Amstelveen Annals and An Era’s End

It seems, dear reader, that here at Inkreadable, the fourth time‘s the charm. So it proved with our fourth class for the Conversation Playground course. I had a feeling like I wasn’t facilitating the classes enough in the first few lessons. That changed last week. I felt a lot more confident about how to deliver instructions and how to facilitate the games. It seems that puzzle games and mystery games work really well for this bunch of kids. I also focused on time management which helped a lot. We also got some positive feedback from one of the teachers at the school. She actually participated in a little bit in the first of the icebreakers. I have a feeling that we will be going back to the school in September. Well, they will. I am not sure I will be able to do that kind of traveling. I am hopeful that there will be more opportunities to do this kind of work in Amsterdam, closer to where I live. Last week, I mentioned that one of the kids was struggling in the class. This past week he seemed to have a really good time and did a better job with the English, but we also offered his mom private lessons to see if we can improve his English and she seems interested. Conversation Playground is making her an offer of a three hour package, so we’ll see what happens with that as well. It’s a little bit less money for me as I’ll still be making €40 an hour but travel is not included. Still, it’s 100 times better than VIPKid even with the travel.

The English Center Has gone back to full strength with the return of Claudia from vacation. I was able to give her a lesson this past Thursday. I’m really struggling to try and find things to teach her, but I am very pleased with her improvement. She has been sending me her own writing for her work and she’s making very few mistakes. It was a touching reunion with my client Freek who I hadn’t seen in over a year. We have 10 classes that we need to finish up. It looks like it’s going to be a bit of an uphill battle because he’s forgotten most of his English. Luckily it is conversational and travel English that he can use in Turkey when he visits his daughter and grandchildren. So it shouldn’t be too hard to find things that interest him. Lily continues to be a fun student and seems to be enjoying her lessons. She too is improving, but I have a feeling she will also backslide because she is not using her English outside of our lessons. She is watching English language TV series online and that seems to be helping. I have told her to put on the English subtitles because that will also help her to improve her listening skills. To all of my students, except for Claudia, I am recommending finding an English language speaking group to practice with. There are a ton of them online. It looks like I will be doing some of the SEO writing for the English Center. It’ll be a learning process as I don’t do too much of it now, but it’s a skill that I’m looking forward to because I can use it in other places.

My private students continue to be consistent. My Dutch private student is going to buy another package and we will have to see how it’s going to be structured. We have been online for the last few lessons. If we continue online then, I see no reason why we can’t meet via Zoom or Skype while I am away in Greece. The same is true of my student that is learning Greek as well as Karolina and George and Jerry. In addition, I may add a private student from one of my Chinese kids who wants to leave VIPKid. We still have a few lessons to go on VIPKid, so it’ll be a few months.

In other news, the Washington Creative writers group opted to leave meetup. It was with a heavy heart that I went and disbanded the group. It’s not that they don’t exist, but rather t they have changed their existence as a result of Covid and will probably be virtual from here on out. For me it was bittersweet, to see the growth and the change. But also, I felt as if I’ve lost something. Maybe it’s my last link to my life in DC. Given that the group does not want to be on meetup anymore, I had to pose it to the Amsterdam group whether we want to continue and take over that slack. I must say, they’re not being very helpful. Or very decisive. Needless to say I didn’t get very much Writing done this week And with surgery looming, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to. I also managed to get my two appointments for the vaccination for Covid which I’m quite excited about. It means that life for me might go back to normal.

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

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