Dipping back in

It’s been a long year.  Well, year and change.  Lots has happened.  I had an awesome, epic job.  Crazy, busy, stressful, busy, insane, awesome, and busy job.  I had no time for anything but work.

I did a lot of things.  Taught my first TOEFL English course over the summer.  Went to Vancouver, BC. Went to Japan!  Lots of photos as time goes on.  What didn’t I do?  Study languages, really.  Connected with a student at my school, and started dabbling in Taiwanese.  I’m in a transition period right now, and I want to make more time for the things that matter to me like language.  And, you know, diet and exercise.  But mostly language.  Writing is pretty much a daily activity again, so I’m trying to get back into it, and maybe a weekly blog.  Maybe monthly.  Definitely not daily.  That’s reserved for language study. I hope.

So I’ve come back to the language pond, and I’m back with plans.

2018 Goals and Rituals

My goal for 2018 in general was to shift away from impossible goals, and focus more on habits, rituals, and procedures that will help me keep my language studies going  (Forgive me for the procedures bit, coming out of a very corporative environment).

So how do I do that, when language study has changed so drastically, and I don’t know how much free time I’ll have as I transition into a new job?  Well, first. In order to set a large goal, like, “become fluent in Korean,” or “regain fluency in Mandarin Chinese and Japanese,” I need to break these goals down into bite sized pieces.  This is one of my weaknesses.  But I’ll talk about goal setting in a future post.

Right now, I am going to outline these methods and share them with you.  You can evaluate if any of these might be the pieces that will help you in your language studies.  At the end, I’ll review all of these different options, and evaluate where I want to start, and which methods excite or scare me.

1. Bullet Journal

This one is the easiest–and the hardest.  I’ve joined two facebook groups over the past month, Bullet Journaling for Language Learners and #WeDoLanguages.  I like looking at the spreads others make, and ways to take my insane amount of study materials and start working through it.  It’s taken me two months to take the study tracker I found made by Sam of From Pillar to Posts.  I am creative with words.  I like colored pens.  I am a horrid artist.  I drew this diamond a dozen times before I finally gave up on it being symmetrical.

April Tracker

So, I love the idea of using the bujo, it worked amazingly for me at work, but I have to be careful not to let my perfectionism get in the way.

EDIT: I wrote this post two weeks ago, and still haven’t managed to press post.  So this lovely graphic has zero squares shaded in, but I am going to post this. I am back, I am fighting the anxiety, the depression, the fear, and the perfectionism.  More from me when I have more to report.

In closing, I’ve starting listening to Olly Richard’s I Will Teach You a Language podcast.  He’s been doing this for three years, so there’s over 250 episodes, 10-30 minutes long on listener questions about how to study, maintain, or motivate your language studies.  Check it out!

Back in 2017!

It is 2017. January 2nd, to be exact. I’ve been waiting for this since September, if I’m honest. That’s not exactly the best way to go about life, looking too far in the future, and ignoring the present—but sometimes you do unhealthy things in order to survive.

2016 was rough, and I’m not talking celebrity deaths, politics, or any of the world changing events that got lost in the dust. I personally, had an extremely rough time from about April on. It involved putting languages and writing mostly on hold while I sorted out my career. Much as I enjoy writing and studying languages, those things are not going to pay down my student loans, let alone cover bills. It was time to face up to an office environment that was destroying me, and start clawing my way towards an exit. It took 8 long months, but I finally did it. I landed in a career I loved—international education—an office filled with intelligent, tactful, friendly colleagues, and a job title that’s technically different from my dream job, but in reality almost identical.

Social media and blogging for my passions took a backseat, as I discovered the job market now requires networking, social media, and interviewing your potential employers. So for my long absence, I’m sorry. I handwrote half a dozen posts, came up with lists for a dozen additional ones—but I did not get to them. Thank you for waiting.

My language skills have atrophied. It almost nuked me during my interview; I couldn’t remember the Chinese word for airplane. Extremely important at a flight school with a healthy Chinese population!

I now have a job with a global student population, and Portuguese is now on the tableau of languages I should study. Thai, German, Russian, Spanish? Also languages I should work on.

As a language student who despaired and returned, I think a lot of us can relate to the experience. Life takes its toll on us. Sometimes, there isn’t enough mental energy, physical safety, or financial ability to study. And that’s okay. In our productivity driven, busy-is-fashionable society, it’s easy to recriminate ourselves for not doing, not producing, not studying, not speaking. I’m not advising it’s okay to watch TV sitcoms while your languages disappear on you, but I feel like as a society we often miss something important.

