Spring has sprung here in the Netherlands. Well, it actually sprang last week, but over the weekend we went forward an hour to daylight savings time and I always find I get much happier and more positive the more daylight I have. The downside, which for most people ends up being an hour less sleep, is the opposite for me. My Sunday at 9 AM student started at 10 over this past weekend. So what that meant for me was that I could sleep for an extra hour. Of course, my body woke me up well before the time of teaching but then I can be lazy and not get out of bed.
The week brought a couple of surprises. In my last post, I mentioned that I was possibly doing some translation work for my friend Despina over at Lexis Amsterdam. I accepted the project and completed the first three web content texts that she sent me in about an hour. She did say that she would send me some more as she wrote more content. I was impressed by her English writing skills as I did not have to make that many corrections. A former TEC student contacted me about doing some editing for her first research paper for her classes. I accepted the work and will do that one for free. She also gave my name to a classmate of hers That commission will be charged at €30 an hour. That’s if it comes through. I suspect that they won’t want to pay money for editing. So very few people do.
Over on Preply, my one and only student no showed on Thursday. I waited 1/2 hour in the classroom. I also contacted her on WhatsApp as well as sending a message on the platform. In addition, I took the step of also emailing Preply support. They were not very helpful. I got a canned automated message about their cancellation policy. I have decided not to charge my student because it was her first offense. The funny thing is she never answered either on Preply or on WhatsApp and in fact, while it looks like my messages were delivered, the checks are double and gray which means that the student hasn’t seen them. I hope everything is OK with her. We have a lesson on Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon so I hope she will attend those. But it leaves me a little bit frustrated and stressed out that this will become a pattern with her and impact her learning goals. After all you cannot improve if you do not attend class. Preply, unlike VIPKid, actually penalizes the teacher for a student no-show. This means that they hide your profile from potential students.
Over in VIPKid world, I had my last ever class with a favorite student. He has finished his package of lessons. His mom and I are friends on WeChat and he suggested that we have conversations via WeChat. I was so sad as I have been teaching him for the last three years. My private clients in China have asked that we slow down our lessons using the third book of National Geographic because the readings are too long. I think that I will try to expend them to four weeks a chapter which means more prep for me, but also means that it should take 20 months to get through the last two books in the series.
This week I also had the son of my private student on Wednesday. I decided to use the Book 21st century readings by National Geographic, which is a collaboration between the publishing company and Ted that makes English lessons based on Ted talks. I quickly found that this was a little too advanced for him and had to downgrade what I was doing. So we basically turned it into a conversation based on the lesson in the book and a bit of reading from the chapter but we didn’t watch the Ted talk. Additionally, I find that it’s really hard to teach a nine-year-old whose only interest is soccer. I hope but I haven’t made a mess with this client that I will not be able to come back from.
I have six lessons left with Delphine over at Lingueo. I have found some amazing free lessons that have to do with art as the subject matter, and she seems to be enjoying it even if it’s a little difficult for her. I hope that I can find a few more of those lessons for her last few. It looks like we will be finished on 23 April.
Writing this week was actually quite productive. I was able to finish a chapter and start a new I also think I see the light at the end of the tunnel for The Book of All Things.. After 10 years, I think it’s about time. But for me it was more about the journey than the destination. Still it’s nice to have an idea of where it’s going and how it will end. I’ve also noticed that the possibilities are open for multiple books because I don’t want to leave these characters just yet. What was supposed to be my trying to process my feelings about leaving Scotland at a time that I was hurting, turned into an odyssey of writing self discovery.
That’s all she wrote this Inkreadable in summer. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.