Is it possible to cheat when you are in a class that has no grades or tests? If you have a set of note cards handy, is that cheating while you learn a new language?
Guilt comes naturally to me. Haha. So I have felt guilty about having a notepad next to me with the class vocabulary written on it as reference while doing the online class for Korean Digital Academy.
When I use to give speeches for Toastmasters, I would feel guilty about having note cards. I felt like if I was fully prepared, then I shouldn’t need notes. However, it would some times happen that I would get up in front of the crowd, start my speech, and go suddenly blank. The note cards were my safety net. They could bring me back on point when I lost my way.
In similar manner, having one sheet of paper beside me with the vocabulary list, even if I had studied it well all week, was my safety net when the anxiety of performing on demand in class made my brain overheat and words ran away to hide in my brain.
Chris suggested maybe I should include verb conjugations on my “cheat sheet” reference page for class. I started writing out everything I thought I would need as a quick reference. I started writing small, really small! Cram as much information on the page as possible. Nothing gives away cheating in class like the sound of me frantically flipping through pages of notes. Haha.
I figure just the act of doing the verb conjugations before class, when I had plenty of time to think and refer to resources, was a valuable exercise. So I tried to do the conjugation for 주다 ‘to give’ in the chart below.
Here is where I discovered my gaps in knowledge. I look at ‘When …’ and have no clue what that is about. Did we cover that? It’s in that vast mucky unknown mess that has been Level 2 KDA classes. Noun form? To go to give? To have to? To have worn? I remember ‘want to’ is -고 십다. I vaguely remember future tense is AstroHal go yellow. Past tense is a confusion of some kind of ㅆ thingy that my brain refuses to remember the pattern for, the honorific looks unfamiliar even when I look up the answer. I want to throw my hands up in the air when I can’t even make a cheat sheet because I am so confused.
Then I am back to what I have been doing for weeks. Going back over old classes of KDA trying to figure out what I don’t understand. Spending hours watching Level 1 videos, making lessons in LingQ, reviewing mountains of hand written notes, making myself flashcards for old lessons, seeking out material on the web or in books for topics I can’t figure out, and basically spinning helplessly in a whirlpool of old classes trying to untangle my confusion and only making it all worse.
I can’t even cheat properly. I can’t formulate what questions to ask. I can’t sort it all out in my head. What a mess.
I feel like what I need to do is go back and start at Level 2 class 13 again, fresh, and slowly work through each class with someone holding my hand, there to answer questions as I get confused, willing to go as slowly as I need to for processing the information. Yet I am at class 19 with no hope of unmuddling myself at this point. It is disheartening.
My brain grasps at straws. I don’t want to give up. But it does seem like I have fallen hopelessly behind. My doctor today asked me if there is any stress in my life. I answered the most stressful thing in my life right now is verb conjugation. She laughed. But I am serious. Verbs are KILLING me.
OK, done whining for the moment. Whimper. I feel like such a failure. I can’t even cheat, I am that confused.