The image above strikes me as being applicable to not only my day job as a private tutor but as a metaphor for us all as we wander through life.
Many moons ago I used to teach English to adult classes; it was wonderful. They had returned to the classroom having missed out when they were younger. Some went to work straight from school, some started families and some preferred night’s on the dance floor to noses stuck in books. Whatever the reason, now was their time. Some had been made redundant and some had seen their children fly the nest; they now had time to pursue something which had been fermenting deep within their souls – they desired Education.
Chomping at the bit they looked to me for guidance. I was the one with knowledge of the education system. They gave their all. My role was simply to guide them over the hurdles of the system and they did the rest. Classes were disciplined and stimulating, homework conscientiously attempted and handed in on time. To coin a phrase, from my point of view, It was a doddle. Never was the Chinese proverb above more applicable.
One day, I will tell you about the teenage classes I had. . . Oh dear! So many refused to enter the door that I held open and some even slammed it shut in my face. However, they are stories for other posts.
Looking at it another way, though, it can also be said that when one door closes another opens. As we amble down life’s path, either the major ones or the ones lesser taken, there are doors which we have all refused to enter at one time or another. Time cannot be reversed, there is no going back and the present is no time for regrets.
Several years ago I closed a door behind me and set off down the path of being a private tutor.
In the words of Edith Piaf, ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’.
What about you? Are there any doors you have slammed shut or indeed any you have refused to enter? Any regrets?
Not ‘who’ but ‘what’.
It’s an online shop selling hand crafted goods and I’ve just opened one. Yes, from private English tutor to shopkeeper at a cost of $3 per annum – at least that’s what I think the small print said!
Up until a few weeks ago Etsy was a strange four-letter word that I had occasionally come across but had no idea what it meant. However, one magazine article later and I was brimming with enthusiasm and knowledge about the strange word. It seems that people the whole world over have ventured into the Etsy world of individual hand-made goods. I’m talking everything from wedding dresses to flowers for button holes to bead necklaces to hand stitched leather goods and on and on and on. . .
‘What’s good for the goose has to be good for the gander’ thinks I! :-)
A few hours pounding the keyboard and there it was: www.etsy.com/shop/gossamerimages my very own shop, offering the world personalised dvd slide shows. I’ve never owned a shop (or ever wanted to) before but now I have a virtual one.
The origins of this particular adventure began more than ten years ago when I traded in my film cameras for a digital one. That led to manipulation of digital images (Photoshop and all that) which then led to me putting images together with music, captions, effects, movement. . . and here we are offering personalised dvd slide shows. Have you ever wondered about the decisions you make and where they eventually lead to? I have. . .
For several years I have been putting bespoke dvd’s together for customers. These include weddings, family history, graduations, proms, celebrations of all kinds, the life of a pet – in fact, ‘If you can photograph it then I can dvd it!’
So what does it take to produce something that is unique to you? Something that can be shown on the TV in your living room to family and friends? Something for you to treasure for years?
Here’s the process:
1. Digital images required – this can also include video clips
1a. Non-digital images – photographs, negatives, slides, illustrations, maps, etc. I can convert.
2. Each image is optimized i.e. colour corrected, sharpened, cropped if required
3. Images put into running order (that’s you task!)
4. Put together those images where multiple images are used in effects
5. Work on each individual image with respect to timing, movement, panning, zooming in/out, effects
6. Captions where required e.g. names of people on wedding images (that’s your task again)
7. Transitions – the ‘bits’ in between the images – timing and effects
8. Add music of your choice – I’ll decide if you can’t
9. Run show on monitor and make corrections
9a. Second run through to correct corrections!
10. Burn to dvd and check show runs smoothly on TV
10a Correct above version
11. Up load to web site for customer to view and suggest corrections
11a Do above corrections – Check on monitor then burn dvd and check on TV
12. Burn off ‘master’ copy
13. Design images and text for burning on disc – NOT sticky labels
14. Design dvd case cover
15. Pop completed project into post
16. Take a well earned holiday!
See how quick and easy it all is. . .
