Today is in many ways a very special day to me. There’s a few sad reasons, a few neutral reasons and some really good reasons as well. Isn’t it fascinating that one can experience so many emotions at the same time? While the sad reasons are.. well. sad. I feel like the positive reasons manages to over-shine the sadness of today. As for the neutral reasons, I had a bunch of new experiences that made my day feel special, but they didn’t really add any good or bad vibes to my day.
However, this evening I had an amazing experience which made me go straight to the blog, even though I really should be getting ready for bed (Working weekend – again).
You see, today was the start of something new (cues High School Musical) and very nerve wrecking to me! Today I had my first Italki session with my new teacher/language partner. Whenever I speak in Korean I feel way more nervous than I should and this causes me to constantly switch back to English, and to be completely honest I feel like I never really put in my full effort when it comes to sticking to Korean. As a result it makes me feel really nervous when talking to new people – especially native speakers. I believe this is actually quite common, but nevertheless it means that it takes me a long time to feel comfortable enough to speak freely – with or without mistakes – and that just makes me even more nervous. I don’t like to waste time and I hate feeling like I’m not doing my best.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I entered this 30 minute session while thinking of it as starting fresh on a blank page, and with the intention of doing my very best and make sure that at least 70% of what I said would be in Korean.
Much to my surprise my nervousness disappeared almost immediately and I was able to follow along just fine (though honestly, understanding usually isn’t an issue. Saying something myself on the other hand… Yikes) and somehow we ended our 30 minute session without using any English at all. How on earth did that happen? I’m really not sure. I was definitely more determined than I have been in a very long time, and she made me feel comfortable almost immediately. When I got stuck I just took a deep breath and that was usually enough for me to regain control over my Korean, and when I felt completely lost I simply rephrased my thoughts so that I could either say it completely or at least say something similar enough for her to understand me easily and then learn the correct way from her. Even when I couldn’t remember the meaning of a certain word, she explained the meaning of it in Korean instead of giving me the translation.
She was super patient and I didn’t feel like those deep breathes of mine, were awkward at all. She has a lot of the same good traits as my previous teacher, so maybe that’s why I felt so comfortable? Or maybe she’s just one of those people who have a calming effect on people? I honestly don’t know.
Generally I have always preferred casual conversation about whatever we feel like, but she seems a lot more structured than me. I new this from the messages we exchanged before making the session, and she likes to have a specific topic prepared beforehand so that we both can prepare diligently. While this is not usually what I prefer, I actually think this will be very good for me (which is exactly why I choose her – It was supposed to be a new beginning after all) and I suddenly feel amazingly motivated and proud of myself. I did something that I had no idea I could, and I can’t wait to improve even more!
I just requested 5 new 1 hour sessions, and hopefully she accepts them so we can make me speak even more.
Now, I really need to go to bed – BUT! Tomorrow I will be home earlier than normal and there’s no doubt that I’ll be using my hours wisely! MUST STUDY!