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alisoncooks

Old dog (me), new tricks

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I've long regretted quitting piano as a tween (over 25 years ago). And I've long wished I could converse in a 2nd language.

I've finally decided that regret and wishes aren't doing a thing for me. I'm working on both -- Spanish (about an hour a day + attending a Spanish church service on Sundays), plus piano (about 30 minutes a day). I feel like my old brain is waking up and there's hope for me yet. 😉

How about you? Is there a hobby-skill-sport-activity-dream that you've picked up/developed as an older adult? What are you doing to further it?

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Yay for you!!

I actually decided to work on Spanish, too, in much the same way that you are.  In late summer I began attending a Spanish church service on Wednesday nights.  I've also been doing duolingo, youtube videos, and reading in Spanish.  I just finished La Telarana de Carlota (Charlotte's Web) and I began El Hobbit yesterday.

I've also been working on learning ASL, both with my high schoolers and on my own.

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I wrote a bunch about becoming a volunteer tour guide in my city in other threads so I won't repeat it all again...

It was a "dream" for several years and I really *still* am shocked it has happened. 

"Now if you'll look to your left..." LOL

 

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At the moment not so much.

I want to get back to writing and ukulele, and gardening.  maybe also guitar, Spanish and maybe ice skating,  and in summer to kayak (but I need to improve physical health before ice skating and kayak are possible ) and I’d like company for kayak.  I am fearful to do it alone and my son is no longer at a stage to do things like that with me. 

I’ll post back on what I’m doing to further these things ASAP. 

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I feel like the "new trick" is moving to Colorado with my family. We're all going to learn some "new tricks," probably both exciting and frustrating things. We've not moved out of our local area in the last 25 years. And I'm the only one who has done an international move before. So it's a really big step. I'm scared that the timing is wrong, that all we're worked toward building up for our dc is going to be wasted, and we'll be damaging our dc. It's frightening!  Before I drive myself batty, I try to remember that this will be a new learning experience that we're all doing together, in a safe, controlled manner, and that our destination is really nice. It will make us grow and be stronger in the long run (I hope!). 😅

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8 hours ago, unsinkable said:

I wrote a bunch about becoming a volunteer tour guide in my city in other threads so I won't repeat it all again...

It was a "dream" for several years and I really *still* am shocked it has happened. 

"Now if you'll look to your left..." LOL

 

How are the tours going? Are they getting easier?  This is a really cool volunteer activity! 

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I learned to knit two years ago. This year, I am trying (through fits and starts) to self-teach myself Portuguese. I have also just started reading Don Quixote, alongside The Well Educated Mind. 

There aren't enough hours in the day!

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28 minutes ago, OKBud said:

That's most awesome!! What are you using to learn Spanish at home?

 

Duolingo for vocabulary (I'm using this the most often but I realize it won't take me where I want to go). ULAT and various YouTube channels and "See It Say It Spanish" (with my kids for school).  I've also got my eye on a few other programs that I'll try next. Just slowly working through them. 

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9 hours ago, Junie said:

Yay for you!!

I actually decided to work on Spanish, too, in much the same way that you are.  In late summer I began attending a Spanish church service on Wednesday nights.  I've also been doing duolingo, youtube videos, and reading in Spanish.  I just finished La Telarana de Carlota (Charlotte's Web) and I began El Hobbit yesterday.

I've also been working on learning ASL, both with my high schoolers and on my own.

Cool! I've always been interested in ASL. When I was a 19 yr old newlywed, I lived in a town with a state school of the deaf (so the town had a higher than avg deaf population).  Our church offered basic ASL classes once a week that I attended. That was 20+ years ago, and I can still say the Lord's Prayer in signed English. 😂

Question about reading in Spanish: do you understand all you read? Or are you looking up words as you go? Is this a way to learn or practice what you've already learned? (I don't thinking I'm far enough along to get much from reading in Spanish...)

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1 hour ago, alisoncooks said:

Cool! I've always been interested in ASL. When I was a 19 yr old newlywed, I lived in a town with a state school of the deaf (so the town had a higher than avg deaf population).  Our church offered basic ASL classes once a week that I attended. That was 20+ years ago, and I can still say the Lord's Prayer in signed English. 😂

Question about reading in Spanish: do you understand all you read? Or are you looking up words as you go? Is this a way to learn or practice what you've already learned? (I don't thinking I'm far enough along to get much from reading in Spanish...)

No, I don't understand everything that I read.  I picked Charlotte's Web and The Hobbit because I'm familiar with the stories.  I don't use a dictionary for the most part -- I just try to learn the vocabulary from context.  My feeling on that is that if I stopped to look up every word it would make it drudgery instead of a fun learning experience.

