And now, I’m better, happier, and richer.

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Of thoughts and conversations

I have a weird habit of plugging in my earphones just to keep people out of my personal space.

You see, as much as I crave attention, I prefer being left on my own most of the time because it allows me to sort out emotions and untangle the train of thoughts I have during my waking hours.

So much to ponder on, yet so little time.

Today, I plugged in my earphones.

I ate lunch by myself because my partner was on a holiday, and I didn’t want to bother my teammates to go with me.

And so I sat there, pretending to watch a video, while listening to what everyone talks about during their much-awaited lunch break.

Guess what I found out?

Everyone was talking about other people.

Family.
Teammates.
Bosses.
Enemies.
Old flames.
Even acquaintances.

They talked about what they did, what happened to people they knew and the chat went on.

And this got me thinking — not in a condescending way, but curiously —

Is this what happens when people grow older?

Do we not find joy in talking about ideas anymore?

About theories that challenge our beliefs?

About topics that piqued our interests when we were children?

Do we all end up losing the joy of wonder once bills keep coming in?

What changed?

Of universal topics and blog reach

I really find it amusing how far this blog has reached.

I even wonder why people read my posts in the first place.

The things I write about are very random, but I guess they’re universal.

..

To the avid readers of my blog,

I’m glad to know you can relate to my literary pieces.

Thank you for the support — I’ll definitely do my best to write as much as I can.

In Michael Faudet’s words, “I write because you exist.”

Love,

S

I love —

the way your eyes fix its gaze on me while I laugh out loud from binge watching 2 Days 1 Night episodes;

the way you sigh in resignation while I sing out of tune or dance myself silly because I’m too bored;

the way your arms reach out for a hug while you pull me out of my space-out zone;

the way you lean in for a goodnight kiss while you fight your way through my pillow fort;

the way you embrace me tight while I talk in my sleep, move around or start sobbing at worst;

the way you carefully make my morning coffee while my mind still starts to load;

the way your hand searches for mine while we catch our breath from walking up endless stairs to work;

the way you cheer me up while I rant about things that are out of our control;

I love the way you keep me close every time I push you away.

You know I’ve been having a lot of bad days and I take it out on you most of the time, yet you choose to stay —

not because you didn’t have a choice —

but because you made a choice.

You made me your choice.

I wonder, Part 1

[ Author’s note: Wrote this piece for someone whose struggles I can’t and might not ever fully comprehend. To you — you might not know this, but I really admire your strength. ]

 

I wonder how you do it.

When she wakes you up and prepares your meal,
picks out your clothes while you scroll your feed,
warms up your bath so you won’t freeze,
reminds you of things you could have missed —

When she’s given all the love one can provide
and chose to trust you as much as she can —

When she overlooks your flaws and sins
and tries her best to forget what you did —

I wonder.

5 things I learned about teaching as an English tutor

9 years.

One more year, and I would have been teaching for a decade — a career that sums up my adult life.

I’ve experienced a wide variety of lessons, class size and student levels, and has been exposed to many other different cultures.

Being an English tutor can be a lucrative job — in fact, I can earn my daily salary (I work full-time for a BPO company) in just 2 to 3 hours. But even though it sounds like an easy way to earn money, it took hard work and dedication to get to this point.

If you’re an aspiring English tutor, let me share with you some things I learned about teaching:

(1) Teaching is a huge responsibility.

Your students are studying English for a reason, and it could be either personal or work/school-related. They are willing to shell out thousands because they expect to learn the language and use it for whatever purpose they choose. With that in mind, you should do your best to help your students achieve their goals.

Golden rule: Do not take advantage of your students.

(2) Teaching English is not just about conversations.

It’s not enough to teach your students what to say in certain situations or how to respond when asked a particular question. Teaching expressions without your students’ full understanding of the usage and connotations of the word or phrase is just the same as translating the expressions for your students. Thus, you need to find a way to make sure your students can use the expressions accurately and carry a conversation on their own at the same time.

(3) A well-designed curriculum goes a long way.

Creating your own lesson materials is an important skill that you, as an English tutor, should possess. I cannot stress enough how lesson materials can make or break your students’ success in their English study. Your curriculum is the most important tool in your class, and it will set the learning path for your students. Hence, your lesson materials should guide your students in achieving their learning goals.

(4) Understanding your students’ level, needs and goals is a key factor in creating an effective curriculum.

Your students’ progress depends on how well you take advantage of their learning curve. An Intermediate student, for example, can experience stagnation (a.k.a. plateau) and unless you find a way to push past what seems like an impasse, his/her English skill won’t move to an advanced level.

(5) Teaching English as a freelance tutor pays well, but it does not guarantee a stable income.

If you have a full-time job and you work as a part-time English tutor, it’s wise to do your best to keep your full-time job. Sure, you can earn a lot by teaching BUT you have to know that it’s a seasonal job. Students come and go — they might have planned to study long-term, however they usually change their mind once they feel like they have reached their target level. This is the reality of freelance teaching. So do not give up your full-time job unless you have made a name for yourself and you have a steady stream of students.

Hope this helps. Cheers!

Until my next post,

S