Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

My first attempt at actively applying some of that Spanish learning

So one of the things I learned while doing my MBA is that if you have a class that moves too slowly, and you don’t need or want to engage with it, watch the video instead cause you can watch it in double time and get through life faster.

It is amazing to me how quickly this became very deeply imbedded in me.  So I’m trying this online course - that is taught in Spanish.   Terrifyingly it has class 2 days a week?!?!  I did not realise that when I signed up lol.   Anyways - the first class conflicts with dance.  So yeah, class I want to participate in vs one I would actively avoid participating in - this is not a hard choice.

Then I downloaded the slide deck — 69 slides?!?!  That’s a lot in any language.  Lol.   I read the first 10 or so though and decided that while I definitely didn’t get it all and had to look up a couple thing (although had to laugh that one of the ones I was most curious about cause it’s clearly a literary phrase and I’m reasonably good with those in English, didn’t translate to anything any English dictionary recognized.  So I felt better about my previous education.  And a slide later she went on to explain it so all good).

Anyways what made me laugh is today I signed in to watch the video and my brain immediately went "2h?  Should take about 1 to watch.  No problem".  Ummm no.  If anything, vids in Spanish take me LONGER to watch.  Fail.   Also, when I signed up for this I was counting on the ability to slow the video down.  This is not an option in this software.  Fail the 2nd.   

I will say, one thing I was really proud of - when there was a critical phrase I didn’t understand, I was able to spell it correctly into google translate - despite not knowing the words - and get the answer.  My next step was going to be to let my phone listen instead, but I was really pleased that my Spanish phonetics are WAY better than my English phonetics lol.  Arguably, to be fair, Spanish phonetics are also much easier.

I was amused one of the things she was talking about in the intro - essentially that one’s resume doesn’t define the person, nor does their citizenship or family - was a similar train of thought to what lead to one of my favourite writing exercises.  This is me - if you’ve never tried to introduce yourself without context of work, things you’ve done, or friends/family, give it a few seconds thought.  It’s an interesting exercise.

Overall, I could understand and follow the vast majority of the concepts.   I definitely did not catch every word and was occasionally completely lost (esp when she was reading parts of stories), but it wasn’t horrible.  Esp given that it was strictly listening - no CC option and no slowing things down.  

It was exhausting to focus that intensively.  I’m going to admit I just made it to the intermission lol which was at an hour and 10 mins.   I’ll finish the rest tomorrow ;)  Wow.  In a world of micro-learning, and task-switching, a 2h listening exercise is a challenge.  Thank god she’s an engaging speaker - if she were boring I wouldn’t have a hope.

So partially, this was incredibly frustrating.  And partially I’m thrilled I could follow as much as I did.

It's amazing how many things you can do when you don't have kids ;-P

So I'm really enjoying my dance classes.  Enough that I've been relying strongly on YouTube University to learn things that haven't been in class (yet).  A few challenges to this - one, I have to find videos for single dancers since C is not nearly as entertained by this new adventure as I am.  And two - some lessons greatly overestimate my definition of "beginner".  But I am finding some snippets of super usefulness.  

And when I find those snippets, I need to slow it down to like 50% to be able to actually figure out what's going on more often than not lol.   And as I was doing that, I started to see some similarities to my piano adventures.

Playing piano with two hands doing different things - learn one hand, then the other, then put it together.  When you put it together it'll all fall apart.  Slow it RIDICULOUSLY down, figure it out one note a time, and then speed it back up again.  Don't even bother introducing a foot pedal ;-P

Dancing - learn feet, then the arms, then put it together.  When you put it together it'll all fall apart.  Slow it RIDICULOUSLY down, figure it out one beat at a time, then speed it back up again.  Don't even consider introducing hips or body movement ;-P

Bonus round - it sometimes falls apart again when you put it to actual music.

The half-hour "beginner" Bachata video I've been working my way through, I've been working on for two days and am not quite all the way through lol.  Legs alone, all good.   Arms alone - slightly more of a challenge, but got there.  Put them together?  lol.  Right.  We'll get there.  Some day ;-P

But is it ever fun.  I feel absolutely ridiculous at times, but those odd moments where I actually get something right are just so exciting.  Also, after lesson 2 (before I even fell down the YouTube rabbit hole)

With the painoing - working my way through Playground sessions.  Their intermediate level songs are lower in difficulty than Flowkey's which is slightly disappointing as I don't feel I've accomplished anything when I get learn one, but their lessons are way harder.   I am learning a lot more though so that counts.  Nola likes to help play which doesn't do good things for my accuracy scores at all ;)

Enola's musical interpretation in red ;)

Rounding out the hobbies, cause why not, clicked on a random targeted ad for a course in Latin American myths and legends -- that's taught in Spanish.  Since there's no writing or presenting required, I thought it might be an interesting challenge.   Topic I generally enjoy, and, well, I've taken ALL the literature classes in English, so I should get the general concepts ;).   Signed up and *then* realised there's two classes a week?!?!   Lol I definitely do not read Spanish fast enough for that.   So we'll see how it goes.   Also not sure I have sufficient vocabulary or can listen fast enough for the classes, but worst case I can watch the recording slightly slower.   And if I really need to cheat, with closed captioning on ;).   Always good to take on impossible challenges right? ;).  That one starts end of Feb and I'm really hoping they'll share some of the reading material in advance.  May the odds be ever in my favour.  Wish me luck!

Targeted advertising for the win