In the past two weeks I have had three views of the site resulting in no orders.
Time to give up my day job as a private English tutor – probably not!
The past month has witnessed a paucity of posts by this private English tutor.
Having the need to put bread on the table, I have spent June marking examination scripts. Four whole weeks gauging how well (or otherwise!) today’s youth are struggling with the English language. Oh. . . and how they are struggling!
I may have marked a batch of poor candidates – on the other hand, their standard may fairly represent that of the modern generation. Judging by the few hundred papers I marked, I fear for this beautiful language of ours. The good news, however, is that I know my re-embarkation on the good ship WordPress will be greeted with quality writing on a whole myriad of interesting blog posts. For that I thank you.
As my head clears and I ponder the past four weeks, I wonder where time has gone. I am sure it has not really gone anywhere, it’s simply me that has existed in a parallel space – I think!
Delving into my ever-faithful-ever-dependable quotation book I wondered what words of wisdom it contained on the subject of ‘Time’. Here are a few pearls which I would like to share with you.
Hector Berlioz said:
Time is a great teacher. Unfortunately it kills all of its pupils.
I love that – just my kind of humour; going from bleak-dark.
Thinking about the past month and all those scripts the next quote strikes a chord:
Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money but you can’t get more time. (Jacob Bigelow)
How very true. I can’t get those four weeks back, I traded them for the legal tender. Sad but true.
I went to a restaurant that ‘serves breakfast at any time’. So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance. :-)
As the scripts fade into the dim and distant past I start to contemplate my manuscript – Seeing Unseen. Having had it edited I am straining at the leash to re-write/do/hash (delete as applicable). I have been laying the first chapter out on Pinterest. It has been an enjoyable exercise but now I find that I need to rewrite that first chapter so the Pinterest board will have to be adjusted accordingly. The challenge of trying to put my novel into pictures has been interesting and I have received some great feedback from you out there – Thank You.
As one of ‘mature years’, Time is something that I dwell on from time to time – can I have three times in one sentence? Those of you that share this maturity may also, perhaps, have dwelt on this un-graspable subject. Why does it go faster the older I get and why do I understand it less than I did several decades ago?
Is this private English tutor alone here?
A two pronged attack from the Private English Tutor for this post.
i. Next installment of my novel Seeing Unseen is viewable on Pinterest.
ii. Once a sucker – Always a sucker! – Why can’t I pass a charity/thrift shop without buying a book?
After my last post I received the following comment from my good friend writeonthebeach,
‘This is a real tease ET😊 please can you hurry up and get more of it pinned. It’s an intriguing form of PR and a great hook into your book.’
I am not so sure that I am a ‘tease’ but I do hope my Pinterest activity is intriguing. I still don’t know if it’s possible to to put 80,000 words in pictures and remain true to those words. However, the narrative continues. This time I give you the second sentence from the novel accompanying the image.
Please nip on over and take a gander – Seeing Unseen on Pinterest.
Once a sucker – Always a sucker! Ah yes, that’ll be me.
ii. Dim and distant, through the intangible mists of time I have had an addiction. Yes, indeed – I have been mainlining books for as long as I can remember. From those Enid Blyton adventure stories when I was no more than knee-high to a grasshopper to the ‘QI Book of Quotations – Advanced Banter’ that I couldn’t resist recently. It didn’t seem right to leave it lurking, collecting dust on the ‘Romance’ shelf of our local Charity shop.
Formal education [I will return to teh book in a line or two - honest :-)], particularly for the very young, has many critics. As this blog is supposedly about all things educational, I present you with three thoughtful quotes from the aforementioned book to mull over:
‘We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and then the next twelve years telling them to site down and shut up.’ (Phyllis Diller)
‘All you have to do to educate a child is to leave them alone and teach them to read. The rest is brainwashing.’ (Ellen Gilcrist)
‘Let early education be a sort of natural amusement. You will then be better able to discover the natural bent.’ (Plato)
Thoughtful words indeed to produce many a heated discussion but this is not the time and place for this private English tutor to let off steam.