There are things in our lives we cannot control. Yes, you can choose to turn the tv off and study. Can you choose to not take that second job to make ends meet when a financial disaster sideswipes you? No. You can always use a flashcard app on your smart phone to study in the few minutes you have to spare. Can you do that without a phone? No. You can always make your own flash cards out of sheets of scrap paper. Can you always muster up the courage and find the time to sit down with a textbook, a dictionary, or a web browser, to re-write the list, for when you’ve lost that set of flash cards? Not always.

The point I’m trying to make is we need to be gentle with ourselves. Berating myself for not being studious enough, or dedicated enough to study 3 languages while working full time AND networking/interviewing/job hunting 40 hours a week AND working on my writing career? Something had to give.

I have international friends, polyglot friends. I could have used them. Key word here is used. It’s easy to use people. Be like, I need an hour of your time once a week, and we’re going to speak Korean. But when my schedule was so unpredictable, I couldn’t schedule anything more than 30 hours out—it’s not fair to use people, and disrespect their time. Far better to be a friend, send messages, silly pictures, and stay in touch. In 2017, I can be a diligent student again. In 2016, I would have destroyed friendships if I’d tried. And learning a language is not worth destroying friendships. Learning to communicate should be a bridge that opens the world, not fractures the people I love.

Some people will see this as me making excuses. Some will see this as me being high and mighty. But you know what? I write these blogs in the most part for me, to remember where I was, remember solutions to where I failed. I know my limits, and if you keep studying, keep writing, so will you. But I can’t study, can’t write, if I’m too burned out, depressed, or overwhelmed to do so. Doing creative work can pressure us, overwhelm us, but it should still be rewarding. And if it becomes a Chore That Must Be Done when you have nothing in life to reward you, I think it’s time to take a step back and evaluate why you’re doing it. Being driven is how we succeed, surpass the intermediate plateau. But killing yourself trying to improve when you don’t have the mental or emotional stores to burn will likely lead to burnout.

Again, everyone is different. Your mileage more vary.

More to come in 2017, Aiya Lianxi has four languages to re-master, and plenty of hiccups and mistakes to share with you as she goes along. Stay tuned!

Oh, Blog.

Excuses, Excuses

There’s an interesting conundrum that comes with having a finite amount of free time.  In college, every day was full of ten, fifteen minute breaks, or even chunks of time an hour or more, designed for homework, part time jobs, and mental health.  And I would purposely take those chunks, because it broke the day up, and gave me time for language, writing, or just turning my brain off and chilling with my friends.

With the Day Job, my breaks are limited to a quick text in the break room while I’m heating up my coffee, scribbling down 300 words over my lunch break, or trying to muscle up the energy to go to the library and write, if my back is feeling like sitting is still on the table after 9-10 hours at the office.

So for the past few months, I’ve had a decision to make, every single day, 5x a day.  I could write, or I could blog.  And since I intend on publishing, I chose the writing.

So my apologies for my absence this year, but I’m actually sticking to the ridiculously productive schedule I made for myself, finished a novel, outlined another, and am about to start a third.  Not bad for working 40-50 hour weeks, eh?

Language Update

So, there have been good weeks and bad weeks. I’ve had at least 3 good weeks this quarter, where I’ve done my memrise every day, trying to stay in the top 100 for my Korean, Japanese, and Chinese sets, I wrote about 4 letters in Japanese, and I’ve finished 3 Korean dramas so far this year.

It’s just not the progress I wanted to make this year.  Which leads me to..

Six Week Language Challenge

The next one starts May 1, my writing/language partner graduates at the end of next month, and I hope to be done with my latest manuscript by then.  So I’m going to treat May 1 as a reboot point, and will try to do weekly update posts then.  For now, I’m going to be noveling, and probably mostly incommunicado until then.

But keep studying! We’ll get there, no matter how many times life slams doors in our faces.

I’m Only Human

So I’m still here, still passively studying language.  I have a bunch of ideas for how to bring my studying into the blog, and show you what I’ve been doing, but those plans have…sagged, I suppose. I still have them, I still carry the materials to study everywhere, but I’ve been sidetracked.

You see, November is NaNoWriMo. And writing 50,000 words in 30 days is a bit of a challenge, when during the rest of the year, my aim is to balance my writing with my languages, and make it all even, stable, and keep the shame and perfectionism out of both passions.

