momentum maintenance

I had another good week this week. It was one of those weeks where success begets success and motivation begets motivation. I've found that the best thing to do when I'm in these moments is to both make the most of them and enjoy them. Other forces inevitably will come in and slow me down, so it's good to just lean in to the good weeks when I have them.

Part of what went well was simply a productive week where I was able to get in some time every day, including several periods of more intensive study:
Tuesday: Listened to music, Whatsapped with a couple of friends, Quizlet
Wednesday: Spoke for an hour with my language mentor, did a half hour of lesson work
Thursday: Watched 10 minutes of the Jesus film, watched 2 news videos, listened to the radio, a long time working on vocabulary with Quizlet
Friday: Met with my language mentor, did an hour and a half of lesson work, Quizlet
Saturday: Quizlet
Sunday: Quizlet
Monday: Half hour of lesson work, Quizlet

I also felt like my sessions with my language mentor went particularly well this week. I realized at the end of our conversation on Wednesday that we had just communicated for a full hour with barely any English at all (maybe none?). I have come to take that for granted, but it's important to step back once in a while and marvel that that is possible.

One small thing I've been doing during our conversations is to use Luganda for logistics, not just during "a lesson." So, for example, when Skype gives us trouble, I tell him "Sikuwulira" (I can't hear you). We discuss our ever-changing schedules in Luganda, and my progress on various assignments he's given me. I realized that many of these conversations fit into the various levels of "Advanced" conversational skills according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, because they have to do with coping with an unexpected complication.

Additionally, this past week a topic of our conversation was education policy in the US/Wisconsin versus in Uganda. Previously, when I've seen can-do statements that have to do with policy discussions, I been very uncertain about whether or not it's something I could do. But Simon and I kept up a lively conversation on just this topic on Friday, probably about a half hour long. I made a deliberate effort to expand the vocabulary words I used in our conversation, including various governance words and some slightly more precise, advanced verbs.

One thing I have not been doing a good job keeping up with is the lesson work that Lindsay developed -mostly just because Simon has sent me so many assignments to complete, and it's helpful to get his feedback, so I've been prioritizing that. But, I don't want to fall behind on this work (and it's helpful experience as I continue to tweak the Luganda website!) For this coming week, I want to refocus my efforts on this.

Additionally, I am beginning to feel like I need to simply spend more time doing listening work. Last Thursday I made an effort at that, but it's something I'd like to continue. I still struggle to get much out of fast-paced conversation, and it's a critical skill for conversation and interview practice.

Finally, this week I'll be reaching out to another Luganda-speaker on campus, to whom one of my classmates was kind enough to introduce me!

I'm not sure whether or not I can maintain my momentum for a third week in a row, but as it's a slightly lighter week than some others, I'm definitely going to try!


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