Saturday, March 18, 2017

14: meta

I’m overdue for a meta language learning blog post. It’s also really late and I’m not sure if my brain is really up to doing this topic justice. So this might be a little rambly.

Some thoughts:

Sometime last week (or so) I invited my friend Lukáš to view my maze of Czech folders on google drive. I was really nervous and hesitant to do so, which made no kind of logical sense. What, was I afraid that my obsessiveness would be some kind of surprise - this dear friend with whom I have been avidly transcribing old Czech land records relentlessly for 6 months? Obviously, he already knew that about me.

It is super motivating for me to feel like I’m on some kind weird stage. If I were alone in a prison cell learning Czech, without an audience, I would not do very well, I think. I need the positive peer pressure. Even though Lukáš is not really one of my “language buddies” - it was super motivational to me to imagine that he might read what I write.

Some other thoughts - I’m not sure if it’s possible to explain just how much of a gargantuan effort it is for me to sit down and write in Czech. It can be really difficult. I often need a translator and a dictionary (or five). It’s good I have three screens, because one is for what I’m working on, one is for my translator, and the other is for příručka. So, if I want to write somewhere that isn’t sitting at my desk, forget about it.

I recently converted my desk into a standing desk, because it’s a thousand times better for teaching. And by converted, I mean, I decided to set my monitors on a platform and my mouse and keyboard on some improvised shelf made of boxes. It’s great for teaching. It’s kind of mediocre for transcribing records. It sucks for tediously searching through matriky. And it’s mostly impossible for writing in Czech. I’m so….sloooooow…

This is why last week, I had a really huge success when I was able to text with my friend Tomáš in Czech and not completely suck or fail. In fact, it was an awesome experience. And I was using my phone, and multitasking - so no other screens, no google searches - just my brain and I guess the Czech auto-correct algorithms on my phone. It was amazing that I was actually able to communicate. I would say that is a huge amount of progress; this would not have been possible 2-3 months ago.

Sometimes I feel like my progress is really slow.

I guess that’s why I’m keeping this blog. It’s proof that I am improving.

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