Learning the Spanish Language — Project Day 22

Starting day 22 of what was a 21-day project sounds odd, but it merely confirms that the ultimate goal of Spanish fluency never had a target end date.

Because I won't know all of the prerequisites, until I'm very close to achieving them. That is to say, the point when the nature of final, 'mopping-up', tasks become apparent.

Sadly, today became another instance of "learning by failing".


Today was a teaching day — and I didn't get any active Spanish learning done at all.

The immediate cause was mental and physical exhaustion after teaching — but exhaustion was non-necessary and should be considered a failure.

Tiredness and a big performance dip after teaching are unavoidable, but today their conversion into exhaustion was down to going to bed too late and getting up too early.

The former is clearly a chronic problem, which merits a project in its own right. The latter was an 'error of execution' — I didn't check the course start time.

Had I done so, I'd have realised that an extra sleep cycle was feasible — facilitating greater energy and alertness after teaching.

As it happened, my exhaustion was so deep and my morale so low, that I filled my face with calories and alcohol, and constantly nodded off while failing to enjoy the BBC's Wolf Hall in Spanish.

As ever, the most important lessons from failing concern the means to affect a speedier and more complete recovery.

In this case there are several:

  1. When exhaustion strikes — use it to get proper sleep early
  2. Get back on track ASAP — the next day
  3. Have a post-teaching plan to hand — Wednesday
  4. Make cycling its first task — bounded, no mental effort
  5. Make all tasks modest but satisfying

N.B. Today's routine timings from session 1 to session 4 were all actually 30 minutes later than stated below, because teaching followed a GMT, rather than a CET, schedule. They are marked with ticks, because the essential routine and its rhythms were stuck to.

Routine Mark 3 — Teaching Days


  • Ticks — right activity on time
  • Crosses — not done to schedule
  • Hyphens — not applicable to currrent routine configuration
Task M T W T F S S
0730 — Get going
0845Session 1
1015 — Break
1030Session 2
1200 — Dinner
1245Session 3
1415 — Break
1430Session 4
1600 — Transition
1630 - Riding
1800 — Tea
1930 — Active leisure
2130 — Reading

Learning Tasks Checklist

Task M T W T F S S
Reading comprehension
Read aloud
Just read
Word & phrase exercises
Sentence exercises
Socratic dialogue
A song
Aural comprehension
Verb exercises
Pronoun exercises
Preposition exercises
Eng.→Spa. translation
Spa.→Eng. translation
Physical exercise
Subbed video
Non-subbed video
Research lang. acquisition
List 'issues'
Prepare materials
Review this checklist

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