Schedule Shuffle and a Writing Wrinkle

February in the Netherlands, dear reader, is like in  most other places, the coldest month of winter. Generally what that means is that instead of being 6 to 7°C, the temperature up limps up to about zero and stays there. On occasion, it might plummet below and then we might get some snow. Such was the case this past weekend. The forecast called for temperatures between -7 and -3. As is often the case with people from DC, I was looking forward to the possibility of some white on the ground with no little anticipation, but also a good bit of cynicism as I’ll believe it when I see it. Of course, the same can be said for my friend Erica who has lived in Savannah and also New York. If you ever lived in New York, the chances of you getting a snowstorm with actual accumulation, as opposed to living in DC where the mere threat of a snowstorm grinds the city to a halt, is always a source of amusement. In preparation for momentous event, (7 to 12 cm isn’t much of a snowstorm but I’ll take it), I prepared my kitchen to do lots of batch cooking and baking. And it was a good thing I did too, because Mother Nature made a fool out of me. I think Amsterdam recorded over 20 cm, which hasn’t happened for a couple of years. The Amsterdam city council also enacted their “Ice Day” policy which means that they close off the canal system so that the canals will freeze. Presumably for people to be able to skate. Ordinarily I’d be all for that, but not in the time of the Covid. I think we will see a rise in our numbers from Sunday and Monday as any bit of the city that has any type of a gradient was heaving with people.

This week my teaching world and my personal world collided a bit more, as my schedule was shuffled on both fronts through no fault of mine. On the personal front, an in real life doctors appointment was made for me on Tuesday this week, which was subsequently changed to a telephone consult for this past Thursday, then changed again to an in real life consult on 16 February in the early afternoon. As a result of all of these changes, I had to inform two sets of students on the 16th that I probably wouldn’t be giving them classes, I also let them know that I didn’t want to change the schedule just yet, but will do so probably tomorrow. Anything can happen between now and then, like the doctors letting me know if they want to have a telephone consult and not in real life consult as has happened in the past. As a result, I’m going to have to be ready to get to the hospital rather quickly. In other medical news, we are in a holding pattern until 2 March when I have the next of my appointments for the eye doctor. This too is at the hospital. I swear I’m starting to hate the sight of the hospital, even if it is a nice walk through a park.

The other schedule shuffle happened because on Friday, Delphine let me know a half an hour before class that she wouldn’t be able to have the class because roadworks was interrupting her internet’s signal and she could not ensure that we wouldn’t be interrupted. The bad thing about that is that Lingueo doesn’t get paid if the student cancels and neither does the teacher. What’s interesting about how they handle that is they translate straight from the French, to let you know that the teacher kind of has to act as a bouncer letting the student know that they can’t do this because it ultimately affects your (and Lingueo’s) ability to be paid. But as my sister rather brusquely, though rightly pointed out, I knew this when I signed the contract. Which I suppose, is fair enough. To that end, I used the time that I had to run some errands and help out some friends. And finally in a last minute schedule shuffle, Monday class was moved online because of the snow. Which is fine because I get paid anyway, so to foster good relations I’ll give the class.

Writing this week on Thursday was good, though I only got one chapter edited. I found myself having to write an attack into a dinner conversation and found that quite difficult. I find that internal dialogue tends to be a bit of a problem for me, well as we’ve seen a previous post, dialogue tends to be a problem anyway, but internal dialogue seems to be a particularly tricky thing for me to handle. My schedule shuffle also extended to writing a bit as with a cancellation at VIPKid for an hour on Sunday, I was able to get in to a zoom meeting, and write for a bit. It wasn’t much, but it felt nice to reconnect with my writer friends and with my characters on a day that I don’t normally write. Once we have hit the after times, (after corona) I hope to be able to manage my schedule so that I can find places to write that soothe my soul with cups of tea, comfy chairs and other like-minded people. The search for a venue for the writer’s group on Thursday is ongoing. We may have to suck it up and meet at peoples (Read my) houses, though I’m not sure how much Jasper will appreciate that. Still, since Thursday is also a night out with his friends, it shouldn’t really affect him that much.

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

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