Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sibling Rivalry: The Canto Edition

I didn't experience too much sibling rivalry as a child.  Most of it consisted of me getting upset at my sister for copying me.  But seriously, she didn't have to draw a rainbow picture just because I was drawing a rainbow.  Why not a unicorn?  Or a bumblebee?  Or a an exploding dinosaur?  The options were limitless, but she chose to draw a rainbow as well.  Am I right?

Thankfully, we've left that kind of rivalry behind us as we left high school.  But for the sake of learning, we've decided to reintroduce a little competition into our lives. 

Both of us want to study more consistently but have run into trouble.  There always seems to be something to clean, someone to meet, a Youtube video to watch, Buzzfeed list to read (no judgment).  Time just slips away, and I'll go to bed with another study-less day hanging over me.  

It's not like I am not learning anything.  Since I go to both a three-hour class and a meet-up once a week, I get my practice in.  I'll also study a few times a week for big chunks of time.  But I was reading recently how it's much better to study for short amounts of time every day than a big chunk of time once a week.  Jan Van der Aa, a Dutch polyglot, studied Cantonese an hour a day for three months.  At the end he was able to have a decent conversation!  Check it out.

I was talking to my sister about this the other day, and we decided to start our own language competition!

The Rules
We are not quite as ambitious as Jan, so we decided to start off with thirty minutes a day.  While we can study more than thirty minutes, we can't make up days we miss by studying more on another day.  We can count class time but not practice or watching videos.  I'm marking small red x's on my calendar for each day that I complete.  At the end of the month, we will compare our x's.  Whoever has the least amount will have to treat the other person to dinner! 

Last week, our practice week, was pretty good but this week hasn't gone so well.  I missed Saturday and Monday!  Saturday I was out ALL day celebrating the 4th of July!  I did do ten minutes on Monday, but that's not enough to count.  Today was successful though.  At the end of August I'll let you all know who won for the month of July!

The faces of bitter competitors




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