I may live to regret this

Remember how last year I kept complaining about how I was so busy I didn’t have time to breathe? And remember how I said I was going to have a nice quiet year this year? Um, I think I’ve just done something that will guarantee another hectic year…

No, Kimi, I *haven’t* enrolled for another language class. I’m not *that* stupid. But I have just put my name down as a volunteer tutor for the ESOL Home Tutor Service.

It’s something I read about last year, but was too busy to do anything about. But my usual summer enthusiasm for new things has struck, and coming across a note I’d made of their website, I was inspired to sign up.

What home tutoring involves is going to the home of a new migrant to New Zealand for a few hours a week and giving them one-to-one help with learning English. Most of the clients will have already done a classroom-based ESOL course (because that’s a requirement of immigration to NZ), so speak basic English, but still need help to improve their language skills and confidence.

One of the areas of linguistics that’s been increasingly interesting me over the course of my degree has been language acquisition, especially second language, and if I ever get to the point of postgraduate study, that’s a potential area I’d like to do research in (although I’ll probably have been distracted by some other new and shiny topic by that time – so much to learn, so little time…), so this would definitely feed into my area of interest. And quite apart from that, it sounds like a fascinating way to get to know people from a totally different cultures and learn more about the world. And to be helping someone out at the same time.

Volunteering involves signing up for a 2-month training course (one evening a week), and committing to doing at least 6 months of tutoring after that, preferably a year. So this could be a busy year. MrPloppy‘s only comment when I said I was thinking of volunteering was “don’t come moaning to me when you’re exhausted”.

But I’m looking forward to it. I think.

In other news, I spent a tedious few hours last night laboriously turning 80-odd small fabric tubes inside out. Once they’ve been ironed flat (which I’ll do tonight), they’ll be the handles for the goody bags. I’m glad that job is done, because it’s the slowest, most fiddly part of the bag-making process, so it will save us a lot of time on Sunday. A good thing, because TheLetterB told me yesterday that she’d double-booked herself for Sunday, so wouldn’t be able to come to our sewing bee after all. So it’ll be just me and lytteltonwitch again. Oh well, at least we’re experienced in bag making, and the two of us managed to make a similar number of bags in one day for the Christchurch convention, but it would have been quicker with three of us working on it.

Despite the fact that she can’t make it to Wellington (relatives are coming over from Scotland next week for a long visit), Mum volunteered to make some bookmarks as a contribution to the goody bags. She said she’d sent them a few days ago, so I’ve been waiting for them to arrive. Finally as I was leaving the house this morning I saw the parcel in the mailbox – and they look great!

Currently reading: Frangipani by Célestine Hitiura Vaite
Currently listening to: Thirteen Steps Down by Ruth Rendell

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  1. Frickin’ fracking comment system– takes so long I forget what I wan to say…Oh yes! Lovely Bookmarks! I hope we get some that nice. And good luck making the bags. We’re taking the coward’s way out and purchasing them. Someone made a donation specifically for that. (Bless them!)

  2. Having just discovered your diary, I have also just discovered the whole bookcrossing concept.

    I was telling my mother about this, and she said she had picked up a book in her apartment building’s drop-off library that had this label inside… seems it is a book looking to be caught! She’s going to go back and find it for me.

    All the best with your new venture!

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