So while the blog has been quiet lately, I am still studying, and the blog will return, probably in December, but for now I’m going to be focusing on the noveling bits.

What does a polyglot writing a novel write about? Complex societies where she makes tongue in cheek references to foreign languages.  I have Shaoloung (Xiaolong), Basiyon (Baxiang) and other words tossed in to represent what I want, without saying, “small dragon,” or “blood brother.”

The story involves Saurs, which are creatures halfway between dragons and dinosaurs, and a very interesting mythology between Western and Eastern dragons.  If you want to follow my writing adventures, you can check out my writing blog here, or follow my writing instagram challenge here.

And if I have a wonderful study moment, I’ll be sure to share it, but for now, I’m doing the enjoyable and manageable watching 15-30 minutes of tv in a target language a day.

Language Sponge – Absorptive Passive Learning

 I think I’ve mentioned that I’m struggling through a language plateau, or how my friend calls it, a dormant stage.   I don’t know about you, but for me, when I’m not studying or practicing a language every day, the shame monster jumps up and starts screaming in my face.  Shame and productivity are two demons I face, that I’m trying to cope with.  So I’m writing this in case there is anyone out there like me, struggling with this.

Stop and remember why you’re learning the language for me.  So much of the time, we’re expected to face our fatigue and burnout with a burst of caffeine and adrenaline, and push through the pain, or “dig deep.”  But I prefer Brene Brown’s method.

Men and women who live Wholeheartedly do indeep DIG Deep. They just do it in a different way. When they’re exhausted and overwhelmed, they get

Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation, or simply setting their intentions;

Inspired to make new and different choices;

Going. They take action.

– Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

So the first thing I had to do to get past my burnout was not to push harder, cram the flash cards and gramamar points home. I tried that in September with the IGLC challenge. As you can tell by my Instagram, making a wild and crazy goal did not inspire me to keep going and strive to succeed. I’d set the bar too high, so most days I thought, “Why bother?” and I just didn’t try at all.

So I told myself I was going to go back to passive language learning, being a sponge and soaking things up.  Due to the marvelous technology of Plex, I sync up a couple drama episodes, with or without subs, and on my breaks at work, I sit down and soak up the Korean or Japanese or Chinese.  In the past week and a half, I have soaked up 15 hours of Taiwanese tv, and am constantly saying, weishenme! and taihaole! and other common phrases that are muttered every few minutes in tv shows.  Also, even though I’ve been watching with subtitles, I’m remembering grammar points I learned previously just by hearing them.

And that, I think, is the success of my dormant, passive language challenge.  Instead of running screaming towards the end of the plateau, and falling down exhausted and dehyrdrated, I found a new way to study. Can I just watch drama and learn how to speak? Probably not. But I know people who have taught themselves a lot with only song lyrics and tv.  And I think if language learning becomes merely work, it’s no longer fulfilling us, it’s become a chore we don’t want to do.

So this weekend, I challenge you to dig deep. Why are you studying your target language?  What can you do differently to inspire yourself to keep going or rise to the next level? And what are you going to do, today, to start that change?

(Also: How DARE they end the series like that?!  Yes the point of the story is that it’s healthy for a girl’s life to not revolve around a man but could you have jerked us around in the finale a little less? You gave us the perfect ending, and then you yanked it away.  And the series ended in 2012, so I know there won’t be a sequel. Grr.)

Spontaneity

keep-calm-and-be-spontaneous-11As a writer, I know we have the term pantsers and planners.  The phrases are most common in nanowrimo, an event that focuses on writing 50,000 words in a month.  Pantsers, well, fly by the seat of their pants. They let the story dictate where they go.  They don’t plan, they simply let the story lead.  Planners are those who outline, or, as you may have guessed, plan what happens.

In language learning, unless you’re living in an environment where you’re surrounded by the language, spontaneous learning is a pipe dream.  You can’t just ride the train and hear your target language, or read street signs, and practice your vocab recognition skills.  For those of us learning in a monolingual environment where our target language isn’t dominant, it requires some planning.

But you know, there is such a thing as too much planning.  With my graphs and my logs and everything else, I know exactly how many hours I have dedicated to each of my languages this year. And as I spent vast chunks of this year unemployed or between contracts, language and writing became work.  Confucius said, “If you choose a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  However, a number of articles published recently question following your passion for work.

