Late Lessons and Proper Pedantry

There must’ve been a cosmic event somewhere in the world this week. You see, dear reader, the unthinkable happened. I’m not sure if I told you but aside from all of the craziness with pay cuts and fairly low bookings, I have started seeing more and more place holding. In particular, there is one student who used to be a level four through six regular for me at VIPKid, but once she got to level seven, I never saw her again. Perhaps that’s because when she first started level seven I was not allowed to teach it. The rules then changed, and I was able to certify and have been teaching for quite a while. Inexplicably, in the beginning of last year, her mother, or the learning partner, or something supernatural, I’m not sure which, started place holding at least one or two lessons every week on my schedule. They would place hold until 25 hours before the lesson when they would cancel. At that rate it’s no longer likely that the class will book for a lesson that cancels that close to the teaching time. This has been going on for about a year. It’s not just this student of course, but I feel like I’ve been singled out as a second best for this family at level seven. Not only do they place hold, but they are extremely disrespectful of my time. On  Saturday she, was on my schedule and had not dropped off. So of course I got ready for the lesson which was a unit assessment and was there just on time. This particular lesson, she showed up  at minute 36, Of a 48 minute lesson. I swear I have never given a unit assessment so quickly. It was a close thing, and I barely got to my next class in time. But was able to enter with six seconds to spare and so still maintain my perfect service record of no late arrivals and no early exits. Still, dear reader, I feel that just as a student’s time is valuable, the teacher’s time is also valuable and it is the height of disrespect to not show up in time. In the case of Bella, she claimed to have forgotten, which leads me to believe that she did not book the lesson and nor did her mother. Rather, I think that the learning partners are booking the lessons and the parents and students have no idea.

Over at Lingueo, things proceed quite nicely, and while I am not building up a following of students, I still have the three that started with me this month. I was hopeful that the five star review that I got from Delphine, would have pushed me to the relative top of some ranking and I would get more students, but that hasn’t happened yet. Still, I am enjoying the lessons that I’m giving to my three candidates. Delphine and Nicolas are easy enough. The challenge, is Maria Jose. This young woman speaks better English than I do. She is easily a C1 possibly a C2 level, and it has proven quite challenging to find things to teach her. We are currently working on sentence structure and word order in English but it quite a high-level. We are working on complex compound sentences, cleft sentences, and work order in English. She seems to like the lessons, and she continually keeps making reservations, but I am discovering that is difficult to find the lessons that are challenging enough for her but easy enough for me to teach. But I came up with a solution of sorts, and have switched the focus of the lessons to academic English like I do with one of my English Centrer clients. The switch seemed to work and we were able to fill the time, just enough to make it interesting for her. It helps that I’m a little bit of a self deprecating teacher, and can use my foibles and weaknesses as  teachable moments. But it is to say the least, pedantic as I am an American and don’t use the sentence structures that we’ve been working on as much as somebody who is British. I find that American English tends to be a little bit more direct uses quite a bit more simple language then British English.

In another, non-teaching related instance of pedantry, I have a friend who on my suggestion is reading Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue, And while she finds it interesting, it also is the thing puts her to sleep in the evening. I was quite amused because for me it made me want to finish the book in one day which I’ve done. But for my friend it’s a bit different. If you haven’t had a chance read it I recommend it, and if you have I’d welcome your thoughts on it,

My writing or rather, my editing on Thursday nights is going well and I am nearly done with the first edit based on comments from people in the Washington creative Writer’s club. Once I do that it will be time to sit through the comments of the Dutch Critique group or at least to take a break and actually create content. We’ll have to see how long that takes. But I’m finding that I enjoy being able to resolve, or not resolve issues as the case may be. One of the things that I’m having trouble with is figuring out when to stop editing. When is enough enough? And that was the focus of our critique group last Wednesday. I’m sure it will be an ongoing discussion but it’s proving to be a conundrum that I can’t currently solve.

