Rather than seek out the research of others and synthesize into a whole, I'd much prefer to conduct my own research and write in-depth about it.
Today I didn't just step out of my comfort zone. I dove head first into the deep end.
I really, really like disc golf. I really like watching pro disc golf. So it only makes sense that I would go to tournament to watch disc golf and really enjoy it right? Well, not as easily as I would hope.
It was an all male tournament. All guys. Everyone playing and spectating. I was not expecting that. I was hoping to see at least one other woman on the sidelines, but that didn't happen until the 2nd round was over.
I was so intimidated. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. And I was on my own.
I literally hiked up into the woods, stood by a tree, and hid for fifteen minutes.
Finally, the tee time for the 2nd round came around and I decided to search for the lead card of players. I passed one card teeing off, hiked up the hill, and then promptly ran back down when I asked a passerby where the first card was and was pointed just back to where I'd come.
I followed them through the second hole and wasn't even noticed until tee pad 3 when they had to wait for the group before them to finish the hole. One of the players (not mentioning names here for location privacy) laughingly said, "Where you come from?"
All eyes locked on me.
A bit flustered, I said something I can't remember, and then he proceeded to compliment me on my quietness—something greatly appreciated in spectators among disc golfers. Then they proceeded to play as normal.
I was still really uncomfortable. Most of the entire time I followed their card, I felt like I had invaded guy time.
There was one other spectator though: an older gentlemen who took up conversation with me. I so greatly appreciate that he did so. Talking with him, I felt less like an intruder. He's the father of one of the players on the card, and it was obvious he knows the Lord. He kind of looked out for me, often motioning me to sit down on the benches at each tee.
His son was pleasent as well. At the tee of the last hole during a tournament, it's tradition to fist bump before teeing off, instead of shaking hands or similar after the hole is completed. The son fist bumped the other players, and then he fist bumped me and his father, and thanked me for following the card. I was caught off guard, so I only smiled back without saying anything, but I really, really appreciated the gesture.
At the end of it all, I officially met two of the other players on the card because they introduced themselves. The top player of the tournament welcomed me to come back tomorrow, and thanked me for spectating.
Looking back, I can see how the players were deep in the game when I joined the card. They were so focused on playing, there's no attention left to even acknowledge a spectator exists. So tomorrow, I hope to arrive early before the final round and say hello before they tee off. Perhaps it won't be as uncomfortable.
Stepping out of my comfortable zone was worth it. I was having a really hard time at first, but God was gracious and gave me a really good day. I'm thankful.
First tournament attendance done, so I'm off to do school now. I have two things due tomorrow, and I really want to get them done before heading out to the final round.
I realized what frustrates me about college-level English courses: they aren't actually the study of English. Yes, one needs to have a command of the English language in order to succeed, but they're actually persuasive communication courses. It's learning how to communicate effectively within a language, not the language itself. Learning the language consists of learning pronunciation, connotation, spelling, grammar, and syntax. It's an entirely different thing from communication.
English the language is well defined (for the most part) with (mostly) clear cut wrong or rights. Effective communication in English (or any language) is not. It's subjective and flimsy. Even if one lays out their point in perfect clarity, they can still be misunderstood. There are no wrong or right answers, only worse or better ones.
The older I get, the more I realize I prefer the well-defined. Math and science is wonderful because there is no wiggle room. Either you have it right, or dead wrong.
Even though I'm not particularly happy to be studying communication (I literally switched my Nutrition major from a communication focus to a business focus so I could escape communication classes), I'm glad that my general-ed "English" studies will be over by the end of the summer. And that's something to be happy about.
An emotional and stressed ramble about college English courses.
Today did not go how I wanted it to. But that's okay. I can let go of wanted I wanted to do today (and tomorrow too, 'cause let's be real, today is going to drag into tomorrow), and still feel at peace. In Christ, everything will be okay, even when—especially when—things don't go the way I hoped.
Today marks my 30th consecutive day of learning German. I'm honestly a little astonished that I've been so committed to it. Then again, this post is way over the 30th consecutive thing I've written for this blog; how difficult is it really to add another daily thing?
My reflections on the subject:
- I feel like I should be bouncing off the walls in excitement. But right now, I'm feel a sense of "Woah. Okay. Let's see if I can reach 60 days."
- Part of me feels like I've learned so much more than I thought possible. Another part feels like I should understand and speak so much more than I already do.
- Spending this long on a language has given me the perspective that I still have an incredible amount to learn if I want to get anywhere close to fluent in it.
- My awareness of how my native language English is pronounced and fits together has increased tenfold.
- Before, I never knew how beautiful and facinating language in general could be. More specifically, maybe German doesn't sound melodic and romantic like French or Spanish, but it's meaning is logical and transparent. I find such qualities quite stunning.
Something clicked... | Read more for an incredibly boring and technical tale about my adventures in disc golf and how practice pays off.