The Daily Prompt: Struggle

NagariAlphabet

When I think of the word “Struggle,” my attempt to learn to read, write and speak Sanskrit is what comes to mind. For the last four and a half years it has been a major focus in my life, one I feel very passionate about.

The classes I have been taking recently focus on immersion. The goal is to have no English spoken in the class, although some allowances are made. Almost all of the students are Indian and many of the words in their native languages are rooted in Sanskrit. Therefore, the Indian students tend to learn the Sanskrit vocabulary very fast. Even when they don’t know a word they may have a good idea of what it means.

When I start with a class of new Sanskrit students, I feel on reasonably even ground with them, or even ahead. As I proceed in the course, however, they quickly pull ahead of me and by the end I am not understanding much of the conversation that occurs. Eventually, I hit a brick wall where I feel hopeless.

I am in that place again. I have tried retaking the class and have learned a lot by doing that, but I don’t think I can meet my goal by continuing to retake it. I’m going to take a break from that kind of learning and do some independent study focusing on reading Sanskrit; listening to Sanskrit video conversations; speaking with and writing to friends who are also learning Sanskrit; and on building vocabulary. I intend to stay committed to my goal and hope to come back to a class format sometime in the future.

Another struggle I have been dealing with this year has been lower back problems. My life has been very different since that started in mid-February. Now that the problem is resolving, I can see that it would have been a perfect time for me to focus on my Sanskrit and on doing the spiritual practices I neglect. I feel sad that I didn’t take advantage of the long hours of down time to do those things but at the same time I know I can learn from the experience rather than live in regret. I can have compassion for the choices I made this time, and make different ones in the  future.

I appreciate today’s Daily Prompt. It was helpful for me to examine the struggles in my life.

 

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10 thoughts on “The Daily Prompt: Struggle

  1. Me too. I hope that gets you out to your lovely garden even more often. And one more thing. Do you know how exceptional you are in your commitment to learning new things?
    I mean seriously, who wants to learn Sanskrit at OUR age??? I’m struggling to learn the new TV remote! You are an inspiring! (smiling emoticon here…)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Kathie. Another thing I’m struggling with is setting up a new laptop. I’m thankful I get a lot of help from a friend but it is still such a struggle, calling for patience that I have a hard time drumming up.

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  2. I admire your determination, Karuna! I downloaded Duolingo on my phone to learn Spanish…my son’s girlfriend is Chilean. She speaks 3 languages but since she is so good to speak to me in Frenglish (we often speak half and half) I would like to speak her mother tongue. My son speaks it so well after a year dating her. I think it is harder when we are older and to learn a language you really have to be immersed in it. Perhaps you could start a weekly meetup with Skype…I have a hunch that might be quite fun. There is a blogger here who Skypes people in Quebec and France to practice speaking French.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When I lived in Toronto, I missed speaking French so I joined a Meetup near work for those who wanted to practice French conversation…we met at lunchtime near my work

        Liked by 1 person

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