A Covid Commotion, Dicey Dilemma, Dibilitating Déjà Vu

That is certainly a mouthful of a title, dear reader. But it’s also indicative of how much was happening this week. It started out well enough with me meeting in person with my new client from Jordan and going over the scope of our lessons. We have decided to do 4 hours in a hybrid of online and in-person in August. She has said that she wants help with writing as well as fluency. We edited a piece of her writing together and she was supposed to send it to me with the corrections so that I could take a look again and send more suggestions. As of this writing, she has not done so. So it was a bit of a quiet beginning of the week. I saw my Taiwanese client as well in person this past week, and we have decided to go online for our final lesson in Amsterdam before he leaves to go home for two months. We will continue online while he is in Taiwan but we need to figure out the timing. My other private clients remain on hiatus. My Chinese students are in exam mode and have no time for English or perhaps I could say they have too much time for English as that is one of the major exams. Odhran is in the US and has no time for Greek. Sander is on his early summer break and I should see him in September. I think he will be quite surprised however to realize that we only have two lessons left in the current package. I am also not sure whether he will continue because he is quite busy with a new house project that is giving him some stress.

Over at the English Center, things turned quite interesting over the weekend. In the afternoon on Saturday, I got a notice that the owners of the English Center came back early from vacation in Greece with Covid. That meant that the teachers going to Amstelveen this coming week had to scramble to find out if our students would be willing to go online or if we would have to find another arrangement in person. I realized that I did not have my student Yuka’s phone number nor did I have it anywhere in the student information. I heartily dislike bothering other teachers on the weekend because my weekend is also precious to me. Nevertheless, I bothered my colleagues and got the phone number of my student. Thankfully, she was quite understanding and we met online yesterday and are probably going to do the same on Wednesday. In other English Center news, my first intensive on Friday went quite well. The student is quite young she’s all of 24 years old which made me smile. It occurred to me that at 47, I am quite old enough to be her mother, and that was a sobering thought. Having said that she is a high B1 level heading towards B2 but she lacks the confidence to believe that. So we ended up doing quite a bit of talking in the context of the lessons that I was teaching. I happened to teach financial terms, idioms and some vocabulary. We did not actually get to phrasal verbs which was the plan for the last hour and a half or so that was because we spent a lot of time on presentations which she is going to be doing more of in English. I found it a little bit difficult to prepare last night for today’s lesson as it wasn’t enough time for me, but hopefully it will be ok. And now, dear reader, we come to the most dicey of my English Center situations. I was approached by the English Center to take over my friend Rose’s client. Apparently, she and the client did not have such a wonderful time in their lessons and Rose had to fire her. I told the English Center that I would take the lessons for the last 7 hours of the package, but the problem is this. I met with Rose on Saturday. I told her what was going on and she she advised me to not take the client. This client is too difficult. She has a zero self-confidence and does not do the work when she and the teacher meet in person. She’s a much better student online. In addition, she likes to meet in person on a Saturday, and I’m not sure that I want to work a Saturday sitting with someone who won’t do the work themselves. It is quite a dilemma. Do I sacrifice €210 for my sanity? Or do I try? My inclination is to let the €210 go because it’s not worth the stress. But the material side of me says “but it’s money”. It is a conundrum, to be sure. Especially as I already said I would take the client and I’m not sure how good it looks to back out. Luckily, it would not be a last minute back out because the student does not come back until August as she is on vacation. But unluckily for me that means that she will have forgotten everything that she learnt with Rose and I will have to start from the beginning.

I’m sure that I have mentioned this before, dear reader, but I have been feeling like my novel is getting long enough that I no longer remember which bits of conflict I have resolved and which I have not. I find myself reading bits of the novel and feeling like I’ve either seeing the situation before and have resolved it or I’ve seen the situation before and I’m repeating it without a resolution. I’m currently trying to figure out what to do about that and a good writing friend of mine suggested that I put the novel into Plottr and outline what I’ve done before. I’m still mulling over this idea as Plottr costs money and I’m not sure I want to spend money on more software. Still it’s been niggling at me for some time and the niggling will not go away.

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

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