Duty Done and Grizzly Grammar

Greetings, dear reader, from Amsterdam. We returned very early on Saturday morning. The last three days have passed in a haze of jet-lagged induced fatigue. This culminated in surprisingly waking up at 3:30 in the morning yesterday and not being able to sleep after that. this is not how it’s supposed to be. I should be waking up more than tired each morning as my body should think it is still on US time. But for whatever reason, my body has decided that it should acclimate to the opposite extreme.

I am happy to say that all of the things that I planned to do and some things that I didn’t plan were successfully completed in the States. So much so that I was able to visit with a friend. But the trip was not without its drama. The apartment I was dealing with had been rented furnished for 8 years and the new tenant did not want it, so I had to go and take it out. What I found out is that though all my furniture was good quality and some of it antique, no one wanted it, not even an auction company. So I had to find a junk hauler who would take it and dispose of it. I was able to coordinate much of this stuff while still in the Netherlands as I wrote in my previous post, and I found a company that was quite accommodating. I had a walk-through with the company and hired them once I had their quote. I didn’t have the luxury of doing a ton of research as I needed to be finished by the time I left the States. But there were more problems than I realized.

In addition, to having to move my stuff out, I also had to deal with a range and hood that weren’t working. Since I’ve been taking the easy way out from the beginning I thought there was no reason not to keep doing so. As a result, I decided to replace both the stove and the hood, rather than try to repair them. I had my tenant measure the stove and I ordered it. My brain said “OK I have a stove that is 30 inches wide so I need a hood that’s just as wide. I went ahead and ordered the hood but I did not measure it. I got to the apartment and started supervising the move-out. In the midst of this, the hood was delivered and I went to pick it up up from the package area. I brought it up to the apartment, put it in the kitchen, and then started to panic. I was not sure that the hood would fit. Neither of the people helping with the move had a measuring tape. Of course, I didn’t have one either. Luckily, a neighbor came by and was able to supply a measuring tape. Thankfully the hood fit. But you can perhaps imagine the state I was in before I got a hold of the measuring tape. Luckily I was able to call the installers and reschedule the install. It all worked out in the end but after I told the story to Jasper I had to ask if he was ready to be a landlord. His response was that if he didn’t have me he wouldn’t consider it in the least. I am not entirely sure how to feel about this.

I did not rest on my laurels for too long upon return from the US. In fact, I met up with a Vipkid teacher friend on Saturday after a couple of hours of sleep. I taught for three and a half hours on Sunday. It was quite torturous, as it was my girls from Palestine. Their being away for over a month really showed. With Wesam the older one, I helped with the conditional rather than doing my own lesson as that is what they are learning in school. She barely has the speech level for the present let alone the five forms of the conditional. Leen the younger girl, did a little bit better with the future continuous but I could tell that she was struggling as well. I’m going to have to sit down and figure out how to teach these two girls because this was quite difficult. While I understand that grammar is important, I can also accept Jasper’s assertion that grammar is not the only way to learn a language. Using language is key and these two girls aren’t using English nearly at all. It’s going to be a challenging 11 hours for this package and who knows if they will renew. The difference between what they are learning and what they can actually do is immense.

In terms of the writing group, this week was a little bit better than last week in terms of attendance. The only hiccough for me occurred when I arrived back in Amsterdam on Saturday and switched out my American SIM card. I missed a text from someone who was asking where the group was this past Thursday. They apparently no longer have WhatsApp, and when people leave the WhatsApp group I tend to delete them from my phone. Luckily, the person was able to link up with Mark, the co-organizer and they were able to attend the meeting. It’s getting harder and harder to figure out how to keep track of the group members who don’t have what’s app.

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

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