place of our own after selling his. Great idea as I said. Execution, not so much. He has been talking about this move for the last two months. But has done nothing to make it happen. So we will have to see. If he has done nothing by tomorrow, I am going to open up the holidays to teaching. Because frankly, I need the cash.

That’s the second part of my title, I certainly don’t want to work but may have to. So I’m vacillating. Will I or Won’t I is a question that has been in the back of my mind for quite a few days now. And its further complicated by choice. I have also been hired by a company to teach English to French people online. I may just open the holidays to that company and see if I can get some bookings. It doesn’t pay much. It’s about the same as VIPKid but I get paid in euros. Which is important. Because as you all know from a couple of posts ago the dollar has tanked rather spectacularly. Forecasts indicate that it’s going to tank even more over the next few months. So the earning of euros for those of us who are in Europe is going to become doubly important.

Over in the writing world, I have gotten into the Thursday night writing groove. I find that setting a tangible goal for the evening works well for me, as does the fact that there are people typing with me. I think, unlike the English language dinner group, that the writers’ group will survive Covid.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Trial Turnover and (more) VIPKid Villany

I just about expired from shock this weekend, dear reader. It was an ordinary weekend for the most part. But on Friday, the unthinkable happened. I turned a trial, much in the same way a vampire will turn a human on Supernatural. It was completely unexpected. Firstly, the kid came at minute eleven. At that point I was not at my computer. I ran over and triedo get through the material as quick as I could. It’s true, that I was teaching mostly mom and not the kid but that’s OK. Things I have learned with VIPKid: I can do anything for 25 minutes. Including act like a complete ass. In this case it happened to work. I was not sure if it would, however. You see mom said something to me in Chinese for about a minute and a half. So I thought I was a goner for sure and not only would I not turn the trial, but I would also  get a bad review. Luckily, neither of those things happened and I made five dollars. What I find really concerning and sad is that I am happy at making an extra five dollars where what I should be thinking is I’m not being paid enough for any of this. It’s also shocking because generally my trials are no-shows. And I mean at a rate of about 60%. I rarely teach them. It gives me hope that maybe I will get a few more of them that I actually teach and actually turn. But on Sunday my first class was a trial and of course it was a no-show. Still I got $4.75 out of it.

Despite this positive occurrence, the hits at VIPKid just keep coming. I’m sure that I will get backlash from many teachers when I post this on the Facebook group that I run. But I’m still gonna post it. It seems that VIPKid is opening their market to South African and Filipino teachers. And while they will be only teaching the 6:1 starlight classes, what concerns me is that that will be only the beginning. Starlight group courses allow multiple students to one teacher up to six. this doesn’t really concern me, as I don’t and won’t teach Starlight 6:1. what concerns me is that the pay rate for South African teachers is six dollars to nine dollars an hour and for Filipino teachers is three to five dollars an hour depending on experience, for teaching up to six children. I  make double that teaching one on one for VIPKid to kids in China. What is to stop my students from taking the 6 to 1 classes with a South African or Filipino teacher who cost the company much less than I do? Right now, the answer seems to be nothing. And so once again VIPKid has become even less secure. There was of course the typical assurance that this is a test program and is going to roll out very slowly. But I’m not buying it. On top of pay cuts and other changes, VIPKid seems to becoming less sustainable over the long term. And I’m not convinced that it’s Only VIPKid. I think this is a trend we’re going to see across the industry. Because while online teaching is increasing, and prominence in online education is much more In use, I think the prevalence of English language teaching online and the saturation of the market is ultimately going to cause problems for those of us who already changed their career to ELT. So now I’m scrambling to find other options.

In other news, after an inconclusive MRI that showed swelling in the spinal cord again, it’s off to radiology for a third MRI this time of my brain to make sure that everything is OK in that quarter. While I appreciate the diligence of the doctors, I’m getting heartily tired of being in an MRI machine.

