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Showing posts from April, 2016

keeping my commitments

This week was an okay one for me - another week of busy event planning and life seemingly getting in the way of my studies. This past weekend I was host to a bachelorette party near Charlottesville, Virginia, and was responsible for the details of bringing 10 girls together in a rural farmhouse for a weekend full of activities. After the previous week's event planning, needless to say, I was pretty tired and feeling stressed about how much time I was putting in to my studies.

I persevered through the time pressure of this week using many of the strategies I've already discussed in this blog - finding small chunks of time to study, scheduling time into my daily calendar, and trying to keep focused on the why of the language study in order to maintain motivation. I also realized that another strategy that I've been using - and really relied on this week - was putting pressure on myself to keep my commitments to myself and to others.

I am one of those people who hates not fol…

one of *those* weeks

I knew that this past week was going to be a tough one for language study, and I even alluded to that in my previous blog post. Looking ahead to the conference I was planning, I knew that Friday and Saturday would be mostly off the table for Luganda study.

However, throughout the course of the past year, I have learned many tricks for dealing with fitting language study into busy weeks. I tried to implement as many of these as possible as I planned for my week. I set aside time Monday through Thursday dedicated to language study, and I moved my appointment with my language mentor to Wednesday to ensure I would still be able to practice with him. I decided that I would do the best I could do with the time resources I had.

That basically sums up the week - I feel like I did the best I could do. I did a lot of Quizlet on my phone as I waited for buses, I kept up with my studying early in the week, according to my scheduling. Unfortunately, my language mentor forgot about our meeting on W…

animal week!

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Ask any of my friends - I'm more than a little obsessed with animals, and I always have been. I'm always on the lookout for a creature nearby, and I'm known for shouting out the names of animals as I see them. I aspire to be a real birdwatcher (though I don't think I really have the patience for it), and petting zoos are my idea of heaven.

So you can imagine that this week, the week I finally started learning animal vocabulary, was a particularly motivating one for me.
Indeed, I spent a lot of time on Quizlet practicing animal vocabulary. But despite my high level of motivation, for some reason, I really have been struggling with it! Time and time again I'd get to elephant (or bird, or ant, or warthog) and completely forget the word.


To help move myself past this roadblock, I've been trying to make associations between the vocabulary word and its meaning. For example, the word for camel eng'amira includes the Arabic word for princess, amira, and I associate…

Back to the grind, again

After my week in Guatemala, I started off the week feeling pretty motivated to push my Luganda forward.

The way that that motivation translated for me in the last week was mostly just hard-nosed practice. My language mentor usually sends me a couple of exercises to do in advance of our Friday sessions. I had missed doing one week's worth of them because he sent them to me while I was in the middle of funeral-related events. And then, over spring break, he sent me more. Not just one or two exercises more, but like six or seven. I'm not sure what inspired him to send me so many! Whatever the reason, there was a substantial backlog to do.

I used those exercises as the main focus of my studying last week, in addition to the usual Quizlet and radio listening routine.

For one exercise, I was asked to translate a rather long story from English into Luganda. I did about 75% of the story before realizing that -- OOPS -- I'd been using the wrong past tense throughout. So, I re-wrote…