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Studying Indonesian: A Tragedy in Photos

Friday, August 17, 2012


Whenever I study Indonesian, it starts off with good intentions. I read my 'Teach Yourself' book, soaking up the grammar, reminding myself to make notes, listening to the audio tracks and going over them until I can copy the speakers pretty well.

But then....


The inevitable happens. I'm struck with the sudden inspiration to do something like listen to the High School Musical soundtrack, stare at pictures of attractive swimmers (Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, and Nathan Adrian, hellooooo), or make a dumb blog post like this one.

AKA, I get distracted, big time.



I'm lucky to make it two or three pages before this happens. Hours pass as I while away the time. I find new things to research, talk to my friends, and am generally completely unproductive, my natural state of being.

This goes on until something reminds me of Indonesia, and the guilt of not studying kicks in. I instantly envision thousands of scenarios in which I'll regret not studying harder. What if I'm stranded in the middle of nowhere and the only thing I can say is 'di mana kamar mandi' (where is the bathroom) when I don't have to go at all? What if I want to make friends but I can't say anything beyond 'anda teman saya' (you are my friend) which is not a very mature way to start off a relationship? 

These ideas strike fear into my very core. So I look for the book which I unceremoniously tossed away.


And I find it. I apologize. I beg for forgiveness. I ask for one more chance. I'll do better this time. I won't read exchange blogs and post on forums until the sun comes up. I won't stare at pictures of food and lament my absolute lack of cooking skills. I won't watch any more episodes of '30 Rock' or 'Toddlers and Tiaras'.

.... Well. I'll try.


I get the second chance, and I resume my studying... Until the next thought pops into my brain. Until my next big idea breaks. Until I learn how to say something awesome and go to someone to brag about it.

The way I see it, our departure being pushed back to the 21st is at least a gift in the fact that it gives us all a bit longer to prepare ourselves, spend time with our families, and most of all study Indonesian. 

Or try to study Indonesian, at least.

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I'm Sara, the freckled bule, one out of eight of the coolest people in the world. I spent a year in Indonesia as a KL/YES Abroad student but now I live in Boise, Idaho. Welcome to my bloggity blog.

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