Monthly Archives: November 2014

Monthly Language Update – October 2014

We made it!

After a few weeks of chaos, followed by a 1500 km drive, and then some more (ongoing) chaos, we’re once again in Toronto.

In case you’re wondering, this is what the drive from Nova Scotia to Ontario looks like:



It’s strange to move from a monocultural village of 1800 to a teeming mosaic of 2.5 million. On our first night here, we went to our favourite congee restaurant and feasted on squid, tripe and stuffed tofu. The restaurant was packed. Through the roar, I could pick out the sounds of a half dozen languages: Mandarin, English, Cantonese, Tagalog, Russian, Korean.

Our small town in Nova Scotia wasn’t the best place for us. It was mostly monocultural. It was an hour and 45 minutes from the closest airport. Professionally, it was a black hole for me. But we were happy there, and we’d gotten used to the quiet of rural living. Now we’re adjusting to noise and traffic all over again.

But we’re glad to be home! This city is in our blood!

Spanish Update for the Month of October:

Honestly, I slacked off enormously in Spanish this month. I read En Llamas, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and I’m about half-way through the third Harry Potter book, although I haven’t picked it up in over a week.

Aside from that, I watched only two TV show episodes, listened to Buenos Días América a handful of times, and completed a grand total of two Skype sessions – both of them in the first week of the month. That puts me at only five hours of Spanish conversation in the past two months.

Next month, I want to focus on increasing my Spanish input: read more, watch more, listen more. I’d also like to complete at least four hours of conversation. I’m aiming for a time-based goal this month of an hour per day.

Tagalog Update for the Month of October:

Taking a step back in October was a very good idea. I focused on review for the first two weeks of October, and since then haven’t done much more than anki and memrise. But now that I’m getting settled in our new home, my motivation is starting to grow once more.

I’m planning on jumping back into Tagalog during the month of November. I’m giving myself the same time-based goal for Tagalog as for Spanish: an hour per day. I also want to take advantage of a semi-immersion situation and be brave when meeting Tagalog-speaking strangers. More on all of that in a future post!

Other Goals

While I do plan on working on both of my languages this month, there are also other things that I want to focus on. In November I need to…

  • Organize my house. We moved from a large house with lots of neat built-in storage to a not-so-large house with non-existent storage. All of our rooms are now packed tight with stacked boxes, and nowhere to put the stuff. Our furniture is too big. Even our fridge doesn’t fit in the hole beneath the cabinets. We have some major thinking, culling and organizing to do.
  • Move more and eat better. After losing my dog, I ate too much and walked too little. I feel unhealthier now than I’ve felt in years. It’s time for a change.
  • Find a job. I’ve spent the past three years teaching adult learners. I absolutely love it, but the pay is low and the professional development non-existent. I’d like to be a part of an educational learning community once again, so I’m hoping to return to French Immersion in the public school system.
  • Help train my in-laws’ new dog. They just adopted an adorable 5-year-old shih tzu who was sorely neglected. He has a great character, but he has a lot to learn – like how to walk on a leash and how to not poop in the house.

I guess all of that should keep me busy!

I hope you all had a great October! And I hope that November is even better!