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

Frenzy F*ck Up and a Polish Pickup

Things I learned this week: never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never miss a frenzy. Did I mention never? And yet, dear reader, that’s exactly what I did this week. I didn’t open for the frenzy, thinking that I could get short notice bookings and at least make an extra two dollars for every class that booked. The strategy was the most epic fail ever. I opened up on Thursday last week, And as of this writing I’ve only gotten four bookings. One was on Sunday at 9:30 AM. So not only did I have to wake up but I had to wake up and teach a free talk. They are not my favorite. At the lower levels the kids don’t have the language for what they’re trying to learn. It’s another flaw in curriculum design. I have been kicking myself. Short notice is only worth it if it works, and by that I mean more than the three classes that I was able to get yesterday. But that is rare, at least for me. It might work once the kids are on vacation themselves, in January for Chinese New Year. But my lesson has been learned: better a bird in the hand than two in the bush. I’d rather have non-short notice bookings throughout the week, then have a zero booking schedule and depend on short notice. So the first week of January was an extra week of vacation. You might think that’s really cool, but not when you’re trying to pay bills.

I do still have my private clients, though my Chinese twins are taking a break until nearly the end of January. English Center will pick back up on Friday with my student who is doing academic English. I work with her until the first week in February. And then on the 11th all goes back to normal with my Monday student coming back from Curaçao. At least I hope he’s able to come back. I also hope he tests negative for Covid. Because it’s an in real life lesson. Yesterday, brought a twice weekly client from Lingueo, and though I had to make some adjustments, schedule-wise, that student is on my schedule until the end of April. I just have to remember not to open VIP slots when she has her lessons.

But, dear reader I have learned my lesson. Never again will I not open for some sort of frenzy. Therein lies lots of danger, at least for me. And since there isn’t enough work on any of my platforms it’s not like I can refuse to do VIPKid. Having learned my lesson, I’m happy to report that I opened for frenzy this week and got at least some bookings. Of course, it’s not the 60 that I opened up it’s more like half that.

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

Tech Turnoff and Vacation Vacillation

I never believed, dear reader, in the idea of Mercury being in retrograde. I am not a spiritual person and do not have a belief system. But I did come close this week. And because the tech turnoff was both personal And work related, I think it applies here. I have been having issues with my Kindle charging for about four months now. The charging contact inside the Kindle is damaged and I could only charge it sporadically by jiggling the cable until I saw a light, standing the Kindle up on its side and hoping that it wouldn’t fall over while it charged. Of course, that could not last and it ended quite spectacularly this past Thursday. My Kindle now does not charge at all, no matter what I tried. And I tried everything I could think of: changing cables and changing sockets. No Joy. On the “bright” side Jasper does not have to wrack his brain for a Christmas present for me. But I needed a solution for the inability to read a book.

Not to worry, I thought, I still had my phone. I duly downloaded the Kindle app onto my phone and used it to read, as well as do everything else that I needed to do. Including scheduling appointments, talking to students, and all manner of work related things. And then the unthinkable happened. Not a single one of my non-Apple branded chargers would work with my phone. Not the €27 native union cable, not the cheap six euro HEMA cable, And definitely Not the multi cables that I get from Jasper’s work for free. I could charge nothing. For those of you that don’t know HEMA is a mid-range, house branded department store here in the Netherlands. I spent a very stressed out weekend only using my phone extremely sparingly. But the technology gods seemed to be smiling on me. I ordered five different cables, two from Amazon and three from Apple themselves, to see which ones worked. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more money on cables in my life I think it was something like €115. According to people in the know, Apple recently installed a chip into their phones that is able to detect whether you’re using a Apple branded cable. Now while you don’t have to use an Apple cable itself, it does have to have a particular symbol that indicates it’s compatibility and approval from Apple. I had none of those. Anyhoo, on Saturday afternoon I got a message from DHL saying that a package from Amazon would be arriving on Sunday somewhere between 9 AM and 6 PM. I wasn’t sure which of my packages was arriving As I had placed quite a few orders from Amazon. It turns out that it was the Amazon cables and a couple other things that I ordered.  Not only are they Apple branded they’re actually original Apple cables so at least I can use my phone without worrying about charging my phone. But having to turn off my phone after every use was an annoyance that I didn’t need.

Tomorrow, dear reader, is my last day working until 2 January. At least that’s what I hope. The plan is to move Jasper into my house over the next week. But I am not sure that is going to happen. My Jasper is a great idea man. He had the idea to move in with me and then we find a place of our own after selling his. Great idea as I said. Execution, not so much. He has been talking about this move for the last two months. But has done nothing to make it happen. So we will have to see. If he has done nothing by tomorrow, I am going to open up the holidays to teaching. Because frankly, I need the cash.

