Teacher Terrified and Router Rubbish

Yet again, dear reader, the week started out well enough but ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, of distress. I am generally unflappable when it comes to most things. I don’t mind flying, I don’t care about turbulence, I don’t stress out when I have parties of 40 or more, family squabbles stress me out momentarily and then go away, And relationship issues aren’t even a blip on my radar.

There are two exceptions to that. The first is a fear of fire and the second is a fear of my tech crapping out on me. You see, dear reader, it happened again. This time in the middle of class. Friday started out well enough, I had taught 8 classes successfully with no problem. I was very blithely working through my last class of the day which happened to be a one hour level, seven VIPKid class. The format of that class is 25 minutes teaching, then a 10-minute break, then a 23-minute final teaching session for a total of 58 minutes with two minutes left to get to the next class. The first 25 minutes past quite nicely and everything was fine. Then we got to the break. In the middle of the break, as I was puttering around trying to manage my time wisely, I noticed that there was another red light on my router. Having had the experience last week, I calmly got my trusty toothpick and did a hard reset of my router. It. Didn’t. Work. So I tried again. And again it didn’t work. So I had the brilliant idea to try and connect the backup HP that I’ve been teaching on to my hotspot to see if I could teach from it. That didn’t work either. My computer wouldn’t even pick up my iPhone as a hotspot. It could connect to my iPhone, but not connect to it as hotspot. Picture me panicking and literally hyperventilating because if I don’t teach this class I lose $22.

On the third try with the toothpick, it finally worked and I was able to get into the class. But I was five minutes out from the end of class, and I still had a whole unit assessment to get through including the presentation, which is the whole point of unit seven. Unit seven forces students to talk. My student was good-natured and was able to stay with me for an extra five minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever finished the unit assessment so fast in my life. It also happened on Sunday night, and this time it took me 45 minutes to get online.  A panic attack later, I had called my friends who’d so kindly let m teach from their house the previous Friday allowed me to teach from their house.  I called KPN, otherwise known as my Internet provider, (for those of you in the United States it’s the Dutch version of AT&T), and they’ve said they’ll go ahead and give me a new router but I’m not sure that would actually fix the problem. We’ll see what happens tomorrow when I get the router, which I need to pick up and install which is by no means guaranteed. It’s me after all.

But really, dear reader, is it any wonder that I get so stressed out? You might think that $22 is not a lot of money to lose, but it is. It’s particularly difficult when you’re not sure if the class that you just actually taught is going to be finished “as scheduled” and you’re going to get paid, or if it’s going to be finished as “teacher IT” and you won’t get paid at all. I spent a very stressed out afternoon worrying to see if I would get paid. I had drinks with a friend and she very kindly bought me a gin and tonic so the weekend at least, or at least what I had of it, ended up well enough. Saturday was spent doing a lot of lesson prep for classes next week. The end result was that I am now a little bit ahead of the game and can actually enjoy something fun this evening.

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

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