Week 47: The super pile up
Published on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 By Max Sparber
I have studied Yiddish for 313 days
I have studied Yiddish flashcards for a total of 189 hours
I have reviewed 3,666 individual flashcards
This past week I discovered an entirely new world of frustration when it comes to studying Yiddish. A few months ago I found my forward progress stalled by a pile up of words and especially phrases that I had a hard time learning. All of them managed to show up in my flashcards at once and I just had to stop everything and spend hours just trying to memorize these flashcards long enough to be done with them for the present.
Well, it turns out this phenomenon is recurring. And it grows. The more words and phrases you learn, the more are going to be troublesome, and since the troublesome stuff is going to keep getting shoved to the front of your flashcards, there is just going to be this growing pile of stuff you have a hard time learning.
This time it took an entire week before I managed to get all these words and phrases behind me. I was trying to avoid what happened last time, which was that I was spending an hour or more on flashcards and just feeling frustrated and exhausted, so I try to limit my studies to 45 minutes at most, and if there are some words I don't learn in that time, well, they just get shoved to the next day.
This actually works just fine, in the sense that I didn't feel exhausted or overwhelmed by my studies. But, since I don't add new words when I am struggling with old ones like this, it means that there was a week of no new words.
This is probably okay. I probably should occasionally stop adding new stuff into my flashcard program and focus on the stuff that is already in there. I don't like to admit this to myself, because I hate to give up the idea that I can just effortlessly memorizing thousands of words and phrases and just like that be fluent in Yiddish.
Actual learning always involves abandoning a fantasy of learning, I guess.
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