Conversation Connections and Lesson Lags

Generally, getting back into the swing of a routine in Amsterdam when back from a trip is pretty easy. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that while I’m able to maintain certain types of routine, the same cannot be said of my schedule. I often keep track of my students progress through their packages using my Google Calendar app. But it seems that I do not know how to count because I thought I had seven lessons left with Freek, but it turns out we only had one. He has decided to let the last lesson go, and because he told me well in advance, that means that the English Center keeps the money and I do not get paid. Which as we all know, is not a policy I am particularly enamored with. Claudia has jumped back on my schedule for our last seven lessons, and for this dear reader, both English Center and I agree that that is the remainder in the package. Ellemieke and my new student Frank are also on my schedule this week. But Marco, sent me an email saying that he is having medical issues and cannot take lessons at this time and has asked that we post phone for eight weeks. But in eight weeks, I will be in America. It’s not that I am unwilling to work, but I’m not sure that I want to wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning and to be able to accommodate both Marco and a client that I have later today named Martijn. Marco is ok with starting in 2022. I’ll talk to Martijn later today.

The Conversation Playground is going quite well. We managed to get Yousef the student who was taking us as a trial last week to sign up. I am quite happy about that. What I’ve noticed about this group of kids is that Adam is going to be the instigator and the two girls are very giggly because they’re very nervous about their English. I am not entirely sure how to deal with that. I have a feeling that Lawrens whose dad is American, is going to prove instrumental in helping me bolster everybody else’s confidence. The plan for this week is to do telephone, least in common/most in common, and likes and dislikes at the kids have in common. I think that Lawrence is going to be this class’ Aamani. She was a wonderful Dutch girl of Indian dissent at the Karel Eichmann School who’s English was off the hook. Truly extraordinary. And while Lawrence doesn’t think that’s gonna be the case for him, I disagree.

Xander is back on my schedule on Monday morning, and we had our first lesson yesterday and it was great to see him even if it was online. I have decided to take that week by week and see whether he’d like online or in person. I am OK with either, but it all honesty I do prefer being in person because I’m bored of my house. I only saw George and Jerry on Tuesday this week, and the pattern will be repeated next week and the week after. The Conversation Playground did not realize that there was a free day on 25 October as well as the 18th October so we had to shift 25 October to 26 October so that I could be finished by the end of November. Jasper and I typically leave in the beginning of December for the US and I don’t want to mess with that timetable. Unfortunately it’s George and Jerry and to some extent Odhran, who get to pay the price for that.

The Writers Group again met at my house this past week, and Marijn was there as usual, but I actually got some work done. I’ve been thinking that given I have more time, I should make it a point to do a half an hour of writing just like I make it a point to go into an hour of cardio every day. That was a little bit difficult in the pandemic, because I simply cannot write at home but now that things are opening up maybe I’ll be able to find a place that suits me each day to do some writing.

My sister is coming this weekend with her kids and is staying for a week. I have been firmly engaged in trying to clear my schedule so that I don’t have very many lessons. It looks like Tuesday is going to be my most difficult day. We will also have to see about my new student on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Martijn because maybe I won’t be able to cancel his lessons. Fingers Crossed. I have already talked to Ellemieke, and Xander is always OK with taking a day off. Claudia was OK with taking Monday and Wednesday off as well.

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

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