What Happened to April?

on May 13, 2015

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Is it seriously May already? I’m not sure if I took a nap and missed April, but I feel like I accomplished nothing Chinese-related after recommitting myself at the beginning of April.

In truth, I know I studied Chinese. If I hadn’t studied Chinese, my DianHua flashcard study list would have exploded, and right now, it’s only around 130 cards per day due mostly to the large amount of vocabulary I’ve been adding since the beginning of May.

Did I speak Chinese daily? Not really. I read a lot of sentences from my flashcards out loud, but I only had a couple of classes where I spoke to Emma.

Did I listen to a podcast daily? I’m honestly not sure because I failed to track my podcast studies. I listened while mowing the lawn a couple of times (large lawn, lots of podcasts), but I know I didn’t make daily podcasts a habit like I had intended.

Did I read daily? No, I haven’t been reading at all. I read the occasional post online, but I haven’t been consistent.

Did I write daily? Again, no. I haven’t had any consistency with writing. Much like speaking, I find myself trying to express a thought more complex than my vocabulary and grammar will allow, wasting too much time trying to make sure I write correctly, and then abandoning the writing because I was interrupted by something else.

So what’s the point of this post? The main point is that even with good intentions and commitment, you can still be derailed in your language learning endeavors.

To be honest, the marathon I ran at the end of April held a slightly higher priority for me personally than Chinese studies. After 3 weeks off for the flu, I poured everything into trying to get ready for a seemingly impossible goal, a 1 hour improvement in my marathon finish time. Between the marathon, work, and family along with a challenging injury, I left little time for Chinese.

Now with the marathon over and my injury past the critical stage, I have returned to Chinese with much more determination. I’m studying anywhere from 3-10 podcasts per day, and I’ve had my first online lesson via iTalki. It didn’t go well because I’m not terribly social even in my native language, but I finally pushed past the nerves and made the effort. Hopefully I can keep that going even though it’s a horribly uncomfortable process for me.

And no, I did not quite meet my marathon goal. If you ever decide to try to run a marathon on an injured achilles tendon, just don’t. Trust me on this one…