Modals Mania and Crete Confusion

Greetings from sunny, warmish Crete, dear reader, but before I get to the whys and wherefore of that, a teaching update. As you might imagine, it was a very difficult couple of weeks here at Inkreadable. I say a couple of weeks because even though I did a blog post last week, I could not talk about everything that was going on in terms of teaching because it was directly connected to the reason I’m actually in Crete. A couple of weeks ago, my dad offered me a ticket so that both of us could come and surprise my sister here in Crete for Thanksgiving. After talking to The English Center and agreeing that I could go because I could work from there, I decided to buy the ticket. The past couple of weeks were spent trying to shift everybody off my schedule.

Almost everybody on my schedule was okay in terms of switching lessons or not having lessons at all but Yana, my consulting student is very particular about what she wanted and did not want to have too long of a break between lessons. The last time I saw Yana was on the 5th of November. I was supposed to see her on the 13th, but she was sick, and then she had a commitment on the 19th. On the 26th I was going to Greece and so I was trying to figure out how to get her scheduled. Originally I was going to give her up to another teacher, but nobody wants to work on Saturdays. I also don’t want to work on Saturdays but I will sometimes make exceptions if it’s a consistent enough package. Or if they have nobody else. It was damnably difficult, trying to find someone to take her lessons permanently. I was getting so fed up with the back-and-forth and the emails, and the fact that she just wasn’t flexible that I wanted to give her up completely money be damned. But alas, it was not to be, and I had to find someone to substitute instead. It happened like this, dear reader. Yana and I started our package in October, and we had three lessons completed by the 5th of November. There were five lessons to go. Because Yana wanted to complete our lessons before I left, I offered a Wednesday evening as well as a Thursday. So as it stands, we now have lessons scheduled on the 1st of December, the 4th of December, the 7th of December, and the 10th of December. In addition to these changes, however, I also had to switch out Thursday, the 8th of December to teach Isabelle instead of going to Writers Group. This makes me kind of sad because my Writers Group is important to me, and I do not like to teach on Thursdays. And now I find myself having to teach on both Thursdays before I leave for the US.

To say that I am annoyed is an understatement. I also had to move all of my private clients off my schedule while I’m in Crete because it was a little too difficult to teach. The kids are everywhere. or at least that is the excuse that I am using to justify not doing any teaching at all. Luckily, my private clients are a lot nicer and a lot less difficult than my English Centre clients. Or at least a lot less difficult than Yana, who by the way is all sweetness and light when you meet her in person. Or at least a lot less difficult than Yana. I suppose she’s not so very different from everybody else, I guess. Since my sister reads my blog, you might imagine that all of the shenanigans were very difficult, and trying not to talk about it in the context of my post last week was very taxing. It made posting in chronological order very difficult.

But at last, everything was organized in terms of scheduling. What was a little harder to organize was homework correction. You see, dear reader,  Yana sent me some homework via WhatsApp that I had asked her to do and it took me about two hours to correct. Based on the corrections, however, what I noticed, and she did as well, is that she struggles with using the past participle in conjunction with the modal verbs as well as the difference between used to and used to be. So I spent yesterday and today trying to figure out how to teach her that. Luckily, I have a bit of time to kind of make a lesson and figure things out since I’m going to be on planes tomorrow and have a very long layover in Athens. But she, like Claudia a year ago, is my current most challenging student. I am looking forward to not having to stress about her lessons after the 10th of December. I will always be available for her if she has questions about writing reports and such but I think she is going to be one of those students that I’m happy to not have to plan lessons for.

So now dear reader, we come to the crux of Crete confusion. With my ticket sorted and my classes somewhat sorted, I was able to go to the airport this past Wednesday with very little stress.I was initially worried that I would have trouble at security, but it took about, an hour into being at the airport. I was seated at the gate, connected my laptop to Wi-Fi, and working. Once I got to Athens, everything changed. The Athens airport Wi-Fi is a little bit better than it was the last time I was at the airport, but I was still only able to work for about an hour without interruption before it got too difficult. The B level of the airport is not particularly wonderful and there isn’t much to do. so I spent a very boring few hours, never realizing that I could’ve actually gone upstairs and hung out in a much more cozy area of the airport, more fool me. Not being able to work and not feeling like reading at the moment, I gave my dad a call. His response to the call was strange as he said “looking forward to seeing you I have so much to tell you.“ I thought it was a very strange response, but I thought it had to do with his business or something from home that he remembered and wanted to talk to me about it. Never ever did I assume that it was about the surprise.  I got on the plane and had an enjoyable half-hour flight to Crete on a Brand-new airline sky express. Once I landed in Crete and had gotten my bags which went very smoothly, I called Jasper to let him know that I had arrived. I wasn’t sure if anybody was coming to pick me up at the airport but as I was talking to Jasper I saw my dad outside in the visitor pickup area.   and said okay I got a go and I went to meet my dad and that is when the proverbial surprise shit hit the fan. You see my sister had found out about the whole surprise through a comedy of errors, that was quite ridiculous in scope. What happened, dear reader, was this. Apparently, a friend of Alex’s had seen my father on the plane in the morning from Athens to Chania and asked her if my dad was on the flight. My sister said no, and it would’ve been fine if the friend then hadn’t sent her a picture of my dad on the plane and said “yes, he is on the flight and he’s surprising you but does tell him because it will ruin the surprise”. Foolish, foolish friend. Rather an idiot actually. They could’ve just said no, it wasn’t your dad and that would’ve been the end of the matter and the surprise we have proceeded as normal. but no. My sister was tired of waiting for my dad throughout the day and so she went to his house to surprise him. She woke him up in fact, and he was so out of it, that he said “where is Tina”. Thereby ruining the surprise for even me. Anyway, I get to the airport and there is my dad. As I have very bad peripheral vision on the right I don’t see my sister until she jumps in front of me. To which I responded. Nope. Nope. Nope nope. nope go away. This was supposed to be a surprise from me to you. I was so annoyed.  To which my sister said just give me a hug so that people don’t think that you hate me. But all is well that ends well, in this instance, but the moral of the story is when you try to surprise, someone don’t do it for someone who is so famous on the island of Crete that everybody knows her.

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

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