Conversation Closure and a Quarantine Quagmire

Today marks the last of the Conversation Playground’s classes for this series. We have been busy setting up variations on the game “find someone who”. Originally intended as a game to practice the present perfect tense, that is, the tense to practice answering questions like “have you ever ridden a horse“. I spent Thursday looking up ways to vary the game and was able to find 15. We then spent a couple of days going back-and-forth about the structure of the game. The aim is to try and get the kids running around the school trying to find people who have done certain things, and the issue is whether there will be enough people to find. We will see how it goes later today. By the end of the series, I find that I am going to be missing the kids. Even Floris who likes to push my buttons. Last week, we received the news that nine of the original twelve kids were going to be continuing. I am a little sad that I won’t be teaching them again, but if the other school in Amstelveen doesn’t pick up classes with Conversation Playground, then I will be sure to try and visit. By far the most shocking thing that happened this week, was the response that we got from The triangle, a school that is across from the Karel Eyckman School, was their response to the pitch for classes. They gave Amardip an appointment and then rescinded it saying that they do not want after school classes where children excel and that children should all be average. It was a parent that I was teaching with TEC that requested the lesson from the school. I think that is irresponsible and if I was a parent, I would be super angry at that.

On Wednesday, Jasper came home sick. It’s troubling that in this day and age we have to always think of C orona. Thankfully, his test was negative and it looks like it’s just a flu. But with him home over three days, teaching was a little bit difficult. Luckily for him, and unluckily for me, I didn’t have as many classes as I could have so I wasn’t really disrupting him in his convalescence, but it did bring me back to the not so halcyon days of the start of the pandemic when we were home together for four months. I also decided to quarantine until we got his results. That meant that I did not go to my writers’ group Thursday evening. Instead, I joined the meeting via Zoom and got to look at a new location for the group. It is not the most convenient as it’s in the south part of the city and takes quite a while to get there for most people. For me, this location means a 20 minute walk through the park and a 16 minute bus ride. Which is not as convenient as the bookstore we were going to for a couple of years or even the library. But with both those off the table for now at least, this may be a good alternative for some of us.

I’m also attempting to plan a meetup for VIPKid teachers in the Netherlands primarily, though anyone is welcome to come. I proposed some dates in August, and what’s funny is that everybody keeps asking about the date that I didn’t propose which is 14 August. In true Dutch fashion I already have plans that day, as the person that I’m meeting is Dutch and they planned their life out quite significantly. I did say that I would be willing to meet on 15 August but that is a Sunday and I would have to work beforehand. This, dear reader, is what happens when you’re stuck in quarantine, which is maddening even if it is self imposed. Thankfully by the weekend, I at least, was able to go and see a friend on Sunday. I actually had a day off as none of my students were available. George and Jerry continue to study, Odhran continues to be in America, and Karolina had a wedding. Instead of opening up my schedule to VIPKid, I decided to go have brunch instead. Because I can an also because I opened Saturday up and got a couple of short notice trials.

The English Center seems to be picking up a bit. I now have a total of four clients with them. I also received some unfortunate news from Lexis Amsterdam. I’m not sure if you remember, dear reader, but I was waiting to hear if I would get a student who is a beginner in English. He was from Japan and was coming on a work contract. Sadly, he is only in the Netherlands for four months and the company solution is to get him an interpreter rather than lessons. Still, I am hopeful that more gigs like this will come along and there are always things in the pipeline.

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

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