American Angst and Computer Kaput

I owe my readers an apology. That is, I owe them an apology in advance. I’m coming to you from America where I’d forgotten how bad the teaching hours are. And true, my VIPKid colleagues will say “At least you’re not on the West Coast. Those hours are killer, man.” They’d be right. However, coming from harmonious, happy Holland, where the hours are a regular school day, the last week and a half has been tough. My tech troubles continue. Somebody decided to switch around the Internet in my father’s house, and I’m on the third floor. Needless to say, I don’t really get very good Internet up there. I can watch TV on my computer, but teaching English is another matter entirely.

Speaking of computers, or rather writing of them, my Mac experienced battery issues and so I had to take it for repair. I don’t have a car. This is important in America as nothing is particularly accessible by transport. At least, nothing important. Including the Apple store where I needed to take my Mac. I think in the last week I have single-handedly increased the revenue of Uber by at least 10%. But my Mac decided to give up on me after I had started teaching. And that means after I had scheduled classes. So I had to find another solution while my Mac is in the shop. In true entrepreneurial American style, I went and bought another computer. A refurbished $300 HP laptop. That meant that I had to learn how to use all of my software all over again. Including Manycam which I use for VIPKid and other classes. I have Figured out how to download rewards through Manycam, but I cannot figure out how to take a screenshot on the computer. Nothing works. Not alt plus print screen, not function plus print screen, not alt plus print screen plus function. I am fortunate in that I haven’t had to use it but I really would kind of like to figure out why it doesn’t work. Like Mac, the print screen function is supposed to have the sound of a camera shutter clicking. This computer doesn’t.

By far the most stressful aspect of the trip, is never being sure whether your Internet is going to work enough so that you can teach easily. It’s fine right now when there’s no one in the house except me. It means I’ve been going into the room with the router and connecting via Cable. Jasper and I have tried to work out several solutions. I went and bought a network extender that didn’t. In fact, the extender was so bad that it was worse than actually just teaching from my computer alone. I now have a router that will connect wirelessly to my signal and that I must connect to via cable to use. I’m hoping that is a viable solution for teaching up on the third floor. I really can’t take much more of that stress. In addition, going to Jasper’s house is not much of a solution either. He will literally have no space. There are three bedrooms one for each of the Floor children and their significant others. But also Jasper’s niece and nephew will be camping out in the living room. So there literally is no place to teach. I am up so early that I can’t teach in his parents’ apartment because I will be disrupting them. While it’s not necessarily putting a true strain on Jasper and I, the separation is a bit difficult.

In addition, the timing of lessons means that I can’t really do very much fun stuff with people. And that I’m very tired when I do do it. Thursday marked a return for me to my writers’ group here in Washington. I was very happy to see many old faces and some new ones. But I will say that I felt a little bit like an outsider. It was no longer my group. I think I’ve been away too long. Speaking of writing, I haven’t been doing any. But I was very inspired to go to the group and hear their poems and stories. It put me in the mood to write. If only I weren’t so tired. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to acclimate enough to be able not to be tired in the middle of the day.

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

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