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A lot of my screentime lately has been digital scrapbooking. Much healthier use of screentime than stuff I could otherwise be doing! And because our internet is out, most of the time spent watching shows or movies is on discs together as a family. A bit of a blessing in disguise!

Written on one of our WiFi-having city busses! Most of the long busses aka accordion busses have WiFi for some reason, but the rest don't (yet)

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I really want to learn more ASL (American Sign Language.) I took one semester in college and I still remember fingerspelling really well which definitely helps, but there's so much I've forgotten, and so much I never learned!

My partner is hard of hearing, and only knows the signs our daughter knows ("baby sign") it would be incredibly helpful for us both to learn ASL so we can communicate more effectively.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Excited to get through another winter without gaming.

Oddly, many trees are changing early this year. It's got me thinking about how winter will be here again before we know it, and how last year I was so scared of winter! I had Never gotten through winter without gaming before.

Now I actually miss winter and look forward to it. Autumn will always be my favorite season, but Winter may end up kicking Spring out of second place! And I used to HATE winter. Vehemently. It's funny how things can change...

Part of why I love winter is because I love to be outside, but I actually tolerate cold much better than heat. Heat makes me extremely faint and I absolutely abhor sweating! This extremely hot summer we've been having has only strengthened my hatred of being hot. That being said though, I don't hate summer as a whole.

If my love of winter continues to grow, I will be able to genuinely enjoy every season for one reason or another, something I've always wished I could do.

If I was still gaming, unlocking this love for the once-dreaded winter might have never been possible!

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19 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

If my love of winter continues to grow, I will be able to genuinely enjoy every season for one reason or another, something I've always wished I could do.

If I was still gaming, unlocking this love for the once-dreaded winter might have never been possible!

Same. I'm in the last month of Winter, and mornings have been especially great. I've been doing my own thing this year. Summer would have been great without gaming, but I'll have to last a little longer for it. 🤙

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On 7/24/2023 at 7:29 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I really want to learn more ASL (American Sign Language.) I took one semester in college and I still remember fingerspelling really well which definitely helps, but there's so much I've forgotten, and so much I never learned!

My partner is hard of hearing, and only knows the signs our daughter knows ("baby sign") it would be incredibly helpful for us both to learn ASL so we can communicate more effectively.

Wow cool. the sign movement for baby ones are different from the adult ones ? That's complicated ?

My dad and me could learn some together. He is hard of hearing, but too proud to admit any weaknesses and ask for help. ahhhh  the tough fathers...... 

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On 8/3/2023 at 5:45 PM, wheatbiscuit said:

Same. I'm in the last month of Winter, and mornings have been especially great. I've been doing my own thing this year. Summer would have been great without gaming, but I'll have to last a little longer for it. 🤙

I believe in you! Summer will be there before you know it, and if I could get through a whole year without gaming I think theoretically anyone can. I have a lot of factors in my life, such as being disabled, that really limit what I can participate in. So even with all that, I still managed!

On 8/3/2023 at 5:52 PM, Shonnasen The Light said:

Wow cool. the sign movement for baby ones are different from the adult ones ? That's complicated ?

My dad and me could learn some together. He is hard of hearing, but too proud to admit any weaknesses and ask for help. ahhhh  the tough fathers...... 

Yeah some of the signs for babies are simplified but they're based on the official ASL signs. ASL is such a fun and beautiful language, and I think it should be taught in schools, because so many Deaf/HOH people are so isolated! Millions of people would have better ability to communicate if learning ASL was the norm. It's even helpful for hearing people in situations like having to communicate across a room, say a library or something, quietly!

I haven't made much progress, it's so hard for me to self-study. I am a classroom learner, and I can't really afford tuition fees 😞 Luckily having a toddler gives me a reason to keep using the signs I do know!

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On 8/10/2023 at 9:36 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

It's even helpful for hearing people in situations like having to communicate across a room, say a library or something, quietly!

That' s a good point. Also in noisy office places, too. I think it's better to use arm signs instead of yaping like angry all the time 😂

On 8/10/2023 at 9:36 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I am a classroom learner, and I can't really afford tuition fees 😞

There are no free groups out there to practice by doing it ? I think the best way to learn is not sitting in classrooms, but by moving my arms out there, comunicating live, like volunteering in a disabled charity or something ? 

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On 8/11/2023 at 8:07 PM, Shonnasen The Light said:

That' s a good point. Also in noisy office places, too. I think it's better to use arm signs instead of yaping like angry all the time 😂

There are no free groups out there to practice by doing it ? I think the best way to learn is not sitting in classrooms, but by moving my arms out there, comunicating live, like volunteering in a disabled charity or something ? 

