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Issue #014 -- Week 11/08/14-17/08/14
August 19, 2014

Greetings and General Information

First of all, welcome to our new subscribers! I wish you find My English Club fun and instructive and I look forward to welcome you as a new valued member soon. Read, learn and communicate around the world!

You and your friends can subscribe individually through the form on My English Club . If anybody mentions to you that they are interested in receiving it, please tell them this - many thanks. Also, they can read the previous issues on Back Issues for English Corner E-zine .

Recently I received a request from my website hosting company to supply a postal address or a contact page on my website, in a worldwide quest for reducing spam. I added a contact page on the website, however... please be aware that I cannot check the post I receive at that address currently. Those of you who wish to write me a postcard or a hand-written letter (which I love to receive, by the way), should direct them to the second address - the one at Al Yamamah University, where I shall be posted starting this week, around Wednesday 20 August.

Those of you who don't know of the change of plan - my switching from the opportunity of working in China for another year to the original plan of working in Saudi Arabia starting next week, please read Issue 012 of our e-zine and I hope you'll find that self-explanatory. It's sad but it's done, so life must go on in this direction now.

11 - 17 August 2014 - Finally, some Breaking News

This is the point in time which sets the boundary between the past and the future – this is the newsletter announcing receipt of my visa for Saudi Arabia and my flight ticket for tomorrow, to arrive in Riyadh on Thursday morning, as opposed to returning to China, as per my plan until exactly 3 weeks ago, on Monday 28 July. If you remember, I was told then that the job I wanted to undertake in China was not available anymore in spite of the contract having been offered to me previously.

Without going into the emotional details about this move, I will just briefly say that I was disappointed on two fronts:

On the work side, with people who don’t do what they say, or say what they do will always end up messing things up, both for themselves and for the people around them. This is dangerous and you should avoid it as much as you can, even if people around you operate this way. Once you’ve learnt how to achieve this, please teach this skill to others, especially your kids and your colleagues. The more you’re able to sustain this, the more you’ll approach the western way of living and working.

On the other hand, given my negotiations with this company, and being convinced that I was going to return to Suzhou, I didn’t cancel my rental contract on the apartment and I left some of my things in there, as my rent was paid until the 7th of August. However, when my friend and your colleague Lavender kindly offered to talk to my landlady and tell her about the change of plan a couple of days before that date, we figured out that my room had already been rented out and the landlady would not release my things until I paid an extra 200 RMB to cover bills for electricity, water and Internet. The fact that she gets to keep my deposit of 900 RMB and that I only used one week of my last month (paid in full) apparently is not satisfactory enough to her. In my culture the deposit is usually kept to cover for damages and unpaid bills at the end of the tenancy, but the mistake was mine, for not checking that this is so in China as well. Having to deal with this last hassle on top of everything else that went on this summer just about topped my glass badly, so I decided to give up the idea of retrieving my things and add this to the category of my bad experiences in China. It's sad, but it's positive if it goes into the 'learnt lessons' pot.

And the conclusion of all this is that one must carefully select the people one wants and can deal with in a harmonious and efficient way. This is a dear subject to me, which I will touch upon at some point in the future, as well as in my writings later on. You keep reading and you'll find it.

Now Let Us Look at the Bright Future Ahead!

I feel this is a good point to draw the line by leaving the above in the past and stepping into the future with a positive outlook. I’m aware this may sound a little bit harsh, since all of you my friends, my students are still over there, dealing with problems and people like the ones I described above and in my past issues of our newsletter. You may think: ‘it’s all very well for you to think this, as you’re free to do what you wish, outside of the restrictions of our society’.

However, that’s a loser’s viewpoint, and it belongs to people who don’t believe in their capacity to step forward with a positive outlook, as I’m proposing. I dare you all to prove to me and to yourselves indeed, that you can do this and that you can progress not only in your studying of English, but also in your way of thinking - I invite you to start showing us all that you can.

I will support your progress in a planned and calculated way. I propose we set up a programme in which you would use your English ‘on the go’, based on your interest for your career advancement. Time has come to apply the idea we discussed before (see Issue 006 and Issue 007 of our e-zine) about teaching and learning how to use the Internet to set up our own work or business online.

This will apply to those of you who are advanced enough to understand the language and out of this category only those of you who can actually take action will carry on and achieve something worthwhile. Here I refer to one of the downside aspects of the Chinese character, but please excuse my generalisation. This is not just a Chinese trait - it applies to many other people as well and it's not a characteristic of all the Chinese people, so read this carefully and decide for yourselves which kind of person you are individually. I refer to the tendency of really, 'really' wanting to do something and then never taking the right or the sustained action in order to reach the goal you target.

You can give me any excuses you wish, but I won’t take any of those seriously. You can tell me you don’t have the time to sit down and learn and I’ll tell you that I learnt the same courses in my free time, while working for a salary; you can tell me that you’re not technical enough to understand this and I’ll tell you that neither am I!

To put it bluntly… I will only teach you something I taught myself and I’ll give you the tools I’m using myself, as you can see on my websites. The only difference between us is that I had a better command of English when I started to learn and all the way through than you have, so I needed less time than you will need to understand and get to use this knowledge and your newly acquired skills. However, once you get it, it’s yours for life, unless you choose not to practice these skills, in which case you’ll forget – just like it happens with English or any other language.

For those of you who are beginners in English, and indeed for anybody else who needs these aspects, we shall have a course on pronunciation and one in grammar – the communicative grammar I was on about during our social clubs at Web.

I propose for these courses to start in September and to last for (roughly) the duration of the coming academic year. I shall use the issue of the last week of August for the admin aspect for these courses, outlining the contents and signing up the students.

The reason for this is because I intend these courses to have an element of reading and learning in the beginning, when you will ‘sit back and take it all in’, but also a second part of practically applying the knowledge you’ve acquired, when you will actually build your own empire of English for work and fun and for this you'd need to subscribe, so I can track your progress and give you feedback on it.

This Is It, My Friends!

I wish you all a great week ahead and I look forward to embark on our future adventure together! Have fun in the meanwhile, as always!
And, last but not least: keep in touch, my friends!

Lucia da Vinci

Founder of My English Club

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