Ramadan Recess, possible student stick around, discord drama, wonderful workshop

It has been, dear reader, a relatively quiet week at Inkreadable. Ramadan started on the 1st of April and my Palestinian girls wanted to take the month off. Of course, it wasn’t possible to figure that out from the text that Wesam, the older sister, sent me. Her text was: “Dear teacher because we have classes during Iftar.” And? I thought to myself. Rather than trying to figure out on my own what the deal was, I contacted their father to get the lowdown. It seems that they have their father wrapped around their little fingers and he agreed to give them the month off. It would have been nice to have known that in the beginning of the package. After all, even though Ramadan moves because it’s a lunar-based calendar, the whole Muslim world knows when Ramadan will be well in advance of the holiday each year. It would have been nice if they had let me know at the beginning of the package. I had dinner with my friend Rose who teaches there father and apparently the adults are not going on hiatus, they are merely having class earlier to accommodate their diminished energy levels. Be that as it may, that means that they will be back on my schedule sometime in May. We will have to see how it plays out because I am going to the US in May for a week and to Greece in June for 10 days.

I still have packages with Harumi and ShinWei to finish up for The English Center. Harumi and I met in Amstelveen and we set up our schedule for the rest of the package. It took some doing because we had missed a few classes because we both got Covid. Further complicating the issue is that Harumi is leaving for Paris at the end of the school year. I wanted to have her fully scheduled out by the time I left for Greece and so we agreed to meet a few times twice a week so that we could finish up. That means that we finish in June. I will be sad to see her go, but it’s yet another student that I get to see in Paris. Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. Shin Wei is halfway through his current package which is package number 4. I am not sure that he is going to continue to study English as as he is currently looking for a house and that is a full-time job in the Netherlands. And there’s the question of affordability, and TEC is expensive, so his English may take a back seat.

In my private client world, Lillian and I have gotten into a rhythm where she pretends to teach me using a video and I give her pointers on how to sound more natural and like a native speaker. We also spend part of the time of our lessons going over speeches that she needs to make about trends in education. What that means is that I don’t have a lot of prep for her and that I really like. There’s a lot riding on these lessons because she is trying to get into the Chinese public school system which is a more secure teaching job than working in the private school system. I hope it she’s able to get the job that she wants. I’m also a little concerned because if she doesn’t, she might blame me. This Sunday’s class with George and Jerry was difficult because of internet issues. I’m not sure if it was me or them or Zoom but we really struggled and had to to cut class off early. Odhran is doing really well in Greek and we’ve been concentrating on adjectives, nouns, and their articles. He seems to understand concepts and can answer questions that are simple. More complicated structures are quite hard for him to understand but they’re also very difficult for me to teach. But the best news of the week came last night when Xander told me that he might possibly continue with our classes and as a bonus he might need classes for his son because there is the chance this that his son will go to an English speaking School. That made my day.

Over in the writing world, a couple of things happened that were both amusing and exciting. I was highly amused that on Sunday most people could not get into the Discord for the writing group and could not help feeling a little bit smug that things are not working out quite as easily as as the member who set it up would like. I know that is petty of me but I simply couldn’t help myself. It ended up working out in the end and they were four attendees. I myself went to the gym because I simply couldn’t be bothered to write. Remember, dear reader, the workshop that I was stressed about in last week’s post? It ended up going wonderfully. I had six people with myself and they seemed to have a really nice time learning about why we should write and that I think there’s no such thing as writer’s block. They seemed to enjoy edging out of their comfort zones by writing urban fantasy for 30-minutes. The resulting stories were full of interesting dialogue, and scintillating descriptions. There were even some laughs. They came at 2 and ended up leaving at 6. I can only surmise based on that that they had a really good time and that there will be more writing workshops in my future.

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

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