The online writing sessions continue to be productive, but on a personal level they’re making me miss my in real life writing group much more than if I didn’t have them at all. There may be light at the end of the tunnel in the new year, but we’re still going to have to find a new place to write. There is hope on that horizon as well as a friend of mine has access to a space that we might be able to use on the east side of the city. I’m going to have to investigate with her after the holidays are over.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

December delete and a ticket teardown

While the holidays are always slow, dear reader, it seems that this December will be slower than most. My Polish student has asked that we suspend lessons until January. While this doesn’t exactly pose a hardship for me, as she’s not one of my more lucrative students, she is fun and I really enjoy our sessions because I learn something new from her every time I talk to her. She wanted to stop after the sixth, which would’ve been this past Sunday. But because she contacted me early in the week, I told her just take the whole month off and we will start back up in January. Now when this has happened in the past, I have never seen the student again. Not sure if any of you remember as far back as my Belarusian student, with whom I had three months of in real life lessons on a Sunday and then nothing. She moved to online lessons with Preply, and while I am on the platform, I haven’t been focusing on it.

And then. of course. there is the case of Felix, who in spite of his best intentions, once he got a job decided that he didn’t have the energy to learn English anymore.  So let’s hope that Karolina comes back in January. Fingers crossed, but I’m a cynic about this and most things so I will believe it when I see it. And of course, dear reader, you will be the first to hear of it when I do.

There is always a bright side to these kinds of things however, I was able to move my Chinese twins a little bit further forward in the day taking part of Karolina’s which means that my day will end at 1:30 on Sunday instead of at two. Having an early afternoon on Sunday means that I can actually do something with my Sunday. Which in the corona times means cook  or bake something.

Over in the VIP kid world, I got so desperate for bookings that I actually sent a ticket telling them that parents had told me that they couldn’t find me on the system. The answer I got from the company was “prove it”. Of course, I can’t prove it because they’re telling me on WeChat and I don’t want the company to know that I’m talking to parents. Or at least I don’t want them to officially know. I’m sure they know, because they’re not stupid. I did see a few trial bookings trickle in over the week but most of them are no-shows. And even when I teach a trial I don’t get the five dollars that we used to get when kids signed up after a trial with you. Apparently, if they don’t buy in the program that you actually taught then you don’t get the five dollars. And I suspect that is what’s happening with me. For example, if I teach a major course trial and they buy a starlight package then I don’t get that money. And vice versa. That is just another shitty way for VIPKid to shaft the teachers. But all in all, the experience of sending a ticket and having them do nothing, shows me where this company is going. And I fear in fact, for the future of online English language teaching in general. The market is simply oversaturated with  too many teachers, too many companies, and not enough students. Leaving me to wonder if English language teaching is sustainable in the long term.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Hundred (class) Heartbreak and Writing Wellness

Oh, dear reader, how the mighty have fallen. It says some thing about the current state of affairs at VIPKid, that I am grateful even for the 106 classes that I taught in the month. Understand, dear reader, that, just over a year ago that would’ve been my nine day total. Not my 30 day total. I am not the only one who is going through this, however. I also realize that not all teachers are experiencing this and continue to teach 70-80 classes a week. All I can say to them is “you’re lucky” and “I remember those days”.

Nonetheless, dear readers that is my new normal. To be quite happy that I have broken 100 classes for the month of November. Also to be grateful for any and all English center work that I happen to get. The plan for December is to work until Christmas Eve and then take a Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day off. I am hopeful that in that time we get Jasper moved in to my apartment and see where all of that takes us. Again, being a skeptic that I am, I will believe it when I see it. By which I mean, then I will believe it when Jasper’s stuff is in my house and he has more than five days of clothes here. I will believe it, when I see Jasper come back to me on a Thursday evening instead of going to his house in North.

Over in my writing world, things continue a pace and editing is going quite swimmingly. I will say that it’s hard to hold the focus even on Thursday nights while I’m typing away with at least three other people. Because, if you’ve ever talked to a writer you know that they spend 1% of their time writing and 99% of their time on the Internet. Now, dear reader, I’m not speaking about the writers who actually make money at their writing but those of us who are still treating our magnum opuses as works in progress. Still, I am quite happy with the progress that I am making in terms of editing. And while there isn’t that much plotting, I’m reading the book from the beginning. I figure a fresh read may equal a fresh pair of eyes. I have as yet, not taken a look at the critiques that I’ve gotten from members of the online critique group, chiefly because I haven’t had the time. But that too will come and maybe that will allow for and insight into my characters that I didn’t know that I had.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Dollar doldrums And a challenging conundrum

