Remember the Fancy Yellow Box?

“New Year’s Day is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
~ Mark Twain

My January 3 post recounted the unexpected difficulties my husband and I encountered when we tried to start using the computer software we had purchased to re-learn Spanish. That difficulty put our good intentions on hold for more than a week and seriously deflated our enthusiasm for the project. But we have gotten “back on the horse” and are making progress now.

The “fancy yellow box” I referenced was RosettaStone®. I must apologize to that company for implying there are problems with the software. It is a well-designed and complete system, fun to use and yet challenging. Our problems arose from computer deficiencies rather than software issues. I do have the system installed on my laptop now and it works very well. So three cheers for RosettaStone®!

The problem (you knew there would be one) comes with making room in my life to use it and to practice. No matter how much research went into the creation of the program, if the student doesn’t use it, the student doesn’t learn. Knowing that I work best if I have external deadlines to meet, I had always thought that I would be more consistent about my learning if I enrolled in a class which I had to meet with regularly. But when I learned that the fancy yellow box with five levels of learning costs as much as one semester of college language class, I decided to try self-directed study.

Mis bolígrafos

Mis bolígrafos

But it took me an embarrassingly long time to actually open up the program and start using it. Once I had the house to myself (with no one but the cat to hear me practice), the phone not ringing, and nothing else requiring immediate attention, I set forth. It has gone well so far. Remember I am re-learning this, so it should be easy. A few new (for me) vocabulary challenges still trip me up. I have to stop and sound out bolígrafo every time! But then I remember my friend who just ordered the RosettaStone® kit for Arabic and feel like bolígrafo is a piece of cake!

I expect there will be greater challenges ahead. The most consistent challenge will be making space and commitment in my days to work on learning more.  (Writing this is taking me back to my childhood piano lesson challenges. I didn’t think I would have to go there today. Oh my.)

Okay, it is time for me to get out the RosettaStone® , take mi bolígrafo in hand to make notes, and learn some more.

Have you sharpened a growth edge in the last few months? What has been the greatest challenge in that for you?

Boundaries divide. Travel unites.

14 February 2013

About Travel Unites

A travel agent since 1994, I want people to get together for greater understanding across boundaries.
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