I Hate/Love My Computer and It’s Helping Me Learn Vietnamese

Chào anh chị. Có khỏe không? Tôi tên là Stephanie. Tôi có hai con gái và chúng là người châu Á.

My oldest daughter is from China and my youngest daughter is from Vietnam, and I started blogging because I wanted to write about them and our trip to Asia last year. During that trip, we went to my daughter Sheridan’s orphanage in China where they welcomed her and another adoptee home with a beautiful red banner. The old and the young came out to greet us. We met my younger daughter McKenna’s birth family in Vietnam quite unexpectedly. That meeting was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Wanting to communicate with my daughter’s birth family has taken me on this journey of language study. You can catch up on the backstory at my original blog. When I’m not blogging, learning Vietnamese, or hanging out with my family, I’m a professional project manager for an awesome IT consulting company in Cincinnati, Ohio.

steph2

Oh, no!

What on earth is that recovery program doing running on my máy tính xách tay? I’ve seen this before on my husband’s laptop and I know it can’t be good. Error messages are telling me that there are problems with my computer—that a sector has gone bad or my hard drive has run out of memory—but I know that a virus is trying to trick me into clicking the recovery button.

It doesn’t matter whether I click it or not, the virus is already running, doing its damage. And pretty soon, it looks like I have no programs, no documents, and I can’t do anything at all on my computer. I call the help desk and they get back to me in record time and tell me I have a virus from which there is no recovery. I already knew this from our previous experience.

No! No! No! I can’t stand my computer! (And I have no kind words whatsoever for those people who come up with viruses that kill our computers.)

My first thought when this happened was, “How am I going to get any work done today?” My second was, “Oh, no! There goes all my progress on Rosetta Stone!” I’d been diligently working through Vietnamese Level 1 for about six weeks, and I was in Unit 4, Lesson 2. So, almost done—and then this happened. “Now,” I thought, “my laptop has to be replaced—but, hey, I haven’t lost any documents, so, thanks to my IT department, work will be fine in a few hours. But, it’s going to take awhile to go back through all the Vietnamese language lessons.”

totaleSo, last evening I sat down to go back through all the core lessons from Level 1. This was a suggestion made by my favorite Rosetta Stone Customer Success maestro, David R. The first suggestion he made was to put the tracking file from my old computer onto a flash drive and move it to my new computer. That’s brilliant, but I figured my IT department had already reformatted my old computer.

What I’m about to propose would make David’s first suggestion unnecessary: Going back through the core lessons should be mandatory before a student moves on to the next level of a Rosetta Stone language. As I traversed each core lesson of my Vietnamese Level 1 last evening and this morning, I got so much out of the review. The vocabulary from Unit 2 came back to life! I suddenly understood things from the earlier units that I simply did not get when I was going through them then.

Most importantly, I was more relaxed, less perfectionistic, and far more confident. Hooya! Units 1 and 2 were baby stuff!

So now, I’m back to where I was, and, yeah, it set me back time-wise, but I came out of it far better than if I hadn’t been forced to go back through those core lessons. I can go into Unit 4, Lesson 2, feeling more relaxed and proficient.

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Stephanie Sackman

Stephanie Sackman has been blogging for nearly a year about her two daughters, adopted from Asia, and recently about her experience learning Vietnamese with Rosetta Stone. She lives with her husband, kids, and dog, Tucker, in Ohio, where she’s worked as a project manager for more than 17 years. Stephanie loves to travel and hopes she’ll have time to learn Mandarin, French, Russian, and Irish after studying Vietnamese.
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