For the last four years, I have been mostly earning in dollars and living in euros. And while the exchange rate has never been great, forecasts for 2021 show that it’s going to be even more difficult to live in Europe and work for VIPKid. The exchange rate between the dollar and the euro is going to plummet making the dollar much weaker. Essentially, that means that any money that I make with VIPKid, will be valued at less than what it is now. I am not the only one going through this as my Facebook group has been talking about this for the last few days. It means that beyond our paychecks being lower because VIPKid cut the pay so drastically, whatever money we make is worth much less. I am more and more thankful that I have the English Center and my few private clients to supplement my income in euros. Between that and Covid, I’m not sure that 2021, at least the first part, is going to be a very happy new year.

Over at the English Cnter, there is more work but alas it is in Amstelveen. I have put myself forward for none of it. It doesn’t make any sense for me to be going to Amstelveen more than once a week and even that once per week, has to be worth it for me. That means that I should have at least two clients. Because while my travel pay goes down, my actual pay goes up. So I have decided not to go there  until my one client is back on my schedule starting next year. Then I will give Monday to the English Center completely. Which is what I’ve been doing for the last year. I will however, put my hat in the ring for any students in any of the Amsterdam locations particularly the one that is a 15 minute walk from my house.

My online client on Fridays is a lot of fun, but also very challenging. She’s really making me up my game in terms of academic English. And since I only have her for an hour on Friday afternoons, it’s really hard to find a good structure for that hour. It isn’t so much there isn’t enough material, in fact there is too much material to go through in one hour. I would honestly prefer that the lesson was an hour and a half, Rather than an hour. I could get a lot more done and really help her with the concepts that I’m teaching. I am really enjoying this particular student because it’s different than what I’ve done before. I’ve done accent training, I’ve done social English, and conversational English but never academic English. We have eight classes that will take us through the end of February So it will definitely be a challenge trying to get through enough material so that she feels confident enough in her English so that she feels better able to compete language wise with her peers.

Thursday Night writing, the online edition is going quite well. I am enjoying having that time to reconnect with my characters. I do have my work cut out for me as I have been getting comments from my critique group that make me feel like I need to rewrite the whole novel. The problem is that it’s so tightly written that I am not sure where to begin. But since it will be a work in progress for a while yet, I am sure that I’ll have it figured out. Eventually.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

Communication Concerns and a Writing Return

 Sometimes, dear reader, despite your best efforts it just isn’t possible to manage your time. But, sometimes it’s out of your control. Such was the case this week when I got a call from English Center saying that they wanted to run the Pre-intermediate English class starting on Thursday last week. The problem is that I had already opened my VIPKid schedule to bookings because I thought that they weren’t currently running PIE. It seems, that I need a little bit more notice than three days. In fact, I need about two weeks. Because failing all else, as bad as my bookings on VIPKid are, At least I get bookings. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I learned, however that I need to be better about looking at the English Center website for the dates of classes so that I can close off those slots to VIPKid in advance. Because the money I make in two hours doing a class is much better than what I make with VIPKid.

In other teaching news, I was hopeful for a new private client of my own, but that alas did not materialize into anything. After a second email from the student asking whether I would be available to meet this past week, I have heard nothing. Maybe she has found a cheaper way to learn English. That’s the nature of the business, I’m afraid and at least I still have two sets of private clients for English and one for Greek. Over at the English Center, I also have a returning student in the form of Sander and a new student who is testing my level of academic English skill. I am meeting with her online on Fridays from this past Friday through 29 January. Excluding of course Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They both fall on Fridays this year.

Over in the writing world, we not only have been doing Nanowrimo on the weekends, but now we’ve gone back to our Thursday night writing group, this time an online edition. And that seems to be working quite well. We only had three people attend on Thursday but I am hopeful that there will be more as people find the time. I got a bit of writing done and I also submitted the next part of my novel for critique to the critique group that meets on Wednesday. I was quite pleased with my efforts.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable  installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.