So while it is a life goal of mine to become conversational and literate in a number of languages, I need to stop approaching it like a job.  In the beginning, yes, I needed that structure to make the commitment. But I’m two years into my habit of daily language study.  It is time for me to take the arbitrary insistence that my language learning has to be academic, grammatical, or otherwise official. Watching a movie without subtitles works on my listening skills. Learning to sing along to a favorite songs works on my pronunciation skills.  Having a conversation with my friends is just plain fun, and why I’m studying in the first place. Not everything needs to have a collegiate defensible purpose.  I’m studying the language I love by doing the things I love. I don’t have to write 500 new words a day. That turns it into work, and eliminates the part of the language I love the most.

And, for any of my fellow language learners coping with stress and anxiety? Cortisol affects your memory.  I’m realizing now why my senior year was so hard at uni. It wasn’t just the disability, but the anxiety was affecting my memory.  So it’s time to pull the anxiety and the stress away from my passion, and get back to letting my soul recharge, and reconnect with the people I care about through language.  I’ve had to table certain writing practices because they increased stress and anxiety, and did nothing to strengthen my writing.

I think in American, and perhaps modern culture everywhere, there is the insistence that we must be busy-busy-busy, and if we aren’t, then we are wasting our lives.  But do we have to be so worn out and sleep deprived we have no time to enjoy life? I don’t think so.  I may not like my job, but that’s not what my job is for.  My job is to keep a roof over my head, and pay my bills.

My passions, my languages, are the things that keep me waking up every morning. Even if 8 hours of my day is given to a job, and 8 hours to sleep, that still leaves me 8 hours to enjoy life and follow my passion.  I don’t spend 8 hours a day studying language, but I definitely enjoy it a lot more when it’s something I want to do, than something I put on a checklist and have to do.

It’s a challenge. I’m constantly stopping myself from guilt tripping over yesterday. I didn’t do any flash cards, I wrote no sentences, looked at no textbooks, but I read 50 pages of a new book in Japanese, because it was something I felt like doing.

I still miss my checklists, but I like being happy and spontaneous a lot better than a page full of check marks.

Cage the Weasels

You know, September was supposed to be so good. I had all of these plans. Taking a break was hard. Hard to justify, and hard to follow through. You know what’s worse, though? Knowing I had a plan to get back to it, and knowing I chickened out. First, I told myself, the weekend. I’ll do it over the weekend. And I prepared for it. I brought a laundry basket full of language materials and writing supplies. But you know what trumps language learning? Friends I haven’t seen in ages. So I told myself, ok, when I get home. But then it turned into, Monday. And Monday? Monday actually worked. Kind of. I found a new coffee shop, and had another awful cup of coffee. Had an even worse cup of tea. But I accomplished what I wanted to, and went home, determining that tomorrow would be better.  
But I broke my cardinal rule. Never miss twice. Tuesday I was in that weird depressive funk where you’re not sure if you’re actually sick or if you’re just despondant. A week ago, I swung the other way, and let a virus knock me out by pushing myself way too hard. But this week, I think I let the brain weasels win. So I did…nothing, Tuesday and Wednesday. Well, that’s not true. I watched an hour of Japanese tv Tuesday night, but there was no studying, no writing. I have brought Korean materials with me every day since then, and I have yet to use them.
So today, I’m breaking that habit. I’m going to drive to a Starbucks, I’m going to pull those books out, and I’m going to study. I’m going to write sentences, write back to my language partners, and start my streak again. So right now my language day streak is 0.  
Join me, tell me in the comments how many days in a row you’ve studied, and let’s get back on track together.

Lying Dormant

Dormant

  I’ve been antsy this month.  This month was supposed to be full of progress, the 6 Week Language Challenge was on, school was starting, and I ramped up the last week in August in order to start September strong.  But life doesn’t care about my well laid plans.  Life does what life wants, just like the honey badger.

And as I said in a previous post, I’m still figuring out the brain weasels.  The chorus of should’s in my head is slowly going away, but it’s being replaced by panicked what if’s. As a linguist and a writer, my life’s work is spent outside the office.  And while that kills me, bills must be paid, and nobody is going to pay me to work on my kanji.

Spinning in this misery spiral, I reached out to a friend, who gave me reassuring advice, and also shared a quote that gives me hope, and maybe will help you, too, if you are also in a valley of your learning.

One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly.  They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.

Marshall Vandruff

If you’re in that intermediate stage of language learning, that plateau that we all dread?  It’s ok to rest, recharge.  While it has been killing me to not do my fifteen minutes a day of language this week, having the control to stop the anxiety, and have language be the activity that refills me again? I’m picking up words in materials I’ve used dozens of times in the past.  I just had to stop bashing my head against the wall for a couple of days.  It didn’t help for me to be studying when I wasn’t absorbing.  

