My Classes Are Helping Me So Much

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It has been 4 weeks since I’ve start my online Spanish course and it has been helping me a lot. Not just with learning Spanish, but just keeping me sane!

With no job on the horizon, I really had to keep busy doing something, and because now I HAVE to get up, it’s has helped me a lot! If I didn’t have my classes I know I would be getting up at 10 or half 10am, and although it’s not late, I can’t sleep at night when I wake up late in the morning. I would dread waking up in the morning and thinking “Another day of doing absolutely nothing”, and that would just set me up for a bad day.

Second reason is that I get homework from both of my teachers, and although it doesn’t take that long to do, it’s something to do! Plus I enjoy the homework because it’s reinforcing what I studied that day.

And finally…. I’m doing something.

That to me is the most important thing. I’m improving myself. I really really want to be able to be fluent in the language. I want to prove to myself that I can do it; that if I put the effort into it then one day I will be able to do the Spanish language exam (DELE) C1 and pass it with flying colours, maybe even become totally native and get C2!

I put so much effort into my one year course that I just completed and I got 98%, 99% and 100% in all of my modules, and I’m proud of myself because I really did put so much effort into the year. I know myself that I’m not gifted in school and that’s ok, but during that year I really wanted to do well and prove to myself that if I put the hard work in then I will be rewarded.

When I got my results it showed me that if I put the effort in then I will do well, or reasonably well anyway, so that’s why I really want to study hard, go to my online classes, take private classes, and just dedicate myself to the language. For the moment anyway. I’m not sure what I will be doing in September but for the moment my goal is to study Spanish.

So….the fact I’m doing something and not making me go literally crazy is my main reason!

I’ve been annoyed at myself for the past two weeks as I seem to making silly mistakes while speaking, but I think it’s just that my mind is getting all muddled up with all this new grammar and new vocabulary that it’s just taking my brain a while to process it all… so hopefully I’ll start seeing improvements soon.

But apart from that I know 100% that the classes are helping me and I’m going to try and keep taking them for as long as possible!

Aisling

Keeping Busy During The Pandemic

Like millions of others, it’s hard to keep busy during this Coronavirus Pandemic. My College is still sending me assignments to do, so I’ve been trying to keep up with those. Two weeks ago I was very relaxed about the whole assignment thing. I kept thinking ‘I’ve loads of time to get them done, I’ll do something small everyday and I’ll get it all done… there’s no rush at all’.

Then April came and I realised ‘My exams are starting the end of this month!’  The lack of structure to the days kind of messed me up and I just didn’t really notice the days going by.

Plus all day yesterday I thought it was Monday so I kept thinking I have a whole week to do loads of assignments. It wasn’t until I went to bed that night and checked my phone that I realised it was Tuesday! So that annoyed me because it’s now the middle of the week!

It was my birthday last week, and for my 30th birthday my husband got me the new Animal Crossing Switch Game!

I love it!

A few months ago he showed me a video of it and to be honest I wasn’t too fussed on it. I’ve never played any of the old ones so I didn’t really understand what it was all about. But then I started looking at more videos and I decided then that it did look good after all. So thankfully he got it for me and I’ve been playing it sporadically throughout the day. He has been helping me catch fish, insects and everything like that while I’ve been doing my assignments.

It’s fantastic for helping pass the time, and I love all the villagers in it too. So I’ve been enjoying the game for the past week, while trying to do some college work too.

With regards to exams, I’m pretty sure they will all be online. I don’t understand how they will manage it though, because I know they have to change the format of some of them. So I’ll have to wait and see what our teachers email.

But, I’m still bored though. I’m bored but I know I shouldn’t be because I’ve plenty of work to be doing. I feel bad for being bored!

Aisling

No More College??!

So, with all this Coronavirus, my college, and like every school across Ireland is closed for 2 weeks, at least!

At the beginning my teachers were saying that the college might close, and I was thinking “Oh I really doubt that.”

Then they started talking about how we would do exams if the college closed. My teacher said that she would have to send the paper online and give us a time to do it at home. She was saying that she hopes we wouldn’t cheat, but there are a few in my class that would definitely do that, so she added ” It would be very suspicious if I saw everyone get 100%!” But here we are, with the reality being that I may never have class again!

