I have to admit: I’ve hardly gotten anything done since my March goals update. I’ve done a few lessons in Shadick, and done some stuff with TOCC, but the intensive work I was hoping to do has not happened. The weather has been fairly acceptable recently (until the past couple days), and so I’ve spent a lot of time at the café area outside MTC. That means I don’t get much done, because there are often a lot of interesting people to talk to outside.

Then last weekend I got really sick with food poisoning. I was out of commission all weekend, didn’t go to class until Wednesday, and so the rest of this week was spent catching up with what I missed in class. Every day I had big plans for what I wanted to study, but it just hasn’t happened.

But those aren’t the real reasons I haven’t been studying like I usually do. Here they are: 1) I’ve been lazy. 2) I’ve been planning.

I get like that every once in a while. I plan like a madman for a while, and then realize that while I’ve been planning I haven’t been doing. Then I’m behind on my plans, so of course I have to revise them. And then I find some great new method or textbook, so I need to rewrite the plan completely to include that. And so on. And all the while I don’t make any progress.

So yeah, I’m one of those types that gets analysis paralysis. And you wouldn’t know if you knew me in real life, because I’m a really relaxed, laid-back guy, even to a fault. This planning freak inside me is a recent discovery. Well, recent since I decided to go to grad school, I guess.

I don’t like “that guy” in me sometimes, because I feel like I can never keep up with what that guy wants to do. But then on the other hand, he’s gotten me to where I am in all of this (wherever that may be). He got me to Taiwan when I was stuck in a crap retail management job in Texas, got me a scholarship, contacts with leading professors in my field of interest. He is why I was able to skip two levels at MTC this past term, and why I’ve taught myself 文言文 when my teachers have been skeptical of any foreigner’s ability to do so., especially before taking “advanced” classes at a language school.

So it’s a love/hate relationship with that guy. Obviously doing all of this furious, over-the-top planning has paid off in some ways. In other ways, I sometimes wonder where I’d be with my Chinese if I was more of a doer. But I’ve never been a doer. In fact, I’m a natural-born slacker and procrastinator (that’s the other guy). I’ve discovered that I only do when my plans are in place (and usually when they’re too much to accomplish).

So the other guy has been winning out recently, but I’ll be back to it soon enough. As in, Monday. Fortunately, I did benefit from some of this extended planning phase, but now I’m going to have to really work hard to get to where I want to be by this Fall. My goals for the year have changed since January, but I think that’s another post. I also want to do a post soon on how I’m using the audio that I recently acquired, but that’s going to require some more time using it to see how it’s really working.

Anyway, I don’t really know what the point of this post was, and it’s the kind of thing that really makes me wonder why people read this blog. But people do read it. I’ve had hits on my website from several dozen countries (a surprisingly high number of hits come from Germany, danke schön, Deutschland!). It makes me glad that people can find something useful amongst all the rest. Thanks for reading, whichever country you’re in!

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