Happenence is not a word you will find in the dictionary
Happenence is a company, owned by Catherine Oughtibridge, registered in England and Wales, paying tax to Her Majesty’s government. Its official purpose is teaching English. If you are interested in classes or wish to discuss English language teaching, then email me. I teach a limited number of students: predominantly adults who need English for the development of their careers, who live in Latin America. Classes are typically online, on a long-term basis. Communication is a collaboration.
That said, Happenence as a virtual place, as a concept, as an ongoing part of my life, is more than a service of language classes. Here you can find some stories about my travels, my thoughts on the education industry, my ideas about language learning, and some indulgent writing about the books I love.
Whoever you are, whether English is your first or second language, whether you share my genes, have worked with me, studied with me, struck up conversation with me on a park bench once upon a time, or are someone I have yet to meet, I invite you to explore, reflect and ask questions. Learning is not a linear process. Nor is building a friendship.
Mine is a nomadic life
Happenence existed long before the business came into being, long before I began teaching English. This is where I’ve been writing my thoughts for over a decade, and for much of that time I’ve lived out of a suitcase. Chile, Italy and Spain feel like second homes. I have very precious memories of farm life in France, teaching in Poland and Romania and visiting friends in Germany and Finland. I frequently find myself in my pyjamas in someone else’s kitchen making pancakes.
Sometimes what I write can be upsetting; sometimes I write about trauma
Trauma was a catalyst that changed my life, changed my brain, and the therapy that followed changed how I live. Trauma leaves invisible scars that last a lifetime.
‘Never talk about relationships, politics or religion’ I was told during one of my English teaching courses, but inevitably if my students work, study or live in a foreign culture, they are going to need to talk about exactly these subjects. Imagine if I’d been living in Chile October 2019 but unable to speak about the collective trauma rippling through the society, afraid to ask questions as soldiers appeared on the streets and placed us under curfew?
As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.Ernest Hemingway, On Writing
I write an occasional newsletter
If you want to keep updated with what is going on in this whole Happenence wonderland, I do occasionally send out emails. My mother always gets excited when these emails come through. Sometimes they include pretty pictures.
But I also write letters (albeit in email form)
You might want to write to me. Or send me presents, like the wonderful lady who sent me a box of tarot cards after I wrote about having my cards read. If you make the time to write me a proper email, I’m almost certain to send you one back. Effort is reciprocated.
I hope your experience here is worthwhile. Certainly, writing these pages has enriched my life.
Welcome to my Happenence,
P.S. Whilst some names, dates and locations are changed to protect the identities of people I love, the essence is all true.
P.P.S. You can only improve by taking on feedback. Feedback for me is like pollen for the bees. If you have some to give, please don’t be afraid of offending me.