Having completed my final class in pursuit of my Associates Degree yesterday, I have decided to increase my Spanish study times for the next 6 weeks until my Bachelor’s program begins.

I’m going to do 1.5 hours of audiotapes on my commute to and from work — that’s about 45 hours of tapes altogether, which should bring me through the Michel Thomas tapes, and about 1/3 through the Pimsleur tapes — in addition to the Coffee Break Español podcast (or as much as I can in that time) and further my progress in DuoLingo and Memrise.

I’m going to increase my DuoLingo goal to 50xp per day, and my Memrise goal to 20,000xp per day.  The one seems too low and the other seems too high, but I’m going to give it a solid shot.

Today, I completed the first level on the Memrise Spanish courses, which means I officially know 225 words on their syllabus.  On my DuoLingo tree, I have completed 13 lessons out of 61– it states I’m 20% fluent in Spanish, but I really don’t think that’s accurate.

I’ve been working on programming an ANKI flashcard deck so I can keep up with my studies while I’m unable to commit real time to it.

I’m still struggling with some words — I can’t keep poder and pensar straight to save my life, and conjugation is still a mess — but I’m actually really impressed with myself.  On August 30th, I’m beginning a Spanish course at my local community college, and I truly feel that by the time 2018 comes around, I’ll be very proficient.

However, at this point — despite all the progress I’ve made — I still struggle to put together my own original thoughts and phrases.  I can read, write, say, translate, etc., whatever DuoLingo or Memrise or Michel Thomas throw at me, but I can’t come up with on it on my own.  I hope that comes with time and practice.

 

I’m also considering starting Dr. Bill Vicar’s Lifeprint lessons in American Sign Language.  Though I’m not sure, I may be putting too much on my plate at this point.

First time in a long time

Today, I practiced Spanish for the first time in a long time.  Well, for a few weeks– but it’s been a busy few weeks, okay?

I spent about 15 minutes on DuoLingo, completing 50 XP for the day (my goal.) DuoLingo says I’m 12% fluent in Spanish, but that sounds utterly ridiculous.  Knowing a handful of nouns does not make you fluent– or even 12% fluent.

I spent about 45 minutes on Memrise, where I racked up 24,598 XP points (smashing my daily goal of 6,000 points.)

For both, I spent the day catching up after a few weeks away– there were status bars to refill and what not.

Something tells me the ancestors didn’t care about status bars?

I noticed today that I am having trouble conjugating ‘poder’ and ‘pensar,’ which led me to the greater realization that I have trouble conjugating.  So, drilling conjugation is on my list of things to do.

Sorry that this is such a boring post– I’m still getting back in the swing of things.

A Reboot (Un reinicio)

On May 10th — my mind full of ambitious hope for language learning — I started this project.  I saw myself learning several languages — Spanish, French, German, American Sign Language, and hell, even Dutch, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Japanese… — and envisioned a future of public service; I’d volunteer at polls, I’d work in civil service, I’d volunteer in Africa… I would learn the language my religion’s texts were written in, and I’d learn the languages of those who still practice it in it’s purest form.

I am, after all, nothing if not arrogant.

On May 15th, my wife began chemotherapy radiation treatment for Stage IIIB cancer.  I think that neither one of us anticipated how much this would affect our daily schedule. Suddenly, I was taking an hour of leave from working every day so I could drive her to and from treatment… I missed a dozen night classes at the local community college… and most importantly (for this blog at least) I lost the time to learn any foreign languages.

Suddenly, I was taking an hour of leave from working every day so I could drive her to and from treatment… I missed a dozen night classes at the local community college… and most importantly (for this blog at least) I lost the time to learn any foreign languages.

My wife finished her radiation treatment on June 23rd, and while chemo will continue for several more months, I am finding more time in my schedule than I had before.  I can

I am finishing my associate’s degree in a matter of weeks.  I’m applying for promotions which are in my field.  I have spare time for studying and for language learning.

I’m restarting this blog — this journey — as of today, July 1st.  I still plan to learn as much as I can.  I still hope to volunteer at polls, and work in public service.  My goals are no longer as haughty as they once were; after all, I’ve learned now that you don’t have as much time as you think you do.

Today, I’m restarting my Spanish courses with Memrise and DuoLingo; Monday, I’ll be beginning Michel Thomas’s Spanish courses.

Today, I begin to Speak in Tongues.