While it hasn’t been a quiet week, I have rather figured out how to manage my time. It helps that certain classes have ended over at the English Center. Sanne will not be doing any more classes. Neither will Carlien. This means that four hours of time are freed up because I won’t be going to Amstelveen until next year-ish. For our last lesson, Sanne and I talked about holidays and we played three games in the course of the hour. I have a feeling that this was her favorite class. but really, dear reader, that’s not exactly my fault because she did ask for more grammar. And she really wouldn’t bring me her English homework either. With Carlien, because she pays for her lessons herself, I think that the budgeting is not there for her to take more lessons. Which is a shame because I quite like her and we got on very well. Currently, on my English Center roster, there remain three students. There is Isabelle with whom I am doing article-based teaching and conversation. There is Roy who is a pronunciation student. He and I are doing accent reduction but what’s interesting about him is that he was recently diagnosed with asthma and feels that he is losing words both in English and in Dutch and he also loses his breath as he speaks. That’s not actually in my preview, so I very gently directed him to maybe go to a speech pathologist to help him out. That was the consensus with my colleague who does pronunciation and is also the English Center’s English central coach, which is a software that allows you to work on your pronunciation in the context of video-based lessons where you listen and repeat. Finally, there is Slava, with whom I have to start a new 10-hour package. This 10-hour package will extend into the first half of January as I am going to the states and there will not be time to finish his lessons before I leave. I was very gratified that he tested as an A2 level which is what his company wanted from him. So now it’s a matter of getting him more confident in his speaking. I am sharing him now with another colleague because he wants to do four hours a week, and I am not in a position to do that at the times that he wants. He is not happy about that, but I am not about to compromise on my Thursday evenings anymore than I already have.
Speaking of Thursday night. I was finally able to go back to the Writers Group this week and get some decent writing done. I do find that my concentration is not where it needs to be, and I frequently find myself spacing out. I’m not sure if anybody else is experiencing this because they’re all typing away seemingly without trouble. But this week I am working on a scene where my main character is actually learning how to do magic. It is in the 34th chapter of my book, and that’s about 170 pages in. I found myself continually, wondering whether I wasn’t leaving the magic teaching until too late in the book. It’s a question for a beta reader, I suppose, but I’m also finding that I’m having a hard time figuring out where to send my characters next and how to structure the climax of the book and the eventual resolution.
On Saturday I went on a scavenger hunt in the city of Haarlem that was Alice in Wonderland-themed. While this doesn’t really have to do with teaching or writing, I got to say that Lewis Carroll was a trippy individual. The questions were mostly chess themed which was a little bit difficult, but we managed to get most of them. There were a couple of stupid ones, like the one that said “I am taller than all and I rhyme with hoof”. So we thought roof, but the word was actually chimney. I’m sorry but that doesn’t rhyme with hoof so whoever wrote that riddle was an idiot. The other notable event from this particular scavenger hunt was the fact that my partner in scavenger hunts Lola and I met by chance at Centraal Station and got on the train. We nearly missed our stop for Haarlem however and were forced to literally jump off the train. This led to a very delayed PTSD reaction from me in the evening as I started hyperventilating at the thought that I could’ve really gotten hurt by jumping like that. Still, it was a fairly lovely afternoon and while I don’t think we will do the next one as it is Smurf themed, we might do another one in the future.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.