The rhythm of learning

At last, the pressure is off and I feel up to learning again.
Learning is one of the greatest joys in my life, and since having fun is really difficult for me when I’m stressed…
I tend to shut down into non-productive and non-structured learning, because it’s easier and more escapist.
As my life becomes just a little less stressful, I continue to learn the things which fascinate me, but I start being able to take on ‘fascinations’ which require my attention & memory to be learned, and go back to trying to expand my horizons. πŸ™‚
There are many skills I’ve an interest in, and a couple languages I’m quite keen on.

For instance, I’ve gone back to actively trying to study Korean again. Looking for word lists, listening to TTMIK podcasts, making up new flash cards to memorize and intending to order one of their text books. (I have a book, but it doesn’t seem nearly as comprehensive) All sorts of things to vary the ways I experience the language.
There seems to be an advantage to having set it aside and waiting some months before trying to learn again: While I’m still essentially at the beginning learner stage, because I’ve continued to think about it (and read/watch tiny bits of things) my brain has become more accustomed to the way Hangul looks, as well as to the sounds and syllables. I’m also more able to hear what letters are producing what sound when I look at a transcript while listening to something in Hangul.
I think if (-who am I kidding, when) I try to take on another language I’ll probably do something similar. (Take a few months just familiarizing my brain with looking at and listening to it that is. πŸ˜‰ )
But for now I’m going to keep my focus on Korean and try to start memorizing some vocabulary and get better at pronunciation.
I have actually been practicing a bit, even in my ‘non-active-learning’ period, but with very few words, mostly the alphabet, since that’s what I made flash-cards for. (Since I didn’t really have the energy to make new flash cards)

Meanwhile I’ve also been enjoying feeling little enough stress to actually watch some shows again too, and read some books.

Speaking of learning and books, I’ve been reading a book which is about the competition and school systems.
It’s called “No Contest” by Alfie Kohn.
Many people apparently find learning under pressure to be exhilarating. Perhaps it’s like a chase? Where they have to hunt down the knowledge, then dissect and assimilate it before the time runs out.
I’m not like those people. Pressure is tiring, and pressure turns learning into feeling like a ‘necessary evil’.
This is one of many contributing reasons why school was so hard for me. Learning just isn’t the same when you add in a pressured situation because of peer competition, and which must be completed in a very limited amount of time.
Never did I feel ‘accomplished’ in school even when I got B’s or A’s, I always felt like it wasn’t worth it and I would rather have gone at my own pace. It sucks all the joy out of it, and it just didn’t work well with who I am.

Fortunately for me currently the pressure is off, and joyful learning is the only sort I’m currently doing. πŸ™‚
I don’t entirely look forward to going back to school and dealing with that pressure again. But, there are some things you can’t learn on your own. So if I want to learn those things, I’ll have to deal with the ‘down’ in the rhythm.
That’s okay, for now I’ll set that thought aside, and just enjoy learning the things I can, the things I want to, the way I want to.
This is the up in my rhythm, and there’s little reason to spoil my joy so soon.

On the flip-side of this topic, while I love learning, sometimes I see people say that they don’t enjoy learning, but I think they may have forgotten what learning means. Truthfully, I do think most people can enjoy learning, it’s really just going to depend on the subject, like say, many people love learning tons of random facts about shows they like and their favourite characters so you can ‘nerd’ about them.

So with that thought, is there anything you like to learn about? ^_^


5 thoughts on “The rhythm of learning

  1. Wow, didn’t realise you were also learning Korean. I committed to learning basic Korean a few weeks ago and have been listening to TTMIK as well. Haven’t done much in the past week though 😦 What got you interested in Korean? For me it was Korean dramas like My Love from the Stars.

    • Actually after reading a couple of your posts I saw that, and it’s why I decided to sub to you.
      (I love meeting other language learners and speakers. I think it can be especially cool to meet people who are trying to learn, or who know, the language your are trying to learn yourself. ^_^ )

      Ah well, don’t be too hard on yourself, there’s always today. πŸ˜€ (If not next week, says the procrastinator. XD haha)
      Oh, actually it was a little bit random. I have always been interested in languages in general, but my brother wanted to make a ‘become a polyglot list’ where you pick six languages you’d like to learn. I was trying to decide what I wanted mine to be, and our friend said he wanted to learn Korean, I looked up “learn Korean” spent about four hours trying to get a handle on the basics of Hangul; I utterly loved it and found I was already picking up some of the basics even just the first day.
      So, I decided I really wanted to learn to read and speak it, and started seeking out resources to do so.
      From there I’ve gotten more interested in some of the media (though I’ve yet to watch any k-dramas, I have some on my list to watch, and I have watched a cute anime movie intended for kids. (called “Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox” in english – Hangul: “μ²œλ…„μ—¬μš° μ—¬μš°λΉ„” )
      But mostly, so far, I’ve just been listening to podcasts & youtube videos, as well as reading books intended for learners…. Oh and a bought a few childrens books in Korean. XD They’re super cute though I can’t even read them yet. haha I think I need baby books.

      Do you have any suggestions for good dramas to watch? πŸ˜€

      • Wow, we have more in common than I This is pretty interesting. Okay, as for K-drama I really like “My Love from the Stars”. I haven’t watched a whole lot and the ones in the past — well, I don’t know if I would recommend them now because in 2010 I was obsessed and would have watched almost any K-Drama.

        So definitely “My Love from the Stars”. “Moon Embraces the Sun” is good too although I’d preferred if they’d developed some of the characters a bit more. Totally love Kim Soo Hyun’s crying scene πŸ™‚

        I can’t believe you’ve bought children’s books though! lol. Did you get them online? Finding Korean fiction/ language learning books would be pretty much impossible in Jamaica. Maybe I should check the Korean Embassy here. I wonder if they have anything they’d like to donate to a desperate language student? πŸ™‚

        As for learning Hangul, I really would love a resource that uses IPA. I did some Phonetics courses back in university and that really helped me when I was in Sweden for a few months and was trying to learn how to pronounce the words. I’d just put the IPA symbols beside each new word I learnt. But anyway, I’ll see how that goes… Need to do more research. So which other languages are on the list by the way?

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