Which comes back to passive and active learning, and why I think I need to put a higher priority on passive learning.  But I have a whole post I want to make on the topic, so I’ll come back to that later.

While the guilt is intense, relaxing into passive learning, watching tv, listening to music, and not stressing is…well, I believe it’s good. It may feel like a guilty pleasure right now, but I learned a new adjective conjugation listening to kpop in the car this morning.

Spring

So while I am holding myself to this dormancy period, I am also not complacent to let it continue unchecked.  Next week, my schedule comes back, I pay myself back for the time I’ve missed (which isn’t too bad with all the passive learning I’ve been doing!) and I start again.

This month gave me a lot of changes, a lot of challenges, and it just hasn’t been the greatest on a number of levels.  But after flailing around screaming at the metaphorical ceiling for two weeks, taking a week to care for myself and recover, I see the bridge. I know how to fix it.  I know how to get back on track.  Sure, I can see giant holes in the planks further down the bridge, but I will worry about those when I get there. Language is a journey, and I need to take it a step at a time.

Follow Through, Don’t Give Up!

On giving advice

I feel kind of weird writing as though I’m giving advice, especially since I’m writing this more for myself than you.  But I feel if I am struggling with this, some of you might be struggling, too.  Or you might know somebody who feels like this.  Also I haven’t been blogging regularly, and I wanted to talk about these topics, so I’m turning it into a long advice piece.  Which is borrowing a method from Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast, in that I’m talking about something relevant to me, and hoping it resonates with you.  And if it doesn’t?  Well, I’m trying to blog weekly, so hopefully I’ll have something you like later.

Following Through

I mentioned on my coffee post that last week was rough for me, but it wasn’t as depressing a setback as these normally are.  To delve into the realm of TMI, my depression and anxiety have decreased to the point where I was able to recognize that I was not in a state to study effectively, and took ownership of the decision to not study.

And I think that awareness makes all the difference when you break a habit between getting back to it, and  letting yourself come up with excuses and reasons why it’s ok to keep breaking your habit until you’re eaten alive with guilt and the thing that used to fill you with joy is now the thing you dread.

So many times in the past, I allowed myself to take the decision, and pretend it came from god, the cosmos, or an unlucky fate.  If I am physically too ill to work, it was easier to face the thought that my body had betrayed me, not that I was taking care of myself by not working when I was incapable of doing so.  And I think that is part of the reason that anxiety and depression can get in the way of our goals. They  blind us to this one moment in time, dragging us into the past or the future, wherever our fears are strongest.  Without being able to clearly see the moment, it is so much easier to give up than to keep fighting.

I have three friends who are also working their way through this defeatist attitude, which makes me think it might be something more common to human nature than depression.

Anni got sick last week, and wasn’t able to get out of bed.  She didn’t like her study materials, but she acknowledged that’s what she had, so she listened to those three awful audio books because that’s what she had available to her, and she had her pimsleur.  Sure, she wasn’t writing sentences or reading, but she had her earbuds, pimsleur, and audiobooks.  She set goals based on her present moment, and kept going.

My friend Kwan went through something awful a couple weeks ago, and he acknowledged that he had to take care of himself, and put the languages on a back burner.  It isn’t that he gave up,  he needed to process what happened, so that he didn’t take those emotions and fears into his language study (I did that with a novel and do not recommend it).

Leigh is in her senior year in college, and cannot continue studying Japanese in the classroom.  Does that stop her? No. She’s still studying Chinese, and practicing Japanese in her free time.  But she also acknowledges that there is a limited amount of time in every day, and that she may not be able to learn Japanese as quickly as she wants to.

So I’m happy that last week, I was able to see that moment in time, realize it was a temporary problem, and that I could catch up this weekend. I have studied language for 7 hours this weekend, and haven’t even started today yet!  My goal is 15 minutes daily of something language related for my three language, and focused, active learning on a target language which can’t be flash cards, podcasts, or drama.  And I’m grateful for the language friends I have to cheer me on, and be there for me when things don’t go according to plan.

Pay yourself back

I have a don’t break the chain sheet, which you can find here, but I use it differently than other people. If I miss a day, I can pay myself back. So if I can’t study for 7 days (like last week), I have it notated, and when I have an extended study session, I can pay myself back by breaking that study up into my daily 15 minute chunks.

