Trial teacher and a Birthday Bonanza

This week at Inkreadable was a bit unexpected. You all know that last week I had bitten the bullet and certified for trials for VIPKid. Well, it’s been crickets. I also ended the week with a lovely four apple review from a student who said he felt absent minded. What he said was “I felt absent minded“ which I took to mean “I felt that the teacher was absent minded.“ I’ve decided that since five Apple feedback is not a thing that they use anymore to give us raises, I’m not gonna worry about five Apple feedback. I will instead console myself that it was a four apple review and it could’ve been worse. There have been a lot of supplementary courses opening up at VIPKid and to the extent that I’m able to, I’ve been taking all the ones that interest me. In particular, there is a Writing course that I’m intrigued by because it’s 50 minutes long and is both taught by a foreign teacher and a Chinese teacher before the class. It’ll be interesting to see if I can get any students for that particular series of classes and how I do with them. You all know how much I love writing. It isn’t often that my two worlds collide for VIPKid and my writers group but it seems like it may begin to.

Felix and I had two lessons this week one on Tuesday and the other on Saturday. We were supposed to have a Friday lesson but something came up. It turns out that the something that came up was him going to the park for a picnic. Our lessons are online and that is a change for both of us. I think I do prefer in real life lessons with Felix because it’s easier to explain things in a little bit easier to get him to do exercises and writing heavy lessons. Online it has to be speaking and he really does still struggle with the tenses.

I also got a chance to see my Polish power houses this week. Katya and I had a really hard time connecting on zoom and so we had a very short lesson that I’m not gonna charge her for. Because it literally was 10 minutes long. And Karolina and I are winding our way through different sorts of lessons and conversations. We really have connected online and it’s very fun. I think I would love to meet her in person. While she has some trouble with certain tenses, she does really well generally and so we’re able to do some really interesting things with higher order vocabulary.

By far the most interesting portion of the week was the first trial lesson that I gave on behalf of the English Center on Saturday afternoon. They are trying to drum up some students for the next pre-intermediate class that starts on 7 July. They have had a couple of sign-ups and one woman wanted trial lesson which I was happy to provide. We will see if it turns into anything. But I’ve decided that while I don’t necessarily like working for free because I wasn’t paid for the half hour, if in the long run to get me some clients and some lessons I am willing to give up my time with the expectation that I’ll make a little bit of money in the long run.

Lastly, dear readers, the writers group met again for dinner, this time an Indian restaurant where there are more vegetarian options for our vegetarian member. We sat outside and all was lovely. We have suspended for the moment the critique group as people are going on vacation and are not around. I’ve decided to take it week by week and see if people want to meet every other Wednesday. I suspect that this critique group is not going to survive corona however. We will have to see.

It seems that my had dinner reservations tha we canceled finally of the previous paragraph was a bit premature, dear readers. Last night was my birthday. I have decided that at 45 years of age I am entitled to not a birthday but a birth week. So I’ve been celebrating since the previous week. There was of course the dinner with my Writers. I’ve been doing all sorts of fun stuff throughout the week. On Sunday, for instance, I invited VIPKid teachers from different parts of the Netherlands and we had a picnic in the park. It was a little stressful for me because people came at different times the whole day. And trying to get people to meet in a place when most people are coming from away, is a little bit like herding cats. Still I managed to pull it off with the help of some friends who are VIPKid teachers and local. These two lovely women have invited me for afternoon tea which was such an unexpected and lovely surprise. All in all it was a good birthday week. There were two hiccups, however. The first was that our reservation was cancelled for Monday night by the restaurant. I was annoyed that they let me know at 11:30 on Sunday night and I woke up to the news. As the weather wasn’t great yesterday and I couldn’t find a place that I wanted to go to, we hung out on the couch instead. The other hiccup was that I couldn’t celebrate with my sister. Of the 45 birthdays I have celebrated, only three have been without her. Still my extended family did a drive-by congratulations for her at her group home and surprised the hell out of her.

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

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