becoming a morning person for Luganda

I am not a morning person. As a night owl, I often get into a working groove between about 7 and 11 PM. Getting out of bed is usually my least favorite part of any day.

So it's a sign of my love of Luganda and prioritization of language learning that I am voluntarily meeting with my language mentor twice a week at 8 AM, from my office on campus. Which means that I need to be showered and dressed and (welp!) a functional human being well before then so I can get there on time. I wish I were one of those people for whom an early start is no big deal and the beginning of a glorious day, but alas, for me it's just painful. While I could have moved my schedule around in order to have a later start, I realized that my Luganda meeting is one of the only things I'll willingly put myself through this for. So I've gotta take advantage of that kind of motivation when I can!

In any case, our meetings started this week, on Monday and Wednesday. It was nice to get back into things and to see that I haven't lost too much of my proficiency since August. Of course, there were some words here and there that I kind of lost track of, but it did not feel like a major slide backwards. I also noticed that Simon has quickened the pace of his speech when speaking to me, and for the most part, I'm able to keep up with it.

Both days we mostly just caught up on life updates and news. Uganda is currently pretty tense because of an impending attempt to change the constitution to remove the age limit for the president (and by extension allow President Museveni to run for office again in 2021), so we spent some time discussing that, as well as Hurricane Irma and how it affected my mom down in Florida.

Aside from getting back into a routine with Simon, I tried to bring variety into my Luganda learning this week:

Monday: 1 hour lesson with Simon, 30 minutes radio, texts to friends, wrote one somewhat lengthy email
Tuesday: 90 minutes of music, 1 hour of homework for Simon, 15 minutes of Quizlet, and texts with friends
Wednesday: 1 hour lesson with Simon, 20 minutes of Quizlet, texting with friends
Thursday: 10 minutes of Quizlet, 10 minutes watching videos, 10 minutes of Facebook translation work, texting with friends, translating a song from a children's book
Friday: 100 words of Long-term learning practice in Quizlet
Saturday: 15 minutes video, 10 minutes of Facebook translation, 50 Long-term Learning words in Quizlet
Sunday: 1 hour of translating a newspaper article, 1 hour listening to music, 100 Long-term Learning words, and texting with friends

All of this work comes to (drumroll please!) 82 points total!

When I set my goal for 80 points a week, I was a little bit nervous about what that meant. Because while 10 points more each week may seem like not a huge deal, it actually is a noticeable amount more. But I wanted to push myself and I was reaching my goal of 70 points very consistently at the end of last year... thus the increase. I'm happy that I was able to reach 80 this week, though, and will have more thoughts about if it's the right goal for me in the future.

In short, I am really trying to live out my commitment to Luganda this year, in hopes that my progress will not slow down. This has manifested in an attempt to finally become a morning person, and to an increase for my Omuzannyo goals for this year. Week one was a success, but I think we all know that first weeks are relatively easy. It's week 6 or so that's the real test. So we'll see when we get there!

Until then, I have to go to bed because I have an 8 AM Luganda conversation to rest up for. :)


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