Covid Crash, Long Distance Lament, and Social Media Student

When it rains, dear reader, it pours. It may be an old English adage, but this week it was particularly apt. It all started the week before really, but I did not have the mental space to be able to write about it then. Jasper’s aunt Carla passed away on Sunday the 13th of March. We had been lucky enough to see her on the 12th but she was on heavy painkillers. On Sunday, Jasper went to Amersfoort on his own to be with his mom as I could not move my students off my schedule that quickly. On Monday the 14th he tested positive for covid. I also tested that day but was negative. It was only a matter of time, however. I started feeling a bit poorly Tuesday evening. While it occurred to me that I too had Covid, it was also likely that I was going through apologies as that’s the time of year it is and I tend to get pretty bad allergies at least once a season. Alas, it was not to be. I tested positive for Covid on Wednesday morning. I quickly shut down my schedule for the rest of the week. That meant contacting ShinWei here in Amsterdam to cancel that evening’s lesson as well as Hasan in Palestine to tell him that I would not be teaching his daughters. I also cancelled the remaining lessons that I had with Adriana for that week. And of course, I had to inform The English Center and cancel Harumi’s in-person lesson for Friday. Having done all that, I didn’t have the mental space to do anything else. So I ended up doing a lot of reading. Having been extremely lazy on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, there really was no reason not to watch the webcast of Carla’s funeral on Friday. Jasper and I watched together and got a chance to grieve. His grief, of course, was much more poignant than mine, but I lost a friend and the only person I know who had the patience to listen to me try to ramble on in Dutch. I am going to miss my friend: our Skyping and my trips to see her when she was feeling up to it, her humor when she spoke about her nieces and nephews, and her no-nonsense advice. While the pandemic took a toll on how many times I was able to see her, she remained positive throughout. She was much loved and that too was evident in the webcast of her service by the emotions displayed by the people who spoke.

In the midst of all of this, I was trolling my EU Facebook group and saw that there was a call for someone to help it a Chinese student with pronunciation. I put my hat in the running for the gig but was the only one so I got it. She’s an adult teacher who speaks at C1 level and is preparing for a teaching jury. She has to give a mock 15-minute lesson to three judges as well as a 3-minute presentation. She’s got a couple of months to prepare and we will be meeting at 7 p.m. Beijing time. We had a trial lesson on Saturday where I got to know her a little bit and her goals. I also tried to see if using WeChat would work but that did not happen. I was also concerned about payment from China but the person facilitating the lesson works for a company that has a bank account in the UK.. They are also able to use PayPal so that works out well for me. But there is also another possibility. I have a UK bank account still and could possibly be paid into that account as well. The problem is I’m not sure how that will affect my taxes. Still it an extra 16 hours of work over the next 2 months.

While I cancelled most of my my appointments and nearly completely cleared my schedule, I kept Greek on Thursday. I did not realise how much energy I was expending on Greek and was exhausted after I finished teaching. But with Greek done and the trial lesson on Saturday I felt it was only fair that I start teaching as much as I could on Sunday. So I did not cancel George and Jerry in China nor did I cancel the Palestinian girls. And while I was tired, enough was enough and it was better for me to start getting back in the swing of things in preparation for the week ahead. In the meantime, on Sunday I found out that Harumi’s husband and son both had Covid. it seems like it’s only a matter of time before she and her other son get it so we will have to see if I teach on Friday in Amstelveen this week.

I also kept my appointment with the writer’s group on Sunday to write online. We have decided that that will continue for the foreseeable future with cases of deltacron rising here in the Netherlands, it seems only prudent. I also have half a mind to put the writing group online once again until things calm down but I feel that I might have a mutiny on my hands if I did that. It’s something to discuss with Mark.

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

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