Online Organization and Nano (Camp) rebel

Last week, dear readers, was the first week where I transitioned fully online. Every single class I have was managed either through Skype or Zoom. And the transition isn’t over. Starting in April I have more students coming online. My client out in the suburbs of Amsterdam, has, to my surprise, agreed to try a lesson online. As it’s an hour I think it will be absolutely fine. I think he’ll even enjoy using Skype to learn. Especially as he does not have to risk his health to come out and take a class. It will be a bit of a challenge, however, as I am finding it difficult to toggle between the platforms and the things that I am teaching, by which I mean my soft copies of all the documents that I use. I do find it’s much easier, and a little bit more fun to pass out papers in class. It isn’t very good for the environment however. And I do recognize that. Another challenge that I’m finding in this fully online world, is classroom management. I have some very challenging students in my adult Pre-intermediate class. In particular, one who thinks he knows everything and tries to challenge the teacher and defend his arguments, when all I really want him to do is answer the question and move on. But even that I can do it with a bit of aplomb and gentle joking with my student. It occurs to me, dear readers, That I haven’t spoken much about tech issues in the last couple of posts. That isn’t because I haven’t had any. I have had plenty. In fact, the KPN Service has been going out at least once or twice a week for the last two months. On Saturday the Internet went out at 10:30 in the morning and never came back. I was able to connect to the new providers router, and didn’t seem to have any issues in the living room where I teach, but in my bedroom the signal is quite weak. But it always has been so as long as I can teach I’ll be quite happy.

When I say that my whole life has transitioned online, I also mean my personal social life. I don’t mean Jasper. He and I have settled into a routine of him being with me from Saturday to Wednesday, and then he goes to some friends on Thursdays. I find this particularly funny because the friend is walking distance from me but Jasper prefers to go home, rather than to come back to me and spend the night. His house is 40 minutes away door to door. I find this a little bit illogical, but it’s his choice. It gives me a chance to set the house to rights in is absence. But the rest of my personal life is another story. I have a couple of friends who are also VIPKid teachers here in Amsterdam and we get together maybe once a month to hang out and talk. We took that to the next level on Friday night when we met online via Skype. It was an interesting experience meeting my friends boyfriend online, I haven’t met him in person yet. But also interesting because we were able to talk to each other for a full two hours. It was like a real night out.

April marks the beginning of the Amsterdam creative writers club foray into camp Nanowrimo. Several of us are actually going to participate, some of us will start a novel, but I will be true to my nature and I will be a Nana rebel. I am going to edit the hell out of my current novel as I can’t really remember where it was going in the first place. When you get 140 pages into a book, without an outline, you tend to forget where the book was going. Or at least I do. Sometimes as I read further in the book or I’m working on a scene, I get a niggling sensation that something isn’t right. That there’s something earlier in the book that makes what I’m writing at the moment wrong Or if not wrong, at least somewhat implausible. I’m kind of looking forward to giving myself a bit of a schedule. Let’s see if I can maintain it. I plan on starting on April 1 And seeing how far I can get. I had started this process as we were meeting at the bookstore before all of this corona crazy. And I think the best bet is just to continue with it. That way I can see if there’s something that I need to do to change what’s happening. The story is tight and the events make sense, but there’s always room for improvement. I know that the time will come when I can no longer keep this as a work in progress but have to finish it at some point. But that time is not today. But it could be this year.

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

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