Monsters aren’t that scary

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Discover Discomfort - Monsters aren't that scary - Crocodile

But we’re afraid of other things. Like flying spiders, which we just learned were a thing.

This is an archive of a letter sent to our email list on October 31, 2018. It was kind of a coincidence it went out on Halloween.

Dear Discoverers,

In this email:

  1. Our everyday fears, but not really including flying spiders
  2. Why we’ll start with tutors next time rather than apps
  3. Winner of the Language Hackers toolkit
  4. Staying in shape while travelling and eating fried chicken

The third one will surprise you! Oh wait I already said what it was.

1. Our everyday fears (no, not vampires or ghouls)

On my first full-Korean lesson on italki, I was full-on sweating. It wasn’t the first time. I always hope that the resolution on my webcam isn’t high enough.

Jo’s palms got epic sweaty on her first French lesson with a new teacher. Lucky her! Nobody can see your palms, unless you high five them, which she doesn’t do because I’m terrible at it.

Every time I feel out of my depth, I get nervous and sweaty. It’s embarrassing for me. Usually, I only realize it’s happening after it’s super obvious to the other person.

How do we overcome this? We’re working on it. But here’s a first set of thoughts on our everyday fears.

2. If you want to learn a language, you need a tutor.

After two months of trying to learn Korean (for me) and French (Jo) on the side, our main lesson learned is we should invest more in tutoring earlier. I still think italki is the best system for getting 1:1 tutoring, and did a full review of italki to explain why.

We’ll apply the same lesson to everything else we learn.

I’m also doing a full write-up of what makes an amazing tutor and how to find them, on another amazing blog! In case you’re wondering if it’s someone who just wants to flirt over text messages… no, it’s not. I mean that doesn’t hurt though.

3. Winner of the Language Hacker’s Toolkit (+ more contests)

Firstly, our contest for the Language Hacker’s Toolkit is over – congrats to C******!

In case you’re thinking “I never win things!” well, that’s what she thought too, until now. Next time, it could be you who previously thought this, up until that time!

She hasn’t decided what language to use it for, but it could be Spanish, German or even maybe Mandarin Chinese. I humbly suggest Xhosa. Clicking sounds!

I got some awesome responses from each of you who entered, saying you want to learn all kinds of languages including Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, French and Bahasa Indonesia. You’re all so inspiring and good looking!

We’ll definitely have more contests in the future, by the way, for languages, books, coaching programs and more.

4. Staying in shape while travelling – a work* in progress

I tried the Tim Ferriss Four Hour Body “Slow Carb” approach as an attempt to keep a sane long-term travel diet. I’m not going to stick with it as I think it’s impractical overall, though the book overall taught me some great foundation concepts. The experimentation will continue!

Until next time

Dana & Jo

* Just ‘work’. Not work-out. No pun** intended, or executed.

** work-out. No work-out intended.

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