February 10, 2014 | Review Period

Studying on Snow Days

This winter has impinged on my outdoor Pimsleur running.

It has been so cold this winter. Snow, slush, sleet, bitter winds, falling icicles, etc. I have been feeling kind of wimpy about the great outdoors, which is where I get a lot of my pimsling (i.e., the doing of Pimsleur audio lessons) done, so I have sometimes gone running inside my building at night.

Snow Soufflés at My Favorite Café

Snow Soufflés at My Favorite Café

This works out better than you might think. Based on how long it takes me to run every hallway on every floor, plus every flight of stairs, I estimate there is a total of about 3.2 miles inside the building.

Recently I did a Pimsleur run at about 11:30 at night. There I was, happily running up and down the hallways, redoing a lesson from the second level of Pimsleur Eastern Arabic, when a small problem arose.

It seems that when you run late at night, you are likely to set off frenzied barking from dogs lying in wait inside apartments hoping that something in the vein of Pimsleur-doing interlopers will provide justification for a bit of doggie excitement. After setting off a second frenzied barking session in a matter of a few minutes, I decided I should in the future move my Pimsleur runs a little earlier, so my neighbors wouldn’t end up hating me.

One of the Hallways I Run Down

One of the Hallways I Run Down

Children's Vehicles, Violating Fire Code

Children’s Vehicles, Violating Fire Code

Another observation about interior running: because the hallways are really quiet, especially late at night, one can’t be yelling out responses to the Pimsleur prompts.

Controlling volume is hard if you are doing a language with difficult pronunciation—Arabic, for example. Even when I am huffing and puffing, I have to run without clomping too loudly, and also pronounce things sotto voce.

It is a lot of pressure.

I usually start in the lobby and run each floor until I get to the top. A couple of nights ago, maybe around the twelfth floor, the Arabic got too exhausting, so I switched to European Portuguese, which is much easier for me to pronounce.

Oh, I am dreaming of spring!

Comments (1)

Chris • Posted on Wed, March 05, 2014 - 2:22 am EST

I guess if worse comes to worst, you can walk and only listen or repeat silently or whispering. I know… But, actually, I personally do like listening to my audio materials passively, often. I mean really passively, like when people put on a tv, music, or even a fan for background noise. I figure it’s not hurting me and if it gives me more information subconsciously than a fan, it cannot be bad. For a (slightly) odd example, I’m listening to Norwegian pronunciation lessons, a movie in French, and thinking and typing all of this in English.

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