So while it may feel hopeless if I miss day after day, I keep acknowledging that I am taking care of myself by not forcing it, and I have a record of the days and times I need to make up.  Combine this with my achievement journal, and it keeps me motivated to keep going, even when things get hard.  

I’m not giving up, I’m biding my time until I can return.

Be honest with yourself

And I suppose I want to end this by giving you a you can do it! message.  In Japanese, I have a mantra, 

できれば、できるだよ. 

If I can do it, I’ll do it.

I got through a year and a half of disability and bedrest with that phrase.  It was about me coming clean with myself.  Was I in pain, or was I wallowing in all the things I couldn’t do?  Did I need to rest, or did I need to get off my ass and put the sudoku down? (or whatever app I was obsessed with back then) Did I need to sleep, or did I need to acknowledge I was sleeping to avoid my life?

With any daily goal, we face challenges and setbacks that make our goals difficult.  If you can’t dedicate an hour to your language today, can you dedicate three minutes?  If you can’t pull out your books or favorite software, can you at least flip through your flash cards, or scribble down a couple words or sentences in your target language?  Listen to a podcast or short interview in the language?

Sometimes, the answer is no.  And that’s ok.  But it’s good to force yourself to be honest, because it’s easy to say no, I can’t do anything today without looking at where that “no” is coming from.  Especially if you’ve said no a couple days in a row, it’s easier to keep not doing it, than starting back up again.

And if the answer is still no? It’s not the end of the world. There is always tomorrow, next week.  Plan for when you can get back to it. Acknowledge whatever is going on in your life, and acknowledge your limits.  

If we remember to pay ourselves back, we will get to the fluency we want.  Not today, not tomorrow, but day by day, in these tiny steps we take.

加油!

頑張って!

화이팅!

If we were having coffee today

(x posted at Language Pond with slight topic differences for language learners)

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend.  It’s a time to catch up over a cup of coffee or tea, and share what’s happened for us this week.


I walk into the coffee shop, unload my two bags of reference and craft books, and order an extra sugary drink this week.  Some of my books belong over onRin Writes, but since I’ll be here long after you’ve finished your coffee, I’ve come prepared to stay here for an afternoon.

What a week.  Starting a new job is always a bit stressful, but starting a new job that actually involves mental effort?  It’s exhausting.  The week before, August 23? That was my most productive week in ages.  I spent thirty minutes writing, and at least 30 minutes on a language every day. It worked great! By limiting myself to one predetermined language every day, I wasn’t bringing the kitchen sink with me–today’s special, don’t judge!–and it also got me that feeling of contentment I only get from spending in a coffee shop.

Last weekend was weird. It felt wrong somehow to be not studying or writing over the weekend.  And when I suddenly got a new work assignment, things got worse.  Well, maybe not worse, but harder.

Most of my temp assignments have been I have a pulse and I know how to work a copy machine.  They haven’t been mentally taxing–unless you consider extreme boredom taxing.  This assignment was different.  Monday was ok, I did memrise for most of my lunch break, worked on some more of my IGLC sentences, and Tuesday I listened to some TTMIK while doing data entry.  At some point between Monday and Wednesday, I also listened to my normal podcasts.

But from Wednesday on, my brain became too tired.  Add on that I bit off more than I can chew with the IGLC challenge (still struggling to find an image editor I like that doesn’t take a thousand years to add a string of text), and the guilt grew to catastrophic levels.

So…Friday, I gave up. I told myself I’d get a fresh start on the weekend, and let myself fugue out.  Which is good, because I had trouble navigating complex sentences by the end of the day.

But! Yesterday, I looked at my 6 week challenge scores.  Last week, I lost my edge, I’m not gonna be able to make it into the top ten before the 14th or 15th (I’m not sure when it ends, does anyone know?), but I decided I needed to jump my scores. And what easier way to do that then watching dramas?  So I watched 5 hours of drama, fell in love with 37.5° Tears & Oh My Ghostess, and indulged in some Love Cuisine.  Finished up with some memrise in bed, and am feeling pretty good.

So I had an off week. So what?  I’m determined to do better.  I’m behind in IGLC.  Especially the Japanese sentences.  So, since today’s a free day (pick your own language), I’m going to take Japanese, work on my IGLC sentences, do some flash cards and textbook review, and then reboot my writing schedule, as well.  And here in the states, it’s labor day weekend, which means I have another day to keep my new productive streak going.

I’m buzzing as I sip my sugary white mocha, toes tapping when I lock eyes and ask you,

How was your week? Let me know in the comments, or a link to your coffee post!