It is 9:16 on the night before we leave on our second "annual"-ish (haha) trip to the Czech Republic.
I have been really busy studying for this Czech test I am supposed to take on November 7.
I am taking the distance A2 course through ústav jazykové a odborné přípravy Univerzita Karlova (I just call this thing ÚJOP but I am an American and partial to acronyms so...).
It was not clear (to me) when I signed up for the class that the entire portal would not be available through the whole summer; I stupidly thought it would just be the professors would not be available, and guess what, I was wrong.
We had previously booked flights for the Czech Republic around my birthday (Nov. 5). Then I decided to go this academia route, and was like, "ooh! I will take the test in person when we are there! I'll have LOTS of time to finish this course!"
Well, later I realized my mistake.
So I studied some on my own over the summer, but mostly I had some really horrible, painful, miserable health problems, which fortunately are pretty much as resolved as I ever could hope them to be.
Basically, I found myself with 1 1/2 months to complete a 5 month course. And although this was obviously not very well planned on my part, I can honestly say I enjoyed the course. It helped me A LOT. For one, the format was very, very helpful for me personally. Lots of instant feedback, which, though, not from a human, made it totally possible for me to indulge in guilt-free study binging. I mean, no humans to worry about, "oh, what a crazy šprtka. Freak of nature. I don't want to be her friend." hahaha
To pass the test, I have to get 60% right. I *think* I will at least pass, but even if I don't, this entire experience was very valuable to me. At least I keep telling myself that!
I feel like "a new era" of my Czech learning will start after I return home on November 11. I intend to continue in ÚJOP's B1 class. I don't really know if they have a B2 level. But to be honest, I might need to stay in this A2 world for a while longer. I have some great ideas for continuing to study Czech but I am not really allowed think about them at the moment - have to go finish packing, and then I have to direct my precious, limited Czech time towards cramming for this test. But here is a sneak peak at what is in store.
I intentionally read Bylo nás pět in English and Czech side by side. Last night I was doing a TON of laundry, and I caught up in my Czech listening to the part where I am at in English. But I didn't want to stop, because I mostly understood what was happening! So I continued to listen, and now I am about 30 minutes away from the end of the book. I know there is a lot I am missing, but there is also a LOT that I am getting, and that includes some of the themes, flavor, humor, and more difficult to access things. What I miss are some specific very, very briefly mentioned details that are highly vocabulary dependent.
But wow. WOW. It is a huge feeling of accomplishment. I imagine it will be jubilantly triumphant tomorrow, when I finish reading this, the first book I will have ever read all the way through. That is, listened to.
Yeah, my skills lie squarely in this order (best to worst):
writing conversation (so...texting)
Writing is definitely the most difficult. Very, very normal.
I have a huge backlog of posts to, well, post. I will probably find time to do that when we come back mid-November.