Fall in the Netherlands is composed of short gray days and long dark nights. It is a rather sad prelude to more of the same in winter. I think everyone gets more or less affected by the winter blues, but for me, that means that lesson planning is in jeopardy. If I do not lesson plan during the day, there is no way in hell it’s happening in the evening. It’s been a challenge trying to stick to lesson planning even during the day lately, as the winter blues have been more present than other winters.
My aunt passed away on Monday due to complications of cancer. She was the oldest of my dad’s sisters. My dad is the second to last of the kids. My aunt Mary was a force of nature. She was full of love, but she also had enough respect for people to tell them what she thought straight. I am pretty sure that over the years that lead to quite a bit of conflict, but, as I’ve had a week to think about the impact of my aunt Mary on my life, I can only be grateful.
Mary was the one that my sister Taty and I were left with when our parents traveled. I am not sure her children would agree, but for Taty and I, we experienced an aunt with a very level head on her shoulder. As I grew from a child into a teenager, our relationship grew as well. Aunt Mary was brilliant. Had she had the opportunity to be more educated, she might have been one of those women in tech or the sciences. She was that smart. She had a sharp mind for debate. Talking to Theia Mary was stimulating in a way that I find with few other people. She dispensed advice freely, and whether you took it or not you came away the richer for it. I am glad that I got to see her one last time, and indescribably sad that I could not be there in person for her funeral. I’m also grateful that my cousins gave those of us far away a method to participate. It was surreal watching a live stream funeral this past Saturday. The only thing that remains to be said is that a great light has gone out of the world and we who remain are poorer for it.
The English Center contacted me about doing some of their database management for their mailing list. This past Wednesday, I stayed a bit later at Amstelveen to learn just how to do that. The two programs that I learned about were Moosend and HubSpot. Up until this past Wednesday, I did not know that these programs even existed. I would consider myself pretty tech savvy on a basic level. It was pretty easy trying to learn both programs, though I did run into trouble when I was playing around with it on Thursday evening. Yes, dear readers, instead of writing like I should’ve been, I was learning how to use two new pieces of software. To be fair, I also did a bit of writing, but I tend to get very distracted on Thursday evening. I was playing around trying to move through both HubSpot and you sent, when I realized that I didn’t remember I was playing around trying to move through both HubSpot and Moosend when I realized that I didn’t remember how to download a mailing list from a particular day. Hence the text to my trainer. She is currently in the United Kingdom so it was 9 o’clock for her. But I still feel guilty because I don’t like contacting people late at night. The problem is that I would’ve lost sleep over it if I didn’t ask at least for help. In the morning, cooler heads prevailed and I was able to figure out the problem on my own. I remembered that I had a video showing exactly what to do in both pieces of software. So all’s well that ends well. Yesterday I got a chance to do a mini importation for the next newsletter rollout for TEC. Turns out I had been making mountains out of molehills and it wasn’t all that difficult at all. Now I just need to remember to put when I do these importations in my calendar so I know where to start from in subsequent mailings. I am also part of a number of teachers who were asked to test out a new invoicing system that keeps track of your hours directly in your calendar. I found it easy enough to use, though I wish that things like travel time did not have to be a separate calendar entry as that can get a bit confusing.
My issues with jet lag seem to regulate a couple of weeks after I got back. I am in a more normal rhythm, But I don’t think I’ve ever experienced jet lag for that long. With the jet lag behind me, my thoughts are now turning to my upcoming trip to Greece. That’s right, dear reader, I will be coming to you from Crete from next Tuesday. Jasper and I will be there until 2 January. For me, it will be a working vacation. I cannot afford to lose clients just because I went away for a week.
That’s all she wrote for thisInkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.