finding balance part 2

I've written in the past about the challenge of finding a balance in my Luganda study. Though I still often struggle with balancing my Luganda efforts with the demands of the rest of my life, recently I've been thinking about another kind of balance in my Luganda work: finding space for both small, daily activities that infuse Luganda practice within my everyday life, as well as setting aside time for more focused, intensive study.

One of the drawbacks of Omuzannyo - as much as it's working for me! - is that it's possible to do earn lots of points with just the small activities. In its current setup, there is no reward for including more intensive time into my week. This is something that I've a) tried to be cognizant of, and tried to be deliberate about addressing on a weekly basis; and b) thought about ways to tweak Omuzannyo to incentivize that kind of work. (Of course, focused study is worth more total points, but sometimes that's not enough incentive during busy weeks. Suggestions always welcome!)

Some weeks I get the balance down better than others. This past week was one of those. Two hour-long sessions with my language mentor, several hours of doing lesson-type work and writing, and the creation of my language-learning resource constituted the more intensive elements of my week. But I also did lots of smaller activities - practicing my vocabulary on Quizlet, 15 minutes of watching the Jesus video, reading newspaper articles, listening to music, and texting with friends.

Though these smaller practices certainly should not make up the majority of my work, they do contribute a lot of practice with Luganda in situ, and for that reason are a really important part of my study. Thus the need to balance - to have some of both!

Here's a quick rundown of my week:
Tuesday: Worked on creating the new and improved Tusoma Luganda, one-hour session with my language mentor, Quizlet.
Wednesday: One-hour mentorship session, Quizlet
Thursday: About an hour of vocabulary study, read two newspaper articles
Friday: Watched 15 minutes of the Jesus film, half an hour of Quizlet vocabulary practice
Saturday: Tried to make progress on my Quizlet backlog- an hour of vocabulary practice, two hours of listening to Luganda music, read one children's book
Sunday: Quizlet
Monday: Translated a newspaper article (an assignment for my mentor), Quizlet

Two additional little notes about the week.

First, I was inspired by Katrina's suggestion that we use a set of questions as cues to practice answering questions verbally. So, instead of writing down my answers to a set of questions from a lesson I was working on, I tried responding aloud. It was a bit awkward talking to myself like that, but it was a great way to see if I could do it (and I could!). By just answering out loud, I bypassed my ability to check my grammar or look up a word, and so was reliant on the knowledge I currently have. This was a great way to provide a mini-test of my progress.

Second, on Saturday I cracked open Nvuma ne Nambi, a children's book that I've been trying to read for some time now. I have returned to this book every couple months to see if I'm able to decipher it, and pretty much every time I've made progress, but never enough progress to actually get the entire narrative of the story. This time, I'm happy to say, I understood it! (Mostly!) This has been a very long time coming, and I have done a lot to be able to read this particular children's book (including targeting some of my vocabulary study to words used in the book). It feels amazing to see my practice pay off - even if my comprehension isn't perfect yet!

So, the struggle to find balance continues, but it's always buoyed by weeks like this when I can see that spending enough time on both types of learning pays off.


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