i just heard my boss muse to another teacher: “Maybe Elberry needs more hours”. Worrying. i’m already working about 7 to 8 hours a day – almost all my spare time is taken up with lesson preparation, and my lessons are still haphazard, anarchic, alarming. Today i was teaching the Arbeitsamt group about interviews and interview technique thus:

Elberry: Dietrich, have you had a bad interview?
Dietrich: Yes, my first interview. It was terrible. I was very nervous.
Elberry: Nerves can be a problem. You know what you can do if you’re nervous? You can get drunk. If you want, you can get very drunk.

Followed by disbelieving laughter, before i assured them that i spoke whereof i knew. Later, i talked with a student, an occasional drunk, keen Fantasy-reader, even keener Dungeons & Dragons player. He’s also passionate about logic and mathematics. Although i am useless at such things – having the exact opposite of a logical, organised mind – i am fond of logicians, and mathematicians.

i have had a private student this week – an elegant, lovely, intelligent German MILF – 3 hours alone with her leaves me high & lunatic, more so than usual. Today she was wearing exciting tights/stockings – i almost complimented her taste but bit my tongue, wisely perhaps. It’s an intensive 15-hour course, shared with another teacher, so our last lesson is tomorrow (woe). She is a painter, a lover of classical music, and when i mentioned Arvo Part she said casually: “Of course I know Arvo Part, I have meeted him in 2006 in Talinn.”

i still know almost no German. i eschew tedious means of language acquisition (memorising vocab etc.) and instead speak English with a strong German accent, also i bark orders at people and slap my thighs. In this way i hope to simply sidestep the whole language acquisition business, and convince my brain that i already am a Kraut, and can therefore already speak Der Krautsprache, as it is known.

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