That’s the second part of my title, I certainly don’t want to work but may have to. So I’m vacillating. Will I or Won’t I is a question that has been in the back of my mind for quite a few days now. And its further complicated by choice. I have also been hired by a company to teach English to French people online. I may just open the holidays to that company and see if I can get some bookings. It doesn’t pay much. It’s about the same as VIPKid but I get paid in euros. Which is important. Because as you all know from a couple of posts ago the dollar has tanked rather spectacularly. Forecasts indicate that it’s going to tank even more over the next few months. So the earning of euros for those of us who are in Europe is going to become doubly important.

Over in the writing world, I have gotten into the Thursday night writing groove. I find that setting a tangible goal for the evening works well for me, as does the fact that there are people typing with me. I think, unlike the English language dinner group, that the writers’ group will survive Covid.

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

Trial Turnover and (more) VIPKid Villany

I just about expired from shock this weekend, dear reader. It was an ordinary weekend for the most part. But on Friday, the unthinkable happened. I turned a trial, much in the same way a vampire will turn a human on Supernatural. It was completely unexpected. Firstly, the kid came at minute eleven. At that point I was not at my computer. I ran over and triedo get through the material as quick as I could. It’s true, that I was teaching mostly mom and not the kid but that’s OK. Things I have learned with VIPKid: I can do anything for 25 minutes. Including act like a complete ass. In this case it happened to work. I was not sure if it would, however. You see mom said something to me in Chinese for about a minute and a half. So I thought I was a goner for sure and not only would I not turn the trial, but I would also  get a bad review. Luckily, neither of those things happened and I made five dollars. What I find really concerning and sad is that I am happy at making an extra five dollars where what I should be thinking is I’m not being paid enough for any of this. It’s also shocking because generally my trials are no-shows. And I mean at a rate of about 60%. I rarely teach them. It gives me hope that maybe I will get a few more of them that I actually teach and actually turn. But on Sunday my first class was a trial and of course it was a no-show. Still I got $4.75 out of it.

Despite this positive occurrence, the hits at VIPKid just keep coming. I’m sure that I will get backlash from many teachers when I post this on the Facebook group that I run. But I’m still gonna post it. It seems that VIPKid is opening their market to South African and Filipino teachers. And while they will be only teaching the 6:1 starlight classes, what concerns me is that that will be only the beginning. Starlight group courses allow multiple students to one teacher up to six. this doesn’t really concern me, as I don’t and won’t teach Starlight 6:1. what concerns me is that the pay rate for South African teachers is six dollars to nine dollars an hour and for Filipino teachers is three to five dollars an hour depending on experience, for teaching up to six children. I  make double that teaching one on one for VIPKid to kids in China. What is to stop my students from taking the 6 to 1 classes with a South African or Filipino teacher who cost the company much less than I do? Right now, the answer seems to be nothing. And so once again VIPKid has become even less secure. There was of course the typical assurance that this is a test program and is going to roll out very slowly. But I’m not buying it. On top of pay cuts and other changes, VIPKid seems to becoming less sustainable over the long term. And I’m not convinced that it’s Only VIPKid. I think this is a trend we’re going to see across the industry. Because while online teaching is increasing, and prominence in online education is much more In use, I think the prevalence of English language teaching online and the saturation of the market is ultimately going to cause problems for those of us who already changed their career to ELT. So now I’m scrambling to find other options.

In other news, after an inconclusive MRI that showed swelling in the spinal cord again, it’s off to radiology for a third MRI this time of my brain to make sure that everything is OK in that quarter. While I appreciate the diligence of the doctors, I’m getting heartily tired of being in an MRI machine.

The online writing sessions continue to be productive, but on a personal level they’re making me miss my in real life writing group much more than if I didn’t have them at all. There may be light at the end of the tunnel in the new year, but we’re still going to have to find a new place to write. There is hope on that horizon as well as a friend of mine has access to a space that we might be able to use on the east side of the city. I’m going to have to investigate with her after the holidays are over.

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

December delete and a ticket teardown

While the holidays are always slow, dear reader, it seems that this December will be slower than most. My Polish student has asked that we suspend lessons until January. While this doesn’t exactly pose a hardship for me, as she’s not one of my more lucrative students, she is fun and I really enjoy our sessions because I learn something new from her every time I talk to her. She wanted to stop after the sixth, which would’ve been this past Sunday. But because she contacted me early in the week, I told her just take the whole month off and we will start back up in January. Now when this has happened in the past, I have never seen the student again. Not sure if any of you remember as far back as my Belarusian student, with whom I had three months of in real life lessons on a Sunday and then nothing. She moved to online lessons with Preply, and while I am on the platform, I haven’t been focusing on it.

