If We Were Having Coffee… On March 21

Hello my lovelies!

Come on in and grab a coffee for our Weekend Coffee Share!

It’s chucking it down outside, and it’s gone really cold again so I’ve turned up the heating again. Happy start of spring, by the way….

Spring Nope


Oh, and did you get to witness the solar eclipse yesterday? I didn’t really, as I was at work but except for the cloud cover going slightly darker for a minute it really wasn’t that impressive here.

Solar Eclipse 2015 in Germany - I was there! Photo by Tom Gaebel
Solar Eclipse 2015 in Germany – I was there! Photo by Tom Gaebel

If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that I have decided to change my looks a little. Cut my hair shorter again for the summer – sort of like Alyson Hannigan in the first season of How I Met Your Mother, you know, shoulder-length and slightly curly (I have a natural wave in my hair anyway). Kinda like this. My hair is at that weird stage of not long enough to reach past hoods on jackets and jumpers but too long to still call it short. Now I just have to wait for payday.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my studies are going well, but the late nights are starting to drain me. But so far, my average grade in both my current university courses is a solid A (98% in one course, 95% in the other) and I’ve completed the supplement courses Filmmaking: From Script to Screen, Cultural Studies & Modern Languages and Introduction to Dutch already.

I need your help for a second, though. Would you think that a research journal article entitled “Bilinguals’ Use of English and Spanish Digitalk on Facebook Status Updates” fulfils the requirement for the following assignment brief?


Oh, and an annotated bibliography in this case is a summary of the article including previous research results, current study methods, results, discussion and suggested further research.

We only get short briefs like that, and then have to go and find an article that would fit (and can be summarised in 2 pages – so I try and stay away from 40-page case studies).

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m in shock today. You see, for a year I thought I had a friend online. We had the same tastes and interests on Pinterest and ended up commenting on each other’s pins. A mutual friend of ours (who I know is real and have been in contact with for a long time) had been in touch with her longer than I had, and finally decided to fly to London from the US to visit her. And now, this friend has disappeared. All of her online accounts have been deleted.  If this was some sort of elaborate scam I don’t see the point. No requests for help or money were ever made, the whole friendship centred around a fondness for all things British and a shared crush on an actor. Using a fake name is one thing. Chickening out of meeting someone is sort of acceptable as well. But luring my friend to London (over her birthday they were going to celebrate together) and then vanishing into thin air?!? I’m glad my friend seems to take it in her stride, she’s a grown woman and will be able to look after herself, but still – that’s harsh.

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you that I’m working on a post for yesterday’s #1000Speak. Unfortunately I was swamped with work and uni yesterday, and I didn’t get to participate in the Anti-Bullying event, but I’d still like to contribute. Bullying is never acceptable behaviour and the effects on the victims can be devastating for years to come! It comes in many forms; physical or emotional abuse, sexism, racism – but the one that hits closest to home and I’ve seen a lot of friends fight against is fat-shaming. And it’s no longer just the neighbourhood kids. The entire fashion industry is involved. Any behaviour that makes someone else feel less adequate because of what they love, look like or cannot control themselves is wrong!

1000 Voices Bullying

If we were having coffee today, then I’d tell you that planning lessons is not as easy as it sounds. My English student doesn’t need to start from scratch, but she does need a comprehensive refresher on basic grammar plus reading activities that tie in with the grammar lesson. I also need to get her to talk more. My previous students went to my school, so I knew their workbooks and I knew what their teachers were like. The adults I taught had no books at all and it was all based on being able to talk rather than learn what exactly the conditional clauses are. I taught them what’s right to use in a certain situation and why, but not what it was called because that was of little importance.

She’s a lovely girl, and even her teacher doesn’t believe in her and that makes me sad. Because she knows she can do it, she wants to be able to do it, has had years of extra tuition and after working her way up to a B, they changed teachers and she dropped to a D- again. I’m a believer in encouragement. Having at least 1 person who believes in you and tells you you’re doing a good job can do wonders. So while I try and teach her and correct her when she’s wrong, I also tell her that she’s doing a great job. And if the second read-through is better I tell her so, because it shows her that the effort she puts in is paying off. Yes, she has massive gaps in her vocabulary. In Year 11 (after at least 6 years of learning English – they changed the system since I was in high school, so she might have started learning English before Year 5) she didn’t know the word “always.” But I truly think this is down to her not speaking regularly. I’ve seen the class sizes here, my own English class had 29 other students in it, so not everyone gets to speak. Except when I’m explaining grammar to her, I’ll speak English, though she can ask me to translate or paraphrase. I’ve already set her the task of highlighting unknown words in texts she reads, looking them up and bringing me the list next week so we can practice those words and put their usage into context.

Sorry, I’m rambling. It’s been a while since I have extra tuition and I care about her success.

If we were having coffee today then this is where I’d refill the coffee mugs for those who want to stay and take the used cups of those who want to leave through to the kitchen. The list of other Weekend Coffee Sharers is on the notice board by the door, so have a look on your way out!

Thank you for having coffee with me, it’s been lovely to see you again.

Same time, next week?

Having a cuppa at Alex in Solingen, Germany. Photo: Cornelia Kaufmann
Having a cuppa at Alex in Solingen, Germany. Photo: Cornelia Kaufmann




7 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee… On March 21”

  1. I suppose showing up for a birthday celebration and finding that your friends had disappeared is really bad but at least she didn’t find out the friend is an axe murderer or serial killer! Still.


    1. Well, no it’s my US friend’s birthday soon and London ( disappeared) friend said they’d all go out together and that’s no longer happening. It’s just weird and all of a sudden. It wasn’t even a scam for money and it was really elaborate with backstories and everything.


  2. I think your research journal article idea fits the brief, and sounds absolutely fascinating. It was so lovely to read about your experience with the student. Having teachers who believe in us can have a huge impact, so I’m glad you’re able to offer that level of encouragement. I’m sorry to hear about your experience with who you thought was an online friend. It’s very odd that that person has vanished completely. I’m trying not to let my imagination run away with me – in your position it would probably drive me crazy…the not knowing. Thankfully, I’m sure the positive experiences with your online friends outweigh this shocking adventure into the bizarre! Have a fabulous weekend, and thanks so much for coffee 😀


  3. Wow, you have a lot going on!
    That is really weird about the disappearing online friend. I hope the disappearing person hasn’t actually met with an accident or something – I’m assuming your US friend checked their home address?
    This is my first time here. Thanks for the coffee!


  4. I think your student is lucky to have you as a tutor! I do hope she improves and I think she will if she has someone believe in her like you do. Also, strange about the online friend but I have learned people are strange creatures. 🙂 My first time here, but I will return! Thanks for coffee.


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