on the move & still studying

As I write this, I’m 30-some-thousand feet above Utah (it’s beautiful from up here), a bit tired but happy after a weekend in San Francisco. I am happy not just because I had a great time exploring SF and celebrating a joyous wedding, but also because I’m coming back to Madison without stress. After all this time it seems I’ve finally started to learn how to better get things done while on the road.

One of the keys to my success this weekend is a central tenet of language learning in general: the importance of preparation. In the past, I’d often assume I would get work done on the plane but would forget that I wouldn’t have access to the internet while on the flight. Since many of my materials are online, I’d find myself with not much to do. I’ve learned now to bring a book or to download work to do from Simon in advance so that I can make better use of my time. I am also less reliant on dictionaries now, and can get a good amount done without having to rely on a dictionary which helps me to be more mobile too. In some ways I am finding flights to be one of the best places for me to study. Without the distraction of the internet (and because I can't sleep on planes), doing work helps me pass the time and I feel myself embracing it. After all, how often do you get such protected time?

I have also learned to be more thoughtful as I plan my travel schedule, and I have learned the importance of taking advantage of empty pockets of time when they present themselves. When I woke up on Saturday morning, jetlagged at 6:30 AM (yuck!), no one else was awake, and yet I couldn’t fall back asleep. I had been planning to do some work in the morning anyway, and so I took advantage of the extra time and quiet and got to work translating some stories from the children’s book I brought along with me. Miraculously, I had well over an hour to work and I translated 3 excerpts. It was actually incredibly pleasant having the morning, a cup of coffee, and some challenging-but-not-impossible Luganda work to do.

Because of this, I was able to reach my Omuzannyo goal of the week, with 86 points!

Apart from the success of the weekend, the rest of the week was decent. I had two enjoyable lessons with Simon, including one with Kevin, and was able to get work in every day. Here’s what that looked like:

Monday: 1 hour with Simon, 10 minutes deep listening, texting with friends
Tuesday: 1 hour of homework from Simon, texting with friends
Wednesday: 1 hour with Simon & Kevin, texting with friends
Thursday: 1 music video exercise watching Nze Mutuufu... I was inspired by Kaden’s presentation in class! 1 hour listening to the radio, 150 Long-term-learning words on Quizlet
Friday: 150 Quizlet words
Saturday: 3 excerpts translated from Mujje Tusome Luganda, 50 Long-term learning words on Quizlet
Sunday: Created 1 explanatory page and 1 lesson for website


Looking ahead, the week itself is thankfully pretty calm, so I’m going to try to get ahead on things during the week. But from Thursday through the weekend I have friends coming to visit and I know it’ll be hard to create the space to work on my Luganda. I always have a harder time doing work on weekends when friends come to me, so let’s see if I can apply some of the same tactics that I did this past weekend to make the next one successful!  

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