I started reading in Spanish with toddler books from our library's small foreign language section.  I began with books that were basically one word per page -- colors or animals or whatever.  I just moved along slowly through the different children's books that were offered.

When I started reading Charlotte's Web a few weeks ago, I was understanding just the basic idea of what was going on and I maybe understood about 50 percent of the words.  By the end of the book I was understanding nearly everything and my vocab comprehension was probably at 80-90 percent.  I was really surprised at the huge jump.

Now that I am reading The Hobbit, the vocabulary is much more complex.  I'm understanding probably less than 50 percent of the words, but I'm still enjoying the story because I'm understanding just enough to know what's going on.  I hope that I will have another huge jump in comprehension by the time I get to the end of this book.

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14 minutes ago, Junie said:

No, I don't understand everything that I read.  I picked Charlotte's Web and The Hobbit because I'm familiar with the stories.  I don't use a dictionary for the most part -- I just try to learn the vocabulary from context.  My feeling on that is that if I stopped to look up every word it would make it drudgery instead of a fun learning experience.

I started reading in Spanish with toddler books from our library's small foreign language section.  I began with books that were basically one word per page -- colors or animals or whatever.  I just moved along slowly through the different children's books that were offered.

When I started reading Charlotte's Web a few weeks ago, I was understanding just the basic idea of what was going on and I maybe understood about 50 percent of the words.  By the end of the book I was understanding nearly everything and my vocab comprehension was probably at 80-90 percent.  I was really surprised at the huge jump.

Now that I am reading The Hobbit, the vocabulary is much more complex.  I'm understanding probably less than 50 percent of the words, but I'm still enjoying the story because I'm understanding just enough to know what's going on.  I hope that I will have another huge jump in comprehension by the time I get to the end of this book.

Wow, that's super interesting. I might have to add that to my repertoire!  I'm pretty sure my library has a decent collection of children's stories in Spanish. 

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I was doing foreign language and piano (as a hobby at home) for some years before I became a mom at 41.  Things got busy, but I still try to tinker a little when I can, and I really hope to get back into both before too long.  I also want to learn classical guitar - I started this many years ago and never got a chance to do more.

I added TaeKwonDo with my kids when they were 6.  Had to drop it for a while but I've recently gotten back into it.  This Saturday is my belt test to bring me to the level where I can attend classes with my kids again.  I am hoping to get my black belt this year.  And I've already paid for the whole family to continue up to Master, which will be roughly 5 more years for my kids and 7 more for me.

I ran my first 5K in 2018 and am looking into doing more regular runs.  Hoping one of my kids will run with me.

Sometimes I think I should try horse riding with my other kid.  But not sure if that's possible since I have tailbone problems.

Edited by SKL
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My motto for this year is "Be brave enough to be bad at something new."

I too, have started playing piano again, after 46 years off.

I've started dabbling in the Russian language. I studied it in college, and it's the only foreign language that really clicked with me.

My dd and I signed up for the Dirty Dash Mud Run (5K with obstacle course) in June. We also started playing racquetball.

Since dd will be doing high school in college this fall, I'm looking for work/volunteer opportunities.

I like hearing what other people are doing. Thanks for starting the thread.

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I'm planning to get a drum set when my youngest goes off to college this fall. I always wanted to play drums as a kid, but I got stuck with the boring (to me, anyway😉) clarinet.

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I took up the cello in my early 50s, with no previous stringed instrument experience.   Definitely one of the most challenging and humbling things I’ve ever tried to do and I improve verrrrrry slowly - but it is so rewarding...

Anne

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10 hours ago, wintermom said:

How are the tours going? Are they getting easier?  This is a really cool volunteer activity! 

Aww, thanks!

I haven't had any since my thread asking for advice re public speaking bc there aren't as many tours in the winter. The vast majority of the tours are outside so we scale back the schedule and  just do a few a week. I do have a couple coming up though! 

I have to go back to that thread bc I wanted to jot down all the good ideas and I got distracted before I did that.

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Photography - I'm taking a free class caller A Year With My Camera that someone on here recommended. It's pretty good and best of all it's manageable! I'd like to get more consistent about brushing up on Spanish, but no way am I as invested in that as some of you! Right now I just play around on Rosetta Stone a bit here and there. I think if I really want to learn and make real progress I can only really give adequate time to one pursuit at a time, and I have to do it for quite some time until it's a true habit before I can add another. So Spanish is next on the priority list after I master manual mode on my camera, then piano, then Biblical Greek. 

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Almost done writing a kid’s book. It won’t go anywhere but I had fun writing it, so it was worth it. My family skis fairly seriously and I really don’t so this has been my little sit by the fire stir the soup and write the book season. 

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