Saturday, January 29, 2011

Will You Teach Me?

The worst feeling in the world is desperately wanting to learn something and having nowhere to learn it or no one to help you learn it.  I don't know where I would be today without the Internet.  There is so much that you can learn from it, almost anything.  Just type it in and whatever you want to know is only seconds away.  Can you imagine if you had to go to a library or search for the answer to almost every question you had?  I know one thing is for sure and that is that I would not know nearly as much as I do today, not because I wouldn't be interested, but because it would take so much extra effort to find out.  "Nickapedia" would not be the great source of information that it is today! haha

As most of you who read this blog know, I have been very excited to find out that I was able to take inburgeringscursus after thinking that I was not allowed.  I was looking forward to this so much, finally some much needed direction and help with Dutch...something that cannot unfortunately be found on the Internet like most things... Anyway, I was supposed to receive an invitation form Gemeente Haarlem so we could discuss which class would be right for me.  Well the invitation never came so I decided to call them again yesterday.  The woman that I spoke with on the phone then basically told me that I was not allowed to take the classes because I was a kennismigrant (knowledge migrant) and my residency status was listed as tijdelijk (temporary.)  I told her that I know I don't have to take the courses but I wanted to because I wanted to speak Dutch better.  I also told her that I have no idea how long I will be staying in Holland so I would like to learn.  She told me it was not an option and that the Gemeente would not pay for it.  I was so mad because the person I talked to before said it was okay and no one every called me back saying that I would not receive an invitation.

Needless to I was really disappointed and upset when I got off the phone.  I should have been at least a little happy because this entire conversation happened in Dutch but I just could not be happy and the moment and I could kinda tell the woman was dumbing things down for me while one the phone.  My day was pretty much shot after that, I ended up staring at my computer screen for about 15 to 20 minutes not even touching the keyboard or mouse.  Lunch was right around the corner and I really did not feel like sitting in front of everyone being all depressed and upset, hearing them all speaking in Dutch would have made things much worse anyway.  So I decided that I just needed to go home so I left work, drove home, and just worked from home for the rest of the day.  I did not know what I was going to to, the regular Dutch language classes the you pay for had already started (or so I thought) and the next classes would not be offered until September!  What was I going to do, there is no way that I would have been able to take it for that much longer.  These thought were running through my mind all day.

Later in the day my boss called me to see what was wrong (I previously sent an email to him and my team before I left work saying that I got some bad news and had to go home, I just could not concentrate on work.)  He was relieved that my family was okay and was a bit surprised about my reasoning.  Then after I explained a bit I think he finally understood.  I have been asking and asking him what PPG could do for me in the way of Dutch training, he keeps saying that he is going to find out but never does.  Now maybe he will see that this really is effecting me in a really negative way.  He said he is going to check for me on Monday, and I hope this time he really dose.

He and so many other people keep telling me that I should not worry and that I am learning fast, but that is not the point, it could be a lot faster and cause me a lot less heartache if I had organized lessons.  Like just last week I met a woman who has only lived in Holland for six months and her Dutch was way better than mine because she had classes.  Now I know I can take the classes on my own and not worry about having PPG arrange it, I was actually going to do that this January but did not because I thought I was going to be able to do inburgering.  The other thing is that Dutch people just don't understand.  They all say the same thing, "you don't need Dutch, English is just fine."  And it is true if you wanted to have a very unfulfilling life and live each day just by getting by and understanding nothing around you then yes, you do not need Dutch, but it you want more, Dutch is a must!  Now that I can handle some things in Dutch, I can certainly notice that people treat you way better than they do if you were to be speaking English.  Not that Dutch people are rude to English people, I would just say they are passive towards them.

Last night, Sammy mentioned that Volksuniversiteit did not start classes until 7 Feb. and that I could probably do the intake test next week.  I do plan on checking it out next week, but I've already been to their website and they only mention taking the intake exam last September!  So I don't really even know if this is going to work out either.

So we now get to the subject, will you teach me?, of this blog entry.  I am desperate at this point.  If anyone is willing to sit and help me, I would be very grateful, I would even pay you if you wanted.  I need help and there is only so much that I can learn on my own.  I don't care what you want to teach me, I will sit listen and learn everything that you will tell me.  I am getting to the end of my rope, if I don't find some way to start seriously learning faster and in a more organized way, as much as I would rather not at this point, I might start looking for another job back in Pittsburgh.

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