It is crazy to think that a week ago yesterday, I was enjoying watching the Vikings beat the Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and then enjoying some of the classic foods in the East End of London the next day on a foodie tour. In fact, the sample fish and chips were so good, that afterwards, I went back and had the full portion. I left last Tuesday back to the states and back here in New England and no, never did to Windsor this past go around. Maybe next time and glad to see that the Vikings made history by winning the game yesterday against the Bears, to be the first team to win the next game after returning from an international game.
Actually, the reason I'm one step closer also has to do with my time in Rome this summer. As you perhaps recall, besides arranging travel and of course, being with Rosa, I was working on completing my practicum, so I would be certified to teach English as a Foreign language and I had to complete at least 20 hours of actual experience teaching English to non-native speakers. Well, I did it and with Rosa’s help, getting me a couple of her friends and acquaintances, I completed, in fits and starts, the 20 hours and included a few with her along the way. She is not a native English speaker, so it counted. The most interesting part of the experience was getting back into teaching mode as I had not done that in a while.
The funny thing is that I am an educator by training and have been in some capacity, one for over 35 years, mostly with kids, but also with adults, especially in the past several years as a travel advisor. I just don’t book travel; I educate my clients. The difference though, and I had done tutoring in the past, was to stay on some sort of schedule, but schedules are meant to be broken, so having some sort of continuity was the key. Sometimes it was in person; sometimes in zoom meetings, as I had to work around my student’s schedules, and still make sure to focus on the lessons at hand. The most interesting part for me was that the most difficult learning that they had, Rosa, included were phrasal verbs, and so I also learned a great deal. Of course, it seems that the hardest part of learning a new language is the grammar, but the colloquial terms, the archaic terms and the terms that have multiple meanings is most difficult to master. I know, as I continue my Italian lessons going forward, I too, will run into those challenges, so having empathy when working with anyone who is new to something is essential.
In the end, I am now certified and simply waiting for the piece of paper to officially confirm my certification. I have Rosa to thank on many fronts beyond lining up students for me. She has more potential students, moving forward when I return to Italy, and that is what my focus is, returning to Italy and teaching there, working from there on travels for my clients, including bringing groups over, and living there. She was very supportive during the process of my 11-week intensive schooling to get the certification, and in providing really good ideas for the projects I had to complete enroute. She also wants me to bring the certificate with me when I come to Europe next month, so we can get it framed there. I guess that makes a lot of sense.
I am excited to see if either I can secure a teaching position or simply expand my tutoring, which I like very much and started to get into the groove, until I had to get off the continent once again. I shall return next month and then next year, for how long, who knows, but starting the process of securing necessary visas to stay longer than 3 months in a 180-day period when I return from this next jet across the pond. The possibilities for this Wandering Puffin are still there and I am open to those possibilities. How’s possible is what she says, and I say it is possible. If you put your mind to something, you can do it and that is my goal. Age, and other factors should not be a part of the decision-making process. I am healthy, happy and will continue to move forward, wherever life takes me and right now, that is my focus. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is with her, so I will continue to go east until I can be there on a more permanent basis and be with her.
As always, thank you for your support of my crazy little world and of my small business. It is truly appreciated, and as always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this.
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin