in the middle

This week represented the mundane middle of language learning.

I had no particularly high highs, no depressingly low lows. I acted mostly in accordance with my ISP and did the things I was supposed to do. I met with my language mentor twice, and completed the homework he'd given to me. I studied vocabulary, listened to music, and read the newspaper. While my weekend didn't live up to my expectations, the rest of the week was just fine.

This middle ground is a sort of tough place to be. When things are humming along well, motivation is high and progress is easy to see. When things get bad, it can be a kick in the pants to get back on track. But being in the middle can feel a little . . . mediocre. . . and it's easy to get stuck in a rut.

One place where I did find a little bit of motivation was outside of the study of the language itself. I had dinner with another Luganda learner (!). He is a friend's husband, and he lives in Uganda full-time. He just happened to be passing through Madison. It turns out that we share a language mentor, and so we got to talking about working with him. Through that conversation, we started to talk about our overall approach to language learning, and to imagine ways that we might support one another in the future.

I am excited to share what I have learned through the Multilanguage Seminar with him, and I plan to send him my ISP as well as some documentation that he might be able to use as a resource. Though he is at a more advanced level of proficiency than I am, I think that some planning materials might help him quite a bit.

I'm also excited to see where our collaboration might lead. We discussed joining one another's sessions with our language mentor on occasion, which might be a fun way to mix it up. We also discussed leaning on each other for tips about how to get the most out of our mentoring sessions. But there are many other options that we could pursue together. Regardless, it's always great to know another learner, and to have the opportunity to go to them for ideas or with questions.

This week, I hope to keep up with my work like I did the week before. But I also hope to feel a little bit more inspired by it than I did this week.


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