Testing Turnaround, Admin Antics, And Tech Trials

This week at Inkreadablewas quite interesting mainly because of my new student Karim. Who, for all that his name sounds Arabic, is extremely Italian. He is very young and wants to go back to school hence the four-and-a-half hours of IELTS prep. He’s probably about a level B2 heading towards C1 at least in speaking. But writing and taking a test are a whole other kettle of fish. I have set him standing homework to make sentences everytime we meet and that’s where the mistakes are apparent. He is making mistakes about 30% of the time with verbs. He wants a testing score so that he can go to university and get his masters in film. He wants to end up in the US. The good news for him is that the TOEFL is a little bit easier than the IELTS. And the other good news is that the TOEFL will be accepted by universities in Europe should he choose to stay here. To that end we decided to change our course and and work towards the TOEFL rather than the IELTS because it’s a bit easier. Our last class of the package was yesterday and after a suitable interval I think we will continue in private. To my delight and somewhat to my chagrin at the same time, Yuka has said that she will continue in the new year. She has the right to take a 100 hour course that is paid for by her husband’s company. There has been no word from the girls in Palestine. I think they started school and I’m waiting to hear from them. Isabelle and I established a rhythm where she makes sentences for me and sends them before the class. We go over them in class. It seems to be a good system for her but also I have given her more critical reading work and she seems to enjoy that as well. I have picked up some hours with the English Center for a student who is doing about 32 hours over the next 3 weeks in hour and a half increments. I am working with two other teachers and while I like collaborative work, the challenge here is not to double up on lessons. That means that there will be lots of back and forth between the three of us over the next 3-weeks as to what we’re teaching. I got a phone call from Brenda as I was on my way to teach Yuka yesterday. It seems that the English Center is getting a lot more business they need a second person to do admin work. They have proposed 8 hours to start at €20 an hour. Of course, I said yes. I have agreed to meet in person in Amstelveen before my lesson with Yuka a week from tomorrow.

In my private client world, things are still a little bit slow. I expect to see ShinWei this week on Wednesday but do not have Galini on my schedule until the 13th of September as she is in Greece to visit her ailing grandfather. On Sunday, it wasn’t George and Jerry but rather just Jerry, as George was at a sports camp and couldn’t attend class. I’m going to have to work twice as hard this afternoon to catch George up to where Jerry is. Odhran continues to be a bit of a challenge as he is still only doing one class a week and there isn’t that much that I can cover in a half an hour. He struggles to remember the pronouns and verb endings. This is particularly difficult because Greek verbs have several different endings in declinations. Grammar is a real struggle both for him to remember and for me to teach.

My computer is once again on the fritz, dear reader, and it happens to be the same problem that I had several months ago. For those of you joining us late in the game, I had problems with the main charging port of my computer. The motherboard was switched out in 2021. In February of this year, I was in the States and had problems with the computer towards the end of my trip. There wasn’t enough time to fix it while still in the States but we came back to the Netherlands and my motherboard, palm rest, and audio jack were replaced. I also received a new case bottom at that time. Over the last 4 weeks, I have noticed that on occasion my computer will discharge. I had called Dell about the problem but as it seemed to be working fine when I was on the phone with them nothing was done and the case was closed. That was a couple of weeks ago. On Friday evening my computer discharged once again. When I called Dell this time we updated some drivers. When this didn’t fix the problem we scheduled an appointment for today between 10 and 2. In the meantime, my computer is working and all of the ports are currently charging. I am not sure what is going on with this computer but it’s gotten to the point where I might just go back to Apple when I buy another computer. I said that to Jasper this weekend and even he agreed that this is ridiculous. The only other option is to renew my extremely expensive Dell warranty in February 2024 when this one lapses.

Jasper had a 3-day weekend this weekend so we took a couple of half-day trips. We went to Floriade again so that we could get the most out of h season passes. Being there makes me want to buy more plants which I’m guessing is part of their marketing strategy. We also went to Woerden which is a defensive town about 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam by train. It looks a little bit like a star on the map and has a little bit of a feel of a fairytale town but Dutch style, so picture brown bricks instead of fairytale castles like Neuschwanstein or as America likes to remember it, Cinderella’s castle. The trips did provide grist for my writing mill, making Sunday afternoon very pleasurable when writing with friends on Sunday. I did make some notes about things that I might want to include in a second book, but also a bit of work summarising my current work. I was quite happy with how things progressed this weekend.

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

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