And then. of course. there is the case of Felix, who in spite of his best intentions, once he got a job decided that he didn’t have the energy to learn English anymore.  So let’s hope that Karolina comes back in January. Fingers crossed, but I’m a cynic about this and most things so I will believe it when I see it. And of course, dear reader, you will be the first to hear of it when I do.

There is always a bright side to these kinds of things however, I was able to move my Chinese twins a little bit further forward in the day taking part of Karolina’s which means that my day will end at 1:30 on Sunday instead of at two. Having an early afternoon on Sunday means that I can actually do something with my Sunday. Which in the corona times means cook  or bake something.

Over in the VIP kid world, I got so desperate for bookings that I actually sent a ticket telling them that parents had told me that they couldn’t find me on the system. The answer I got from the company was “prove it”. Of course, I can’t prove it because they’re telling me on WeChat and I don’t want the company to know that I’m talking to parents. Or at least I don’t want them to officially know. I’m sure they know, because they’re not stupid. I did see a few trial bookings trickle in over the week but most of them are no-shows. And even when I teach a trial I don’t get the five dollars that we used to get when kids signed up after a trial with you. Apparently, if they don’t buy in the program that you actually taught then you don’t get the five dollars. And I suspect that is what’s happening with me. For example, if I teach a major course trial and they buy a starlight package then I don’t get that money. And vice versa. That is just another shitty way for VIPKid to shaft the teachers. But all in all, the experience of sending a ticket and having them do nothing, shows me where this company is going. And I fear in fact, for the future of online English language teaching in general. The market is simply oversaturated with  too many teachers, too many companies, and not enough students. Leaving me to wonder if English language teaching is sustainable in the long term.

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

Hundred (class) Heartbreak and Writing Wellness

Oh, dear reader, how the mighty have fallen. It says some thing about the current state of affairs at VIPKid, that I am grateful even for the 106 classes that I taught in the month. Understand, dear reader, that, just over a year ago that would’ve been my nine day total. Not my 30 day total. I am not the only one who is going through this, however. I also realize that not all teachers are experiencing this and continue to teach 70-80 classes a week. All I can say to them is “you’re lucky” and “I remember those days”.

Nonetheless, dear readers that is my new normal. To be quite happy that I have broken 100 classes for the month of November. Also to be grateful for any and all English center work that I happen to get. The plan for December is to work until Christmas Eve and then take a Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day off. I am hopeful that in that time we get Jasper moved in to my apartment and see where all of that takes us. Again, being a skeptic that I am, I will believe it when I see it. By which I mean, then I will believe it when Jasper’s stuff is in my house and he has more than five days of clothes here. I will believe it, when I see Jasper come back to me on a Thursday evening instead of going to his house in North.

Over in my writing world, things continue a pace and editing is going quite swimmingly. I will say that it’s hard to hold the focus even on Thursday nights while I’m typing away with at least three other people. Because, if you’ve ever talked to a writer you know that they spend 1% of their time writing and 99% of their time on the Internet. Now, dear reader, I’m not speaking about the writers who actually make money at their writing but those of us who are still treating our magnum opuses as works in progress. Still, I am quite happy with the progress that I am making in terms of editing. And while there isn’t that much plotting, I’m reading the book from the beginning. I figure a fresh read may equal a fresh pair of eyes. I have as yet, not taken a look at the critiques that I’ve gotten from members of the online critique group, chiefly because I haven’t had the time. But that too will come and maybe that will allow for and insight into my characters that I didn’t know that I had.

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

Dollar doldrums And a challenging conundrum

For the last four years, I have been mostly earning in dollars and living in euros. And while the exchange rate has never been great, forecasts for 2021 show that it’s going to be even more difficult to live in Europe and work for VIPKid. The exchange rate between the dollar and the euro is going to plummet making the dollar much weaker. Essentially, that means that any money that I make with VIPKid, will be valued at less than what it is now. I am not the only one going through this as my Facebook group has been talking about this for the last few days. It means that beyond our paychecks being lower because VIPKid cut the pay so drastically, whatever money we make is worth much less. I am more and more thankful that I have the English Center and my few private clients to supplement my income in euros. Between that and Covid, I’m not sure that 2021, at least the first part, is going to be a very happy new year.

