Covid Conscious Crossing and Fond Farewells

Greetings, dear reader, from the US. We arrived yesterday afternoon and it’s been a flurry of trying to settle in and get acclimated to the timezone. The first is actually pretty easy but getting accustomed to the timezone is a little bit more difficult. Not to mention being back in the States. For Jasper is a vacation but for me, it’s mostly trying to finish up problems that as yet remain. One of the things I’m here to do this time is pick up my Christmas ornaments and ship them to Crete to my sister so she can have them. I also want to go through my books which are at a friend’s house and consolidate them into something that I can take with me or at least get rid of. These types of things really do stress me out, because instead of having nothing to do there is a bunch of stress. The flight was uneventful, but the world seems to have forgotten that we’re still in a pandemic. When I travelled to Greece a couple of weeks back I did not wear a mask, figuring 2 hours and 15 minutes was a reasonable risk to take not to mention the 35-minute flight to Crete. But I’m not so sanguine about being on a plane for 8 hours and 40 minutes. That is too much of a risk so Jasper and I have decided that we will both wear masks for most of the flight. So I’m not looking forward to it, but better safe than sorry as we are going to visit older people and who wants to get them sick. Even though we’ve both been fully vaccinated. The week leading up to the trip was quite full of events and English Center work. And it’s not as though I won’t see some of my students while I’m away.

In fact, the only students that I won’t see at all during the vacation, are George and Jerry because the timing is too difficult as I don’t want to wake up at 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning and luckily Christmas and New Year’s Eve are both on Sundays this year. So I went ahead and canceled with their mom before I left for the States. Apparently, this was just as well because they are having exams over the Western Christmas holiday. So I did offer that if they needed help with something for the exam I could be available via WeChat. I think that is the most humane thing to do both in terms of time and in terms of getting them help if they need it. But I suspect they won’t need it at all because these two kids are quite good at English.

The week leading up to my trip was full of fond farewells to friends, lots of FOMO with missed writers’ groups, and even some fond farewells to my students. I had originally thought that I would have to teach Yana on Saturday but it turned out that she was going to Germany so I had to find a sub for her final lesson. Luckily my colleague Emily stepped up and Yana’s lessons have been scheduled. She will finish her package on the 17th of December which is just time enough as she is flying home to Russia on Christmas Day. So on Wednesday evening this past week, we had our final lesson about idioms and bid each other a nice farewell with promises to remain in touch and maybe go have a coffee in the new year. I find it a satisfactory ending to a class. My pronunciation student Roy was sick this week and so we did not get to have his final in-person lesson. It remains to be seen what will happen once I get back but it’s up to him whether he wants a remote lesson or an in-person lesson. This Final one should be in person but he is a quite copacetic person and would not have a problem going remote. Slava and I will pick back up for lessons for the final 3 2 hour lessons when I come back we should take us to February. comes back on my schedule when I am back as well.

There may even be some new students on the horizon but even though I have sent emails I have not heard anything from them. I received an email from a woman who wants lessons for her kids, but I have sent several emails and not heard anything from her. I sent her several emails and that’s how I fugured out my website and my email were down. I have had a call into the person who hosts my website me but he hasn’t responded as yet. It’s a little bit annoying. I have another student that will start in January and she wants about 68 hours. We’ll start when I get back in January and we will have to finish by the end of June 2023 as that’s what her company expects.

The Writers group was really badly attended this week on Thursday with only two people meeting and of course, the Sunday meeting online has a few people but let’s hope it gets back to normal levels post-holiday season. We have decided to suspend the group after the meeting this Thursday. And we will meet back up on the 3rd of January.

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

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