the library books

When we visited the library last term, I picked up a stack of Luganda grammar books. The next day, I lugged them all to Colectivo and opened one after the other. And... they were completely useless to me. I felt lost on the first page of each of them. While they laid grammar rules out relatively simply, the books were definitely not written for a brand new beginner without a linguistic background.

The books ended up back on my shelf at home, rarely to be looked at. I returned them at the end of the semester with the knowledge they'd be there when I needed them.

This week, I decided it was time. I returned to Memorial Library, searched through the stacks, and walked away with even more Luganda books than I'd picked up in September.

Snuggled up on my couch, I cracked open the first book anxiously, hoping that this time, the grammar writing would make some sense to me. Miraculously, it did! I flipped through a couple chapters, reviewing concepts and deepening my knowledge. Compared to a few months ago, Luganda grammar felt so much more accessible to me. Hopefully, that's a reflection of the work I've been putting in to my studies.

Today I was working on some practice sentences that my language mentor created for me, and I was stumped. I was supposed to be translating sentences like "They sell them (books) every day," and "I climbed it (the hill) last week." Up to this point, the sentence structure I'd worked on had been very basic: "I work at the university," "She cooks beans," etc. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the name for the grammatical concept I needed to learn. So I started flipping through my library books until I figured it out: Direct objects! Of course. I had obviously dealt with them in French and Spanish, and once I remembered what I was doing, I was all set. Those library books are finally serving their purpose for me.

I continue to be grateful for my language mentor's steadiness and patience. This week, I had a lingering migraine during our regular check-in, so my 8:00 AM brain was even more hampered than usual. My mentor coached me through the places I was struggling, and helped put me at ease so that I was focused on learning, and not how silly I probably sounded. Even though I was not at my best, I left our session feeling good for putting in the effort.

So, this week has been a good one. I can feel myself growing. Not only is my ability to communicate improving, but my independent study skills and daily prioritization are becoming more habitual, more natural. I obviously still have a long way to go, but the satisfaction I am getting from steady progress makes that distance feel less scary, and more exciting.

And, finally, I have a use for all those library books!


  1. Hi Lauren:

    I am not sure how helpful any of these will be, if at all, but after clicking on the link to your blog, Facebook recommended this video to me, and it seems like it's part of a multi-lesson series:

  2. Thanks Kathryn! Yes, this is the series that published a grammar guide and dictionary midway through last semester that I was so excited about. So far, these guys have had the most accessible learning resources I've seen yet. Thanks for sending along!


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