Over at the English Cnter, there is more work but alas it is in Amstelveen. I have put myself forward for none of it. It doesn’t make any sense for me to be going to Amstelveen more than once a week and even that once per week, has to be worth it for me. That means that I should have at least two clients. Because while my travel pay goes down, my actual pay goes up. So I have decided not to go there  until my one client is back on my schedule starting next year. Then I will give Monday to the English Center completely. Which is what I’ve been doing for the last year. I will however, put my hat in the ring for any students in any of the Amsterdam locations particularly the one that is a 15 minute walk from my house.

My online client on Fridays is a lot of fun, but also very challenging. She’s really making me up my game in terms of academic English. And since I only have her for an hour on Friday afternoons, it’s really hard to find a good structure for that hour. It isn’t so much there isn’t enough material, in fact there is too much material to go through in one hour. I would honestly prefer that the lesson was an hour and a half, Rather than an hour. I could get a lot more done and really help her with the concepts that I’m teaching. I am really enjoying this particular student because it’s different than what I’ve done before. I’ve done accent training, I’ve done social English, and conversational English but never academic English. We have eight classes that will take us through the end of February So it will definitely be a challenge trying to get through enough material so that she feels confident enough in her English so that she feels better able to compete language wise with her peers.

Thursday Night writing, the online edition is going quite well. I am enjoying having that time to reconnect with my characters. I do have my work cut out for me as I have been getting comments from my critique group that make me feel like I need to rewrite the whole novel. The problem is that it’s so tightly written that I am not sure where to begin. But since it will be a work in progress for a while yet, I am sure that I’ll have it figured out. Eventually.

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

Communication Concerns and a Writing Return

 Sometimes, dear reader, despite your best efforts it just isn’t possible to manage your time. But, sometimes it’s out of your control. Such was the case this week when I got a call from English Center saying that they wanted to run the Pre-intermediate English class starting on Thursday last week. The problem is that I had already opened my VIPKid schedule to bookings because I thought that they weren’t currently running PIE. It seems, that I need a little bit more notice than three days. In fact, I need about two weeks. Because failing all else, as bad as my bookings on VIPKid are, At least I get bookings. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I learned, however that I need to be better about looking at the English Center website for the dates of classes so that I can close off those slots to VIPKid in advance. Because the money I make in two hours doing a class is much better than what I make with VIPKid.

In other teaching news, I was hopeful for a new private client of my own, but that alas did not materialize into anything. After a second email from the student asking whether I would be available to meet this past week, I have heard nothing. Maybe she has found a cheaper way to learn English. That’s the nature of the business, I’m afraid and at least I still have two sets of private clients for English and one for Greek. Over at the English Center, I also have a returning student in the form of Sander and a new student who is testing my level of academic English skill. I am meeting with her online on Fridays from this past Friday through 29 January. Excluding of course Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They both fall on Fridays this year.

Over in the writing world, we not only have been doing Nanowrimo on the weekends, but now we’ve gone back to our Thursday night writing group, this time an online edition. And that seems to be working quite well. We only had three people attend on Thursday but I am hopeful that there will be more as people find the time. I got a bit of writing done and I also submitted the next part of my novel for critique to the critique group that meets on Wednesday. I was quite pleased with my efforts.

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

Midterm Moratorium And a Ludicrous Lockdown

 This week at Inkreaable, dear reader, marked the beginning of the Chinese midterm season. It was of course, reflected in my schedule across all of my teaching platforms. VIPKid cancellations ran rampant through the week and while they weren’t complete days off, they may as well have been. I expect this to continue over the next week as well, as most of my students are older and their workload in China is getting more and more difficult. The loss of Scarlet for the moment, makes my Sundays end at 2 PM normally, though this past Sunday ended at one because George and Jerry were studying for midterms. I have not seen them since last Tuesday. The next time I see them will be 15 November.

I am a little annoyed that it is a slow time for me teaching wise as we’ve gone into a lockdown and there really isn’t anywhere to go. Restaurants here are open for take away only and most everything else is closed. So even if you’re walking around there really isn’t anything to do. The good thing about that is that I can lesson plan. But even TEC has slowed down quite significantly. I only have two more lessons with Sander and my Filipino student Glaiza. My client in the suburbs does not wish to meet online, and currently does not wish to meet in person because of Covid restrictions. He has asked that we finish our lessons next year. So the bright side is tat I still have some work to look forward to next year.

