Escaping the Real World

If I spend ALL my free time learning languages, is it still escapism?

If you read last week’s blog, it’ll be of no surprise to you that I haven’t been feeling that great emotionally, and, well, considering the world right now, it’s no wonder, right?  It’s made focusing on a lot of things difficult for me, and has presented an interesting challenge when it comes time to sit down and write out these blogs.  My actual time spent language learning hasn’t been impacted much—save for the occasional busy day cutting into reading time—because the things that I do for it works as a good escape from the things that are giving me trouble.  Sitting down and watching a fun cartoon for a while helps get my mind off the things that I can’t change about the world, so finding emotional energy to do it has been easy.  Working on this blog, however, that’s proven to carry a lot of emotional baggage.

Not to say that this blog is hard to write or something, mind you, when I sit down to work on it I can usually get it hammered out in short order without agonizing over the production process.  The problem is getting to that point of sitting down to work on it.  I spend quite a while agonizing over topics.  Some of that’s because the well of relevant language learning things to talk about isn’t terribly deep, and some of that’s because with the current state of the world with its Big Important Topics, it feels disingenuous to worry about silly language learning stuff.  I know that latter one is silly, because language learning can serve just as much as an escape as a silly cartoon can.  It isn’t disrespectful or insensitive to not be serious all the time, especially in a setting like this blog.  It’d be one thing if this was a blog about current events, but it isn’t, it’s a blog about language learning.  It’s okay for me to talk about such.  I know that intellectually.  Knowing it emotionally is a bit harder to do.

Between diseases, race relations, politics, the economy, and work, I hit a point of something needing to give a couple weeks ago, waited a bit longer than I ought to have done, and took some time off from work to recharge my batteries, which will likely be clear from this week’s numbers and my mix and match of stuff I worked on.  Fortunately I have the sort of job where I can do that type of thing, which is a luxury that I’m grateful for, and going into next week I’m feeling a little better about work for the time being.

I mostly like my job, but it’s a lot of compounding stress, which probably isn’t well-served by me not being out at work yet.  That’s something I think is going to have to change soon, because it’s getting emotionally difficult to constantly use my old name.  On the plus side, my speaking voice is already feminine enough that over half the time people gender me correctly even after I state a clearly male first name, so it shouldn’t be too much of a struggle actually doing my job once out.  And I’m not worried about coming out either, seeing as there were several rounds of companywide emails celebrating the supreme court ruling about LGBTQ+ discrimination being protected against by the civil rights act, the workplace hasn’t been shy about wanting to be inclusive and welcoming.  The only reason I haven’t yet was because I was planning to after being on HRT for a while, and then the building closed and we’ve been out of office a few months now, and it just got sorted to a lower priority than it should have been. An error I’ll try to remedy soon.

The break has definitely done me well, though, and I encourage anyone out there feeling stressed out and anxious from what’s going on in the world to do the same, situation permitting.  I know I’m fortunate and lots of people can’t just elect to take some time off from work to keep from going crazy, but give yourself permission during the free time you do have to not worry about stuff for a while.  If you’re needing something to binge, after having finished the second season this week, I highly recommend Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts off of Netflix, and if you haven’t watched it yet, the Netflix She-Ra show, too.  Yes, I know both of those are cartoons, cartoons are the best, okay?

Anyway, let’s take a look at this week’s numbers.

Tuesday 6/16

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of Arte Divierte, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 6/17

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 3% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 6/18

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 1% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, 1 episode of Gravity Falls, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 2 episodes of Zona Rosa, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 6/19

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Gravity Falls, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of Zona Rosa, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 6/20

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 1% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Gravity Falls, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 6/21

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 1% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Radio Ambulante, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Monday 6/22

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Fancylooks, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/6 books read, 420 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 10 YouTube episodes, 1 podcast, 1 movie, and 11 television episodes watched, 600 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 hours 0 minutes

As I said, a bit unusual in terms of the time spent, but overall a solid week.  In addition to the devoted time, I tried changing the things I’ve been watching, too, dipping into movies and podcasts again.  I feel like my listening comprehension is improving as of late, with me getting lost less and less frequently, even with highly difficult listening tasks.  I’d still like it to overall be higher, because I can really notice the faults when they happen, it’s just less frequent than it used to be.

I’m approaching the end of El Bucanero del Rey, with maybe a day left of reading to go as the week ends, and I’m preparing for the Secret Project I’ve been mentioning for around two months now.  Things are in place for it to likely start next week, so we should actually have a definitely-on-topic blog for then.  I’d thought this would be happening closer to the start of year two than it ended up being, but then again El Bucanero del Rey is like twice as long as the book before it, so this isn’t coming out of nowhere.  Tune in then for the big reveal on all of that.

Now then, that’ll do for this one, such as it is.  TTFN.

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