You get what you get

Samuel Huntington, First President of the Unit...

Samuel Huntington, First President of the United States (Photo credit: Tony Fischer Photography)


Interesting thing to think about happened in the last 24 hours.  In the U.S. Elections, Barack Obama we re-elected as the President of the United States.  Now I don’t intend to write about any of the politics around that, but somehow I was able to connect that moment last night to language learning and in the most round about way, it’s weird.  I guess my brain functions in a weird way or I like to connect the dots differently than others.  Never the less, I still made a connection in the most round about, yet powerful (for me at least) way.  So let me bring you into the inner workings of my mind.


Somebody will always be disappointed


The thing with elections is that somebody, and in this case close to half the country, will always be disappointed.  If Mitt Romney would have won, it would have been there other half, but even though he didn’t, it doesn’t change that half the country will be disappointed.  If you are on the losing side and the person you voted for doesn’t get elected, what do you do?  The only thing you can do, which is make do with what you have been given.


This reminded me of a common phrase used by my children.  My daughter taught it to me, actually, after she learned it from a teacher in school.  The phrase is “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”  There is power in the simple phrase.  You can not control the cards you are dealt.  You do your best with what you have.  Making a fuss about it, will lead to know where.


How does this apply to learning a language?


Simple.  In a perfectly ideal world, you will instantly be transported to live and work in the environment which uses the language you want to learn.  At the same time you will have all the free time you need/want to study what and how you want.    Wouldn’t that be great?


For most of us, that is not possible. I don’t have the time and/or resources available to push myself into an immersive environment.  I don’t even have time to schedule a Skype call with any regularity.  I mostly have the time I travel to and from work.  So I could complain about my language learning situation as something horrible or I can do as my kids say: “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!”



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