I’ve been thinking about my next steps and it seems that being an examiner for the IELTS is a bit more difficult than I thought. They only have a certain number of examiners around the world and they want to keep that number constant. So the only way to become an examiner is if there’s space. I will continue monitoring, but I think that that is not an option right now. I’ve been thinking about how best to move forward and maybe the answer is to design classes that are more targeted and specific. I have found that I really enjoy talking about and teaching the English associated with different fields. So I’ve been thinking to try and design a course for adults that are specific to their jobs for example, teaching the language specific to real estate as well as how to be able to speak clearly and well when dealing with international clients. There is also a writing component because I’ve noticed that most descriptions of real estate listings in English are simply run through a translator. The idea I guess, is that the English is good enough for real estate agents to get their point across. But sometimes there are words in Dutch which simply don’t translate to English. I’m going to do some research and see if I can then expand into the medical terms for doctors or other industry specific  terms in English. I’m not sure that it will work but at least it gives me a little bit of hope.

Over in the writing world, some people are doing Nanowrimo online and I have popped in to say hello when I can. I have not been able to actually sit down and write because with the new lockdown, I’m actually working seven days a week. The rest of my social life has gone online and so I’m not taking Saturdays off anymore. At least not for the next couple of weeks. We will have to see what happens with the next press conference in mid-November.   But if I can’t go outside and there’s nothing to do why not work? I’ve also scheduled some online Thursday night sessions and we will see who decides to come and what happens. It’ll be interesting to see if the Writers Group can transition to an online model at least until we can find a space where we can meet in person.

By far the highlight of the week was the US elections results. I am excited to see what the future holds for my country with a female VP who is also a person  of color.

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

Bright Beginning and Scarlett Sayonara

 Today is the last day of a four-day weekend that Jasper and I took as a staycation because traveling in the Netherlands is inadvisable right now. Nevertheless, it was nice not having to do anything on a Sunday which is a normal working day for me. 1 November, otherwise known as my dad’s birthday, and the start to Nanowrimo, dawned bright and sunny. I will admit that we didn’t do much that day, but I did get online and do some editing with friends for a couple of hours in the morning. It was nice to see people that I hadn’t seen in over a year. I must say that zoom must be making a killing off of COVID-19. Well, them, and other platforms like them. Because for every person who has a free account that kicks you out after 40 minutes there are companies that are paying quite a bit of money to have access to premium accounts. I suspect that this is the wave of the future in terms of work. After all, why would companies pay for buildings when people can work from home online? And while the future wasn’t so bright that I had to wear shades, the beginning of nano showed some promise.

Meanwhile, in teaching news, I have two students from the English Center who will wrap up with me in a couple of weeks. I am then anticipating a huge slow down in terms of teaching. I also interviewed for Gogokid, another platform that deals with the Chinese market for ESL. All I can say was it was the worst interview I have ever given. I was given a time for an interview, and it wasn’t specified that this was a recorded interview and not with a live person. As a result I absolutely bombed the interview and have gotten a resounding no from Gogokid. It’s OK  as I still have VIPKid and I think things may be picking up there. Maybe. Of the 15 hours that I opened for the frenzy, (remember that’s two weeks out) I have 9 1/2 hours of the 15 booked that’s higher than it’s been in some time.

Scarlett, or rather Scarlett’s mom, has decided that her workload is too heavy and will not continue with me for the moment. Scarlett is in the American public school system, so I wonder just how hard her workload is. She is seven. But as my dad says, something else will come along. And it did in the form of an email asking about private lessons from a woman I have met at the gym. As of this writing, she has not responded to my email and so perhaps I am too expensive for her. But there will be more where she came from. In addition, a good friend of mine who lives in France recommended that maybe I should go into teaching subject specific English like English to the real estate market. I think that’s a great idea and to that end I’m going to talk to my Dutch student to get his opinion.

I am off to wrap up my weekend of doing nothing, as well as hiding from the election results. And in personal news dear readers, I have gotten my second appointment for the MRI and that’s not until 1 December with a telephone consult with the doctor on 11 December so no news on the medical front. But, at least it’s not a spinal tap. I think I’m gonna have to keep repeating that to make myself feel better.

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