I was driving on Thursday and all of a sudden on the radio I heard that all colleges and schools are closed from 6pm that day until the 29th of March. We were supposed to have 2 weeks off from the 6th of April, then back for exams which were supposed to be held the first week of May, but I think at this rate all that is up in the air now.

It was all quite sudden, so now my teachers have been emailing us stuff to make sure that we do and email them. I still have about 6/7 assignments do, so I will have to do them and email them to my teachers.

Some may think it’s great not having college, but I would much rather go in. I like college, and I know I’m going to be bored stiff because I’m sure the government will want us to stay in as much as we can.

I think it’s good that the government shut all the schools though. I think the first death made them take this action. Unfortunately the schools in Northern Ireland are still open so it’s not ideal taking two different actions on the same island.

And now everyone here is panic buying, which is not good! I haven’t gone into the shops but I’ve seen plenty of pictures of lines of people waiting to pay in places like Tesco, Lidl and Aldi. I think this is just selfish and they need to think of the people who can’t go to the shops everyday, like the elderly, or parents who have babies. My Mum told me that she read online that there was a parent who couldn’t find baby formula because it was all gone.

I know people panic, and even when I heard all these people were buying loads of toilet paper, I started thinking “oh god well we better go and buy loads”, but the News is saying that there is PLENTY of food and it won’t run out. So I relaxed a bit when I saw that.

So people have become very selfish now.

Nobody knows what will happen these next few weeks, but I hope we all don’t go mad being stuck inside!

Aisling

 

 

 

 

I had to turn down an interview

Since I arrived in Ireland last May, I’ve applied for countless jobs. Even when I started my course I continued to apply. I haven’t heard back from any of them which is disappointing, so I was surprised when I received an email from a company in Dublin which I applied for a few days ago.

I actually forgot I applied to them and I was wracking my head thinking about it. There was a similar job I applied for and I thought it was that one but with a different company, which I thought ‘Sure why would they change their name thats a bit strange.’ I researched further and I finally found the position!

It was for a company in Dublin which gives TEFL courses and sends teachers all around the world to teach English, so it was exactly like the internship that I first did with a company in 2013. It was a ‘Student Services Advisor’ to the students that would head off to other countries then and teach for a semester. For once I actually felt I had all what they wanted, plus I also had experience doing those online TEFL courses and I, myself went to China with an internship company.

So I got a phone call during college yesterday and I didn’t answer because the number was from Wales! I thought ‘No way I’m not answering that, I don’t know anyone from there and I’m pretty sure it’s a scam.’

So I let it ring out.

Then later I saw on WhatsApp that I got a message from Indeed saying I have a message. I thought ‘God that’s weird, I NEVER get these.’ So I clicked into it and I found that it was an employer from the company explaining that they tried to ring but there was no answer (oops) and that they want to set up an interview for me.

W.H.A.T??????

Did I just read that right??

An. Interview….

Well, this is definitely new to me!

They asked if I could give them a ring to organise it so I rang later that day. The man wasn’t there but he would ring me tomorrow.

I wanted to ask him when the job would start, because I wouldn’t finish my college course until May, and this job was permanent and full time, so I was pretty sure they would be hiring before that date.

So he rang me and I asked him when the position would start, and unfortunately it was starting in February.

So I explained to him that I have college until May so I don’t think I would be able to go for an interview. (The interview was in Dublin and I would have had to spend the day there and miss college) I explained how grateful I was and if they would be hiring in the summer. He replied that he doesn’t know yet but he would keep my CV because he said I have the necessary experience needed for the job. He was very nice and he understood that I couldn’t leave college right now.

I emailed to thank him again, because I really am grateful for even considering me! I never heard anything from any other jobs, and this one was the only one that considered me. I’m grateful for even that.

And it was a job that I would have liked, and from what I saw I actually have experience, for once!

It is a shame but sure I suppose I just can’t leave college at the moment; I only have just over 3 months left, I’m putting the effort in and I want to get my cert at the end of it. I hope that they will have another opening in the future, but I’m happy that they saw something in me.

