20 November 2015

I’ve got news. I think I’ve got myself my first English student. *fireworks*

It’s not easy trying to find students when you’re starting out in unfamiliar territory. I never had a problem when I used to give lessons to friends and acquaintances who are aware of my skills. But with strangers it’s a different matter. I can’t exactly present them with a miniature talking version of myself as a preview.

Nor would I want to, now that I think about it. It would be weird having mini copies of myself out there doing things completely outside my control.

Anyways, the first lesson is to happen this week. Here’s hoping that all goes well and the student is pleased with my unique(?) teaching method.

I’m at the mental hospital (gosh that sounds so wrong) right now waiting to see my doctor. It’s my monthly psychiatric appointment. (For those who don’t know, I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Details here.) It’s always a long wait. Most happily the hospital now provides free WiFi so here I am writing this post. I did bring a book (Catch-22), but it gets boring after a while and writing makes the time go by much faster.

I’ve written about Catch-22 before on this blog and on my other blog so I’m not going to go into it again. I’m just going to repeat here that I find it a most wonderful book and I’m happy to be re-reading it. *happy sigh*

Oops. Doctor arrived twenty minutes early and got called in to consult. It’s all done and now I’m waiting for my prescription. I think today’s hospital visit is going to be the shortest yet. The only thing left is paying for and getting my mood-altering drugs. Hmm.

Before I go, I just wanted to report that my learning German is still going strong. Happily I have mastered die Öffentlichkeit and moved onto tackling other tricky words (so many of them!). Duolingo informs me that I am now on a 50 day streak. This is very good. I am pleased. So pleased that I am considering learning a sixth language (after Thai, English, French, Spanish, and German). I won’t say just now what language it will be. I will be back to let you know once I’ve actually started.

Love,

Val

p.s. Re: the novel… *radio silence*

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8 October 2014

I learnt another important life lesson yesterday: communication, communication, communication.

I have always taken pride in my ability to express myself clearly. Then yesterday happened.

A message I had sent was misunderstood and cost me an opportunity I was looking to pursue. I do not regret my actions. I thought well and hard before sending that message, and I genuinely believed (I still do) that it was the right action to take.

But now that I re-read it with a fresh pair of eyes, I see how it could have been taken to mean something completely different. And I take responsibility for not having been clear enough. I could have worded it differently, been more explicit, so on and so forth. The next time I send a message of this sort, I’ll be sure to re-read it more than once (which is what I now do) before sending. Maybe sit on it for a few hours to see if I can come up with something better (which is to say, clearer).

This misunderstanding has been on my mind since yesterday afternoon. I am not so much frustrated at the missed opportunity as with myself for not having been sufficiently clear in my communications. In a way, though, I am grateful this happened. I’d rather discover this weakness now than later. Thanks to yesterday, I will now be more careful with all my future communications. You could say yesterday’s events opened my eyes.

I am glad I am experiencing this now, just before I enter the world of full-time employment. Where I am sure I will find myself in this particular situation countless times, and where I do not intend to repeat the same mistake. Not too many times at least.

It’s all about communication, communication, communication. Be clear. Be concise. Be ready to assume the consequences. (That’s my mantra of the day.)

I’m going to end with a quote from Dan Gilbert that I’m borrowing from Brain Pickings (a brilliant site where I constantly find inspiration and courage). A quote that resonates with me even more now after yesterday’s events.

Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our lives is change.

Love,

Val