The days here in Amsterdam are getting longer, and what that means here at Inkreadable, is more time to prepare for lessons, seeing friends, and a general uplifting of the mood. I had not spent a winter here in the Netherlands in its entirety, as we generally leave to go to the US in the beginning of December, so I had never experienced the shortest day of the year here. The winters here are tough, they are gray and cold and the nights feel very long. It brings me back a bit to my time in Scotland. I did not really like winter there either, as the days ended at 3 PM and didn’t start until 9 o’clock the next day.
This week at Inkreadable, started with my two new students and miracle of miracles I got one student on Preply, who booked 12 lessons with me. But I have not had any inquiries from anyone else and the three conversations that I was having with people turned into nothing. I wish that the company would allow teachers to book lessons when students express interest. At least, the trial lesson. Since you’re not being paid for it anyway, you should be in control at least of booking the lesson so that the student doesn’t have to do it. Still I am hopeful that I will get more students, though I am continually annoyed by that Facebook group for Preply Teachers where everybody is posting their 18 hours a day of booked lessons. It is a known problem for me, as the teachers at VIPKid do the same thing. There are some teachers who always post their schedules that are fully booked, and that’s great for them, but that’s no longer my experience. To that end, I have decided to stop opening from 9 AM to 11:30 AM on Sunday. Instead, I am only going to open for one student who has to ask for the Sunday slot. I decided it wasn’t worth it for me to open 2 1/2 hours of lessons, then have a spate of 25 hour cancellations that will not fill short notice. Instead, I plan on using the time to write.
The plan is to write on Sundays from 10 AM to 1130 when I have to go teach Greek. I will, of course, keep my Sunday private clients so that still keeps me working from 11 to 2 but at least once my VIPKid student is done with his package, I won’t have to wake up before 10 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. I’m finding that the writing sessions on Sunday and good for me as they let me connect with my characters on a day that is other than Thursday. Which is always good. That’s not to say that I won’t give up a Thursday for something interesting and fun, as I did this Thursday to go have dinner with friends in the neighborhood, but as I told them the writing is as much about my mental health and the connection with my characters, as it is about connecting with the Writers Group. I try not to flake out on them too often.
The lessons at Lingueo are ticking down to their inevitable end. My second student has his last two lessons this week. I will be sad to lose him as we get along quite well. I am hopeful that once the lockdown ends, we will stay in contact and Jasper and I can do a long weekend in Paris so that I can meet them, and as a bonus so that they can meet each other. I am not the only one suffering Lingueo loss, my friend Teresa, who is also a VIP teacher living in France, also hasn’t had any more students after her initial two students. I still have Delphine until the end of April at some point.
I am happy with the decision do not do VIPKid on Sunday. At some point of course, when we start meeting at WW in person, the Saturday means will allow me to take Saturday off as well. At least, that’s the plan, though I don’t know when that will start up again.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable Installment. But stay tuned. As always, there’s more to come.