I always thought my time in China was a waste; I don’t get any replies from any job I apply for, not even from Starbucks or an assistant for a pharmacy. But this interview offer made me realise that at least for that company I actually did have the relevant experience.

Aisling

Finished Until Next Year

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The past few days I had three exams; one was about Cabin Crew and it was a mock one until the real one in May, then another was Cabin Crew Operations which had similar questions to the one I did the previous day, and then yesterday I had Tourism Principles and Practices, so all about theory. We were given 1 hour to do each one and I was rushing to finish both of them.

On Tuesday after the Cabin Crew one, one of my classmates asked me after it “Which questions did you do?” I was like “What? Sure we had to do them all!”.

“No! We could choose two to do!”

Now I know why I was rushing while everyone else was leaving early! I was scribbling and scribbling and I was wondering why everyone was finished before me! I was thinking maybe I’m just a very slow writer or something. I just about got all the questions done but that’s what I get for not reading the top of the page. The teacher never mentioned being able to choose which ones to do so I just presumed to do them all. I didn’t read anything on top of the page because I was just mad to get going! God knows if she’ll be able to read the answers towards the end of the booklet because I really was just scribbling!

The last exam was fine but again I was still rushing. I got a couple of minutes to read through everything again but I really feel she should give us more time to write everything down. I feel I did fine in all of them but I made the mistake of looking at the answers for the first exam and I started thinking ‘Oh…. I don’t think I wrote that down…. oh no I don’t think I wrote that one down either!’ So I decided to stop doing that because at that rate I would begin to imagine I didn’t write anything down!

I’m off now until January the 6th I think, but I’ve two essays to do and I have to prepare a Powerpoint Presentation, so it’s not all relaxing for me. I also have to get a few more Christmas presents so I’ll have to do that the next few days.

And the flu that I mentioned in my last post is 100% gone now, but I’ve a lingering cough which just won’t go away. I’ve been coughing up a lot of phlegm so I think my body is trying to get rid of that. It’s very annoying though because it’s constant. I do feel a bit of a difference this morning but I think It’ll take another couple of days for the cough to go.

Once I’m better for Christmas that’s the most important thing!

Aisling

Catching the Flu

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I don’t know the last time I got the flu, it was years ago anyway. I even forgot what the symptoms were! Until now that is!

Last week on Tuesday night I slept terribly; I was shivery, I had a headache and just couldn’t sleep well. Then on Wednesday during class I just didn’t feel right at all. Again I was shivery, had a bad headache, tired, and I just wasn’t well. I was thinking I was getting a cold but I’ve had enough of them to know that these weren’t the right symptoms.

So anyway I was delighted when Thursday came and I was better again! I even went to the Belfast Christmas Market with my husband, my sister and her fiancé. We got home at about 10pm and I had a great evening there. I had mulled wine and it was delicious! I’ll definitely have to learn how to make that!

So Friday I woke up and again I was fine. I didn’t have college that day so I was going to clean the mobile home and do a bit of a an essay that I had. But at about 9am I just started feeling iffy. I went over to Mum and said to her that I was going to lie down for a while because I just felt like I was getting worse. I got into bed at 10:30am and that was that!

The flu hit me so hard then! I was shivering constantly, my head was in bits, my body was all achy even my lungs were sore. I just felt absolutely terrible. I realised that what I have isn’t a cold but it must be a flu. I tried to sleep but I just couldn’t.

I was just so shocked at how fast I declined. When I got up on Friday I was fine, I got dressed and everything. But then once I got to bed I stayed there the whole day, I couldn’t even manage to take my jeans off me.

From Friday to about Monday I literally stayed in bed and didn’t do anything. I was just so weak it felt like I didn’t sleep for days. I was hobbling around with my achy body, feeling dizzy and just drained. One night I slept for 10 hours and I STILL felt drained and tired. I wasn’t able to go to college Monday or Tuesday but thankfully on Wednesday I felt a big difference. I was afraid in case I just wouldn’t be able to concentrate or do anything, but when I went in I didn’t have that drained out feeling so I was able to do a bit of work that day. But honestly I just felt terrible. And the thing is you can’t do anything about it but let it run it’s course.

