Just a Minute, Please: The Book

“Just a Minute, Please.” Every day for almost two months I’ve been recording the thought that’s been foremost in my mind. There is no rhyme or reason for the order that they were recorded. Totally random. The topics could be classified as fascinating, ridiculous, personal, timely or any number of other categories.

One thing I’ve learned since the first minute is that not everyone wants to listen to a recording. I’m an online TEFL teacher and some of my students told me they would be more comfortable reading the text. So, that’s what gave me the idea to put “Just a Minute, Please” in book form. This way, they can listen and have the text to check on the parts they don’t understand.

This is not specifically a text/teaching book. It’s for anyone who prefers to read rather than listen.

As a preview I’ve printed three examples below. One is “current events,” another would be labeled “travel” and the third falls under “TEFL.”  

I’m hoping that the book will be available within a week and free of charge if the platform will allow it. If not, I’ll price it at 99 cents.

Minute 25: Airbnb

For the past several years I’ve had mostly wonderful experiences with Airbnb. Well, there was one asshole host in Slovenia, but I try not to think about him. A truly deranged individual. And a couple of other places were less than stellar. They didn’t provide what they promised in their photos or description. My present space is a perfect case in point. The photos showed an extremely well-lit studio apartment. In reality the lighting is dismal. Totally inadequate to teach online. The host brought me a lamp. In fact, she brought me two of them. What does that say? I think they’ll provide enough light. I’ll find out tonight.

Minute 42: Teaching English Online – My Students

This minute may be closer to two. In a quick count this morning I recalled having at least one lesson with students from twenty-three countries. And because my classes revolve around conversation, you can imagine how much I’ve learned from them. More than they learn from me, to be sure.

Students from Russia, Brazil and China dominate my requests which is why I had to implement a two student per country limit. Otherwise I’d be teaching ten Brazilians each week. That’s how many hours I teach.

My students have ranged in age from 18 to 63. It’s been a good mix of males and females. At present, I’m teaching two physicists, one from Brazil, the other from Mexico. When they want to talk about their work, I just nod and smile, like someone who doesn’t understand a language being spoken to them.

My favorite student is a Russian man, 48, who owns a coding company in Siberia. We’ve had almost 50 lessons and never lack for topics to discuss. He listens to podcasts from European countries so our conversations have an international flavor, although I know more about President Putin than I ever thought I would.

Teacher student attractions/infatuations occur. Twice in my year with italki. The first kinda spiraled out of control but since she was in Colombia and the covid prohibited travel, I finally ended it before it became too toxic.  Now, my Brazilian physicist wants me to meet her in the US this summer while she studies in Louisiana for six months. Our nearly forty year age gap doesn’t seem to bother her.

All in all I’ve never enjoyed a job so much. I intend to continue with italki for as long as I’m able. Who wouldn’t want to be paid for learning about the ways of the world?

those few disappointing cases I decided not to write a review. The reason being that I didn’t want my dashed expectations to dissuade someone else from renting the space. Especially, if most other reviews were positive. My needs are different than most guests. Who am I to say this is a bad place because I feel like I’m in a cave. Others may like it that way. And the poor lighting certainly helps hide the stains on the couch and the peeling paint on the walls.

Minute 52: Trump’s Lasting Legacy: The Exposer

I’m not saying that trump walked around in a trench coat flashing women and children, but anything is possible. No, I’m talking about what he exposed about American people.  And it’s ugly.

His words gave the racists, anarchists, the angry the permission, basically, to act on everything they had been suppressing for so many years. We all knew these types were a cancer, but quit paying attention as they had largely been benign for so long. Not any more.

Since the beginning of the Obama administration, republicans in congress have had only two objectives. To stop anything democrats want and lower taxes for the rich. Trump exposed a third. That they have no limits on what they will accept to stay in power. No behavior is too extreme, too immoral, too anything negative. And their lack of fortitude should terrify everyone.

The question that remains is, now that the evil genie is out of the bottle, can it be put back in? It won’t be easy. It might be impossible.

The first volume will contain Minutes 1-50 which means it is a short read. There will be a new volume every 50 recorded minutes.

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