log: busy busy busy

이번주는 너무 바빠요. 한국인 역사학이 너무 숙제하는 많네요. 그리고 한국말 수업이 힘든네요. 저는 부지런지만 사람이에요. 정말 피로한이에요. 6시간 동안 공부한 아직도 더 공부할에요. 파이팅!

And to save you the trouble of mechanical translation, that’s my way of saying I’m busy as fuck. Oh lord, I am drowning! Oral exam today, finished up the notes for this week’s 30 slides, have to study and record another dialogue for tomorrow, study for two more tests this weekend and on and on. Not quite sure how to pace myself. It’s hard.

So what am I doing here? Taking a break. Mind your business.

Some good news. I got a haircut yesterday. Haven’t been out of the house since December except for the odd quick trip to the untact ice-cream shop or to pick up tampons, chocolates, and pain pills. Can’t remember the last time I spoke to someone. Learning another language is always hard, I’m sure, but this experience of learning one during a pandemic? It’s bizarre.

I imagine (and that’s all I can do, imagine) that in regular conditions, my immersion would be such that I could learn something every single day just through interactions and have some sort of marking of my progress. I’d learn through use. I’d at least be able to see where I was. Instead, it’s all strangely monastic. I’m indoors and alone learning to speak. Completely unsure whether it works in the real world. Feedback from teachers but none from reality.

It’s weird.

And stranger is when I pop out and see people I haven’t seen in some time. Like my barber. We get to talking. Now, 한국말을 못 잘해요, I can’t speak for shit, but, with a lot of miming, we managed to communicate and talk about ice cream and how strange and aggravating it is that I eat so much ice cream but never gain weight. She was pretty shocked at how far I’ve come. (She says that the next time she sees me, I’ll be Korean.) I was surprised too.

But what makes me happy and feels like progress is this:

Typically, until now, I’ve needed to memorize and practice a sentence, go out mumbling it to myself until I got to use it, then be completely flummoxed by whatever response I got. This time, I started doing that, thought fuck it, I’ll just try to wing it, and it more or less worked.

I mean, my grammar was garbage, my pronunciation was worse, but we were able to smear enough words around in the wrong order to achieve communication. Considering that I came to this country mute and illiterate, I’ll take every goddamn inch I can get.

Anyway, back to work. Or off to bed. I don’t know, maybe I’ll just walk backwards into the ocean howling at the moon. But off this for now.

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