By Tuesday I really was getting annoyed; I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do my exams that I have next week, that I won’t be able to go to college and I will miss loads, and I’ll be stuck feeling dreadful and tired for weeks. I knew all I could do is rest but I felt even resting wasn’t helping the flu to go. Usually with a cold you feel yourself getting better each day, but with the flu everyday was the exact same, I felt I was never getting any better.

I kind of thought that the flu was the same as a cold but worse. Oh how I know the truth now! It’s crazy though how Thursday I felt great, even going to Belfast! I did read though that there is like a delayed reaction with the flu. Now I’m more aware of the symptoms and that I definitely do not want to get it again!

‘Your health is your wealth’ is something I say, and it really is. I wish I had loads of money, but this past week taught me that even if I was a millionaire it still wouldn’t have helped me with that flu I had.

And it also made me think about getting the flu vaccine for next winter!

Aisling

 

 

Work Experience Week 1

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A posted here that I had to do 2 weeks of work experience related to customer service for my course, and I was worried that I wouldn’t get anywhere. Thankfully the hotel where my sister works accepted me to do the 2 weeks so I started there last Monday. And I have to say…. It was the LONGEST week of my entire life!

I don’t even know why!! It just dragged. I woke up on Wednesday and my heart dropped when I realised that it was only Wednesday, and that I had another 2 days to do. I work 9-5 Monday to Friday so during the week it’s quiet, so that is probably why it just seemed to drag. Then on Friday it was mad because a lot were checking in for the weekend. I work as a receptionist there.

The first day I really didn’t do much at all. The other receptionist did everything and I just kind of looked and listened to her, so that day was rather long!

Tuesday the front house manager was in and he got stuck into showing me things and getting me to practice how to use the hotel operating system. I never answered the phone but he was in the office talking to another person and to my HORROR the phone rang! I was looking at it thinking “Oh god I don’t want to answer it!” I ran into where he was and he was still talking and I thought “Oh I better answer it!” So I did and I was so nervous! I forget what the phone call was about and I probably didn’t have a clue what to say but I did it anyway. The front house manager came out to me and he said he was very surprised that I answered it on my second day. He trained other people and they didn’t answer it at all during their first week. He said that they just let it ring!

Now the only reason I answered it was because there was literally no one else to do it, so I felt I had to! I thought that if a person came over to the desk and there’s me standing next to a ringing phone then it wouldn’t look good. So for the past few days I was answering phones and usually passing it on to another receptionist or just asking them to call back. I successfully reserved a room for a lady though which I was so happy about. Usually I get flustered but I calmed down and took all her details and the room type and everything so when I put the phone down the manager came out and he said I did very well. Apparently he was listening in the office.

But if anyone who has worked with the Opera system in a hotel knows how difficult it is to use. This is the system that the hotel uses and it’s just so complicated. I can’t describe how hard it is, but I was shocked at the amount of things I have to learn. The special rates for rooms, special rates for different businesses, how to do multiple bookings in one persons name, printing out VAT receipts, loads of different billing payments for the different ways that people booked such as through booking.com, expedia.com, companies who pay their employees to stay at the hotel. The list is really endless! I thought it would be much simpler!

So for the past week I’ve been trying to get my head around the system but it’s very difficult. And the thing is If someone asks about something specific I can’t even try and guess because I’ll get it wrong. You either know it or you don’t, which made me feel very helpless.

Simple things I didn’t know, like what food is served in the restaurant, what time the gym closes at, but I’m slowly learning the basics of the job.

On Friday I learned how to book taxis and even that isn’t straightforward. I was trying to call a local taxi and it just wasn’t working. So I had to ask one of the receptionists and she said “Oh you have to put 9 at the beginning of the number”. Like how could I have known that!? Something simple like calling a number and I needed help.

I’ve another week to do and I really do wish that it was only for 1 week! It’s just so long and I actually miss going to school! I’ve learned a lot and met some lovely people but I’d rather go back to school now. I don’t get paid which doesn’t help!

I realise that I am good at talking to guests and I do have good people skills, but I’ve also realised how much I don’t know, that receptionists have to put up with a lot of sh*t from guests, and they really should be paid more than what they do. (I’ll talk about that in another post)

I hope next week goes faster and before I know it it will be 5 o clock on Friday!

Aisling