Surgery Stupidity and Real Life Writing

June at Inkreadable heralds the yearly summer slow down. My private clients are slowly dwindling. I had my last lesson in the current package with Simon, my Dutch student. He is going to take a hiatus until September and we will likely begin, at the very least online as I will be in Greece at that time. I anticipate that George and Jerry will continue with me through the summer and possibly increase their weekly lessons a bit. My Greek lessons are going to wind down on 24 June as my student is going to America. I think that Karolina will stay with me through the summer as she is training for the next big thing in her career path. So it will be Business English for her all the way.

Over at the English Center, I came home from a lovely picnic in the park on Sunday evening, to the rather unpleasant news that Lily would like to switch teachers so that she can gain experience listening to a British English teacher. That means that I lose out on two lessons with her. She asked me if she should contact English center, but I told her that I would. English language teaching on some level, is an exercise in cover your ass. The CYA principle has been entrenched to me from the beginning of my tenure at VIPKid, which taught me that you need to always have a screenshot of anything you were doing so the teacher would not be blamed. However, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. VIPKid now always blames the teacher. Needless to say, I have learned my lesson. I sent an email to the English Center telling them the situation so that there would be no misunderstanding that it was my fault that Lili wants another teacher. I also took the precaution of telling Brenda in person yesterday as well. I do not like when this happens however, because there’s always the chance that I will still look bad no matter what precautions I actually take.

Over in VIPKid world, the summer is fast approaching and that means possibly more lessons for me. The kids will be on summer break And will have more time. I am not sure how that will translate when I’m away in Greece in late August to mid September but we will have to see how that plays out. It is possible that I will only do short notice. But I’m also vacillating about that because who knows if that will even work.

At the Conversation Playground, we have our sixth lesson of the nine lesson series later today. Generally it keeps going well, but I have been thinking about if I have to facilitate the class by myself with no help would I be able to do it? After all, in primary schools across the Netherlands, teachers have assistants to help them in the class. In the United States, I am not sure that is the case. But I was never a teacher in the US. I am, needless to say, a little leery. But I will do my utmost to facilitate more classes within Amsterdam so that I can get some work from Conversation Playground as well next academic year.

With Despina in Greece on vacation until September, Lexis Amsterdam is not in the pipeline. At least in terms of the group classes that we were planning earlier this year. I am hopeful that they will kick up into gear when I am in Greece and be online for the foreseeable future. In July, I will have the possibility of a Japanese student who lives in Poland. Apparently, he needs English lessons for his work, (though I don’t know why he doesn’t need Polish), and as it will be through his company, I anticipate a greater than private rate salary for this client. Fingers crossed that I get it, I could use the work.

As I was writing this post, dear readers, I got a phone call from the hospital about my surgery. I went through the questions I had with them and it turns out that I can do nothing for the four weeks after the surgery. No exercise at the gym. No heavy lifting of any kind and no sudden movements. Apparently even the elliptical is too intense. I got off the phone with the hospital and was heading to a class in Amstelveen, when the doctor’s office called again. I struggled to understand as they spoke in Dutch but then got the gist. My surgery was postponed to the following week. A week where I had scheduled classes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I had taken this week off for the surgery. Now I have classes on the days that I should have off, and I am stuck not working on the days I should be working. To say that I am pissed is an understatement. My only recourse will be to see if the doctor’s office will give me a letter that I can give to VIPKid so that I can get a soft cancellation from the company so that it doesn’t count against my record. The problem is that the doctor my not give me the letter, because her in the Netherlands they don’t need to do things like that because they are civilized. Unlike VIPKid and their draconian cancelation policy. If it doesn’t work then I will have to.

Last Thursday, in lieu of an online session, the writers group met in real life in the park. It was a wonderful meeting, even if not very much writing got done. It was nice to be outside with real people at least talking about writing. Unfortunately, the Sunday meeting also went live and so I was not able to attend as I was busy teaching. The (relative) bright side of surgery being postponed is that I can go to an in real life writer’s group this Thursday that we are planning at the central library in Amsterdam.

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

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