Intensive IELTS and a Resume Rewrite

This week at Inkreadable was pretty quiet in terms of hours worked, but difficult in terms of prep. Generally, it takes me about half an hour to prep for current students, but this week was a little bit difficult with the quick addition of a new student who wants resume help and interview prep. His name is Bjorn and he is located outside of Frankfurt. While he trained as an engineer, he is actually the CFO of a company that supplies bed linens and other white goods to hospitals. What’s interesting about him is that he is my age, possibly a little younger, but has been with the same company for the last twenty years. I had gotten used to IT Executives who had moved around companies over the 20 years of their career at least 10 times if not more. Bjorn has run his course at his company and feels that it’s time to move on. He contacted the English Center and they gave him to me. We had a great first lesson on Thursday but I was not able to convince him to do all of his lessons while I am still here in the Netherlands. As a result, we are going to do one lesson while I am in the States. Thankfully, he agreed to switch the timing of that lesson to the afternoon. His afternoon not mine. It will be my late morning. He sent me his resume and I did a little bit of commenting and corrections, although these were a little difficult as he sent it in pdf and I couldn’t actually edit the document. We spent most of the first-class talking about his resume and the things that he has done and I got the chance to get to know him a little bit. I also had some executive-level interview questions that I wanted to ask him and so I asked him a few of them and corrected his syntax on the spot as he was speaking. I think he likes my style of teaching but it’s going to be hard to challenge him in the next couple of lessons. I have decided to continue my lessons while I am in the States with all of my clients. They have thankfully agreed to switch their times if they meet in the morning here in Amsterdam. My clients were understanding that I didn’t necessarily want to work at 2 in the morning and most of them agreed to switch to central European time in the afternoon so that I can teach in the US late morning. ShinWei will probably be in the United States at the same time as I am so they will have to be some adjustment there as well.

In terms of private clients, Sander has decided to take a hiatus and I will not see him until the 7th of March. I have hit my stride with George and Jerry again after their hiatus for midterms. They informed me that they did ok but not as well as they would have liked. Jerry said that she got a 94 on her English exam but that is not considered a good score in China. I often wonder if anything less than 110% on an exam is acceptable in the Chinese school system. Certainly, the Dutch idea of just enough is just enough and that the average is ok would not be acceptable in China. It amazes me that with an attitude like that the Netherlands has one of the strongest economies in the world. But maybe that’s my American heritage coming to the fore and maybe I also have a little bit of American exceptionalism. Odhran and I are plodding through useful Greek verbs and I’m having him make sentences with those verbs. I am not sure how effective that is, but his parents seem happy and he continually wants to take my class. I have also hit my stride with Karina, the student that I negotiated a 10 hours package for €40 an hour. This past week I taught 4 days of IELTS review for reading, writing, listening, and speaking, then Friday we did an ESL lesson having to do with the definition of art. The plan for this week is to do more of the same, keeping the format constant. I did check in with her at the end of Friday to see how she was feeling about English generally, but she says that she’s been spending a lot of time alone so there isn’t very much opportunity to practice some of the vocabulary that she’s learned with me because she doesn’t go out.

Since she doesn’t know the details of the package, as she’s not the one paying, I am not sure that she is going to be able to remain a student. I will leave the offer open by saying that she should keep in touch and if she wants help with English to contact me on WhatsApp but I honestly hold little hope of that happening. I have to be philosophical about being an independent contractor and continually think that’s something will come up.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable but stay turned. As always, there is more to come.

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