This past week has been a reset of my Luganda learning activities. First weeks of school are always a little strange - trying to figure out the rhythms of a new schedule, making decisions about to organize time, resetting habits. All of those things were a major part of my week, and had an impact on my Luganda studies.

First of all, in order to figure out what would work best with my schedule, I did not meet with my language mentor during the week. (Unfortunately, we were supposed to begin our lessons today, but the internet cafe where he was had Skype problems, so we were not able to meet today, either. I am disappointed to miss the time with him right when I want to be ramping up, but there is not much I can do. We'll be meeting this coming Wednesday, and hopefully later in the week as well.)

Secondly, I spent time planning and re-envisioning my ISP, working to reset it thoughtfully and in line with my goals. Of course, the time I set aside for ISP development was time I was not able to spend on language learning (though I'm certain it will help me be more effective in the long run!). I sat down for two hours on Thursday, in an effort to be very deliberate and thoughtful about my ISP, trying to push myself to be more creative and more precise in my plans. I'm not sure how much of that work is visible in the final document, but the point is that I worked hard to be real with myself about every piece of my learning strategy for the semester ahead. I also tried to integrate some of the ideas from our class's check-in conversation earlier in the week. We discussed the value of using proficiency standards from the very beginning of our studies. So, I tried to refer to the ACTFL standards more carefully when developing my ISP, so that I can focus my work at the right level.

Finally, I started back up with my daily Luganda work. This past week, I spent lots of time on Quizlet working on vocabulary on a daily basis. I listened to the radio for an extended period of time on Wednesday night, trying to carefully tune in when the hosts came on to discuss news. On Thursday I read a couple of newspaper articles from Bukedde, and on Friday I watched several news segments from Bukedde TV on Youtube. The weekend was difficult, as I traveled to Chicago to see some friends traveling from New York, and also joined the Women's March there, but I tried to get in at least a couple of rounds of vocab practice on my Quizlet app.

After the non-school events that took place on Friday (aka Inauguration Day), and some of the news items today, I am a bit worried about how I'm going to balance anxiety/a desire to take action with my academic responsibilities and goals. I guess today I've just felt particularly overwhelmed and sad and angry and unfocused, and it distracted me from my work. I need to develop the skills to manage that stuff and keep going - especially when it comes to Luganda, as its independent nature makes it the most vulnerable part of my studies!

This coming week, I will begin my Skype sessions with my mentor and begin to focus my work on more high-quality activities. I'm looking forward to pushing ahead.


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