Setting Toki Pona Aside

I can't believe it's fall already, and yet can't wait for 2020 to end.

Throughout September I’ve managed to have a few shakeups in my learning schedule, thanks in large part to my work schedule becoming more accommodating to me squeezing out a bit more reading throughout the day, which let me shift back to my preferred blend during the week for reading and watching time.  Another shakeup that’s become more clear on the blog numbers, and more clear to me as the weeks pass, is a reduction in time spent on Toki Pona, and the simple truth of the matter is I’m just not feeling Toki Pona right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not regretting my experiment working on it, and I think the language is worthwhile in its own right, but sometimes you just gotta face what your passions actually are and move on from the things that just aren’t compelling to you.  Toki Pona is, unfortunately, just not that compelling to me, not in the way Spanish is.  So I think it’s time right now for me to stop worrying about it.

That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily done with Toki Pona forever, though, as it might be more compelling to me again at a later point, because it isn’t just that I’m not interested in it.  Toki Pona’s really intriguing and cool, I’d love to be at an advanced level in it to where I could use it robustly, produce content in it, and potentially work on translation projects.  The problem is that it feels like a distraction to me, something to draw my attention away from Spanish.

A big part of that feeling may simply be a difference in levels.  I’m not done with Spanish, but I am very far along with it, can read a ton of stuff effortlessly, watch very complicated native media without getting lost, and express complex ideas in it, which is all far and away more than the level I got to with Toki Pona, where I could kinda read it if I thought about it for a while and maybe had some context.  That helplessness in it’s frustrating, and while I know it would eventually lessen (it did with Spanish, after all), it’s hard to feel super-charged to work on something frustrating, when there is a clear alternative that isn’t frustrating.  Reading and watching Spanish is purely fun now, even when a word or sentence goes over my head, and with Toki Pona it’s not fun.

During the challenge when I worked on it almost exclusively, that lack of fun was replaced with the experience being rewarding, which is a suitable replacement, but post-challenge, I don’t really get that anymore.  The few minute check-ins week to week were just an attempt to keep from backsliding, something that worked for a while, but seems to be losing efficacy as more time goes by, as I’m not really devoting the time necessary to keep it in my head and/or improve, which at worst results in my slowly getting worse and worse at it through lack of practice, and at best just feels that way because the frustration gets to be in sharper and sharper relief.  And to top it off to either choice, sprinkle in some guilt about not working on Toki Pona more regularly to really make it sting.

So, well, I’m dropping Toki Pona for now.  I may come back to it later, especially as a language between Spanish and the next natural language I go for, once I’m satisfied with my level of Spanish enough to leave it aside from focus entirely.  I’m in what feels like the endgame grinding for Spanish at this point, where things are coming along really well and all that’s left is some final fine-tuning before trying to take down the final boss.  The final boss in this metaphor is speaking practice, by the by.  Much like most final bosses, I’m probably gonna feel like I over-leveled for it once I’m actually doing it, but I just want to be prepared, dammit.

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

Tuesday 9/29

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of El Ojo del Mundo, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Arte Divierte, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 9/30

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 12% of El Asombroso Mauricio y sus Roedores Sabios, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 10/01

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 12% of El Asombroso Mauricio y sus Roedores Sabios, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 10/02

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 12% of El Asombroso Mauricio y sus Roedores Sabios, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 10/03

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Asombroso Mauricio y sus Roedores Sabios, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 10/04

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kiwillius, ~120 minutes

Monday 10/05

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 12% of El Asombroso Mauricio y sus Roedores Sabios, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/2 books read, 480 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 10 YouTube episodes watched, 540 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 180 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 hours 00 minutes

A pretty standard week for me, taking into account me dropping Toki Pona.  My Sunday was a little slim thanks to some football-related prior engagements to attend to, but otherwise a reasonably ideal look at a week for me.  A whole bunch of streams and long series got published all at once by Daniel San GMR and Kiwillius this week, so I have some backlogged stuff to work through next week, which is nice.  The Tuesday this blog is going live is going to be a slightly unusual day, too, so I might be able to work through a little extra of that backlog.

After finishing El Ojo del Mundo, it has felt really nice revisiting El Asombroso Mauricio y sus Roedores Sabios, which is both a total 180 in tone, but also significantly shorter, so I can blaze through it in comparison to the longer, thicker fantasy.  It’s proving to be a very nice palate cleanser, and I’m feeling good about the decision, and good about getting back to the next La Rueda del Tiempo book afterwards.

As this week also capped off September as a whole, let’s take a look back at those numbers altogether.

Spanish

  • Total Duolingo: 600 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 3 tv episodes and 67 youtube videos watched, 2,430 minutes
  • Total Reading: 1/2 whole books read, 1,770 minutes
  • Total Writing: 1000 words written, 90 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 780 minutes
  • Total Time: 71 hours 30 minutes

Toki Pona

  • Total Reading: various social media posts read, 150 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Combined Total Time: 74 hours 0 minutes

And here’s the breakdown for money spent.

  • Netflix Subscription Standard HD Plan, Television and Movie Streaming, $10.99 per month, $10.99
  • Disney+ Subscription, Television and Movie Streaming, $6.99 per month, $6.99
  • Amount Spent on Services: $17.98
  • Total Spent: $17.98

A pretty solid month, no doubt helped along significantly by my shifting work schedule.  Thanks to how long El Ojo del Mundo was and my current book being a reread, the money spent is the leanest it’s been in a while, but not much else is all that different.  I continued to utterly fail to have anything to speak of in the fiction writing department, getting down 2,873 words for blogs and nothing else.  September as a whole felt like a time to settle back into things, thanks to the mentioned-several-times-before-at-this-point work shift, and I’m feeling like it might make sense to get back into writing more now.

I mentioned at the end of August that I was going to spend September working on some personal life stuff that I’d been putting off over the summer thanks to things locking down, and I managed to hold true to that plan to the best of my ability.  Some stuff just has to be slow with so much of the world on quaran-time, but I got a lot of it done and am feeling like all the pieces are in place for things to progress over the coming months.  Additionally, I just passed the 7 month mark since I started hormone replacement therapy, and I am constantly amazed by the results I’ve gotten, which has done wonders for my mood.  Feels like all I need is a dollop of fiction writing on top, and I’m gonna be soaring.  It’s funny, I’m so happy about stuff with me that I kinda feel guilty, considering the shape the rest of the world is in.  Hope everyone else out there is doing well.

Anyway, that’ll do for this month, I’m gonna try and keep this solid start for October going.  No main blog topic next week, but I’ll have a numbers summary, and then we’ll return with a primary topic the week after.  See you then, TTFN.

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