February 17, 2012 | Dutch

A Profusion of Pimsleur

I am pretty sure I broke my old Pimsleur record.

I have to admit, earlier this week I had kind of stalled on the fifth Pimsleur lesson for Dutch. I was not finding this particular half-hour lesson easy. Not at all. 

I redid it several times, committing some of the same errors each time. After the ease of the first few lessons, I was disappointed. I did not think my third Germanic language would cause me this kind of trouble.

These Reference Books Are All Fine with the Splitting of Infinitives. So Don't Be Afraid. Just Go for It.

These Reference Books Are All Fine with the Splitting of Infinitives. So Don’t Be Afraid. Just Go for It.

So Wednesday morning, two days ago, I decided to really concentrate. (Intentional split infinitive, people—contrary to English grammar myth, it’s allowed!)

I lay in bed and did lesson 6. Then 7. Then 8. No repeats necessary this time. I’m not sure why. Every once in a while, I think a Pimsleur lesson is just too damned hard (“damn” versus “damned” discussion available here). But it’s hard to say for sure whether it’s Pimsleur’s fault or a brain hiccup on my end.

Lessons 9, 10, 11. Then 12, 13, 14. And 15, 16, 17. And 18.

I kept going Thursday: 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, part of 28…

On the Washing Machines in Our Laundry Room. I Guess They Really Want You to Be Careful.

On the Washing Machines in Our Laundry Room. I Guess They Really Want You to Be Careful.

After almost 23 lessons in two days, at around 11:00 Thursday night, the mental meltdown began. Grammar mistakes overwhelmed my compulsive desire to finish through lesson 30, the last Pimsleur lesson available for Dutch. So I had to stop at 28-point-something. (Pimsleur recommends you do one lesson a day, by the way.)

One of the ways I got this many lessons done in two days is by multitasking. There’s a lot I can get accomplished while doing Pimsleur, or “pimsling,” as I say around the house when no one but my husband can hear my nerdy neologisms. 

With my Pimsleur-loaded iPhone in my pocket and my Yurbuds in my ears (those things do not fall out even during strenuous chore-doing, running, etc.), I can tackle dirty dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, and more.

So over the past two days I took Pimsleur to the laundry room with me to wash, dry, and fold. Pimsleur came with me to get food, multiple times. And Pimsleur also traveled through the subway system with me repeatedly, including to the Grand Central area, where I had an appointment with the chiropractor who is helping to keep me running.

At Chiropractor: Pimsleur Electroshock

At Chiropractor: Pimsleur Electroshock

Oh, yeah, I don’t think I mentioned I am running again, up to seven miles at a time, and this time things seem to be improving. After the chiropractor pulls and twists me in various directions, the chiropractic assistant sticks electrodes to me and then leaves me to get shocked for about 15 minutes while I learn Dutch. It’s strangely relaxing.

I was amazed that after stalling on that one lesson I was then able to sail through the rest like this. I woke up today and finished off the last two and a half lessons. I did not make many mistakes, either. There is no way I could have done something like this with Hebrew. 

From a practical point of view, I can’t really recommend a Pimsleur binge. I am going to have to repeat some of these lessons for sure. But it was weirdly fun (intentional use of “fun” as adjective) and for that reason totally worth it.

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