Yeah you're right that might be an option! Maybe I'll look into it. Right now I'm going to focus on Hebrew which is actually what I came to talk about...

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Today I downloaded Duolingo again because I want to be better at reading Hebrew. It would help me follow along in the Siddur (prayer book) at shul (temple/synagogue/"Jewish church") and actually learning what some of the words mean will help me process and remember prayers and blessings.

I don't actually need that much help with this, I already follow along pretty well, and know nearly all the prayers by heart. It just makes sense to me to further my education on this lovely language.

(I don't usually talk about being a religious nut on here, do I? I swear I've mentioned it before but I wonder how long it's been lol...)

Even though Duolingo is very "gamified", it doesn't feel like a video game to me. Besides, it's genuinely real learning, and what you're "leveling up" is your actual real life skills.

I'm happily surprised at how much I actually remember/know! I did duolingo Hebrew a while back, but it's been a LONG time.

I had left my shul at the end of 2019 and didn't return until February this year, due to interpersonal conflict and personal issues. I had actually pretty much tried to stop being Jewish altogether but I wasn't successful lol, I just felt like a secular Jew rather than a religious one. Then I started to miss it all a lot, to the point it was painful, so I started going again. It's been nice.

(For context, ~technically~ I'm not even Jewish yet. We have a pretty rigorous conversion process to weed out insincere people. Cause, ya know, lots of people want us dead. If I had already finished my conversion before I'd left then there'd be no going back whatsoever, even if I stopped practicing the religion forever, I'd still be considered Jewish. All that being said I personally identify as Jewish because at this point I know I'll finish converting or die trying lol. It's complicated.)

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
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Oh, here's another victory to celebrate, I can't believe I haven't mentioned this yet!:

Since quitting gaming, my "N24 sleep disorder" symptoms have VANISHED! For my entire life I have always struggled with sleep, but little did I realize there is a direct correlation between my gaming habits and sleep habits.

Even after having a baby, (babies thrive on consistent routines,) I still managed to struggle with my sleep schedule rotating around the clock. Every 2 weeks or so I'd flip back and forth between nocturnal and diurnal, my body seemed to run on a 25 hour clock no matter what I tried. School was HELL for me because of this. But when my daughter was 10 months old I quit, and slowly but surely my sleep schedule has fallen in line with hers.

My father also has this messed up sleep pattern... But my father has also been a gaming addict my entire life. Even back when the internet and games were far less addictive! It's in his blood though, he's also a recovering junkie. It's sad and ironic he can recognize the problem he had with drugs, he's been sober over 25 years, but he can't recognize the problem he continues to have with gaming.

So this thing I assumed to be genetic and incurable... Turned out to be a misdiagnosis, at least I assume so. I think people with real N24 would not be cured by quitting any addictions including screen-based ones.

And listen...
I still "abuse" caffeine and sometimes it keeps me up longer than I'd like.

I still have a toddler that wakes me up to breastfeed in the middle of the night.

I still have an overactive bladder that gets me up 1-3 times a night.

I still have anxiety and PTSD that keeps my brain racing before I eventually fall asleep.

I STILL stay on my PHONE in bed (albeit with a blue light filter, etc) until I finally get so exhausted I can't read anymore!

I still struggle to go to bed at precisely the same time every night. And I still struggle to wake up in the morning.

BUT with all of that said! MY SLEEP NO LONGER CYCLES AROUND THE CLOCK. I NO LONGER FEEL LIKE MY BODY HAS A 25 HOUR CLOCK!!!

I fall asleep between 10pm and midnight 90% of the time. I haven't fallen asleep later than 2am in AGES, and the last time that happened I was talking my wife through one of her really suicidal episodes.

I wake up between 5:30am and 8am pretty much every single day. My toddler doesn't give me a lot of choice in the matter to be fair, but I don't often just go right back to sleep for 4+ hours after she's somebody else's problem, either.

The latest I have slept in in the last year has been 10:30am. I seldom nap. I generally feel adequately rested, at least as much as a mom of a crazy breastfeeding toddler can feel!!!

Quitting gaming has improved EVERY aspect of my life. And I still have struggles, I still have other addictions I'm working through, I'm not anywhere near perfect. But good God, the changes not gaming have made in my life rivals the changes not using drugs have made!

Today I am incredibly grateful to be game-free, sober, and always trying to be better.

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15 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

For my entire life I have always struggled with sleep, but little did I realize there is a direct correlation between my gaming habits and sleep habits.

For sure! Games demand our attention and focus like no other form of media, since we are actively participating in them rather than just watching them. They are very good at stimulating our mind and keeping the on switch flipped, even as we need to sleep. I personally remember waking up and still being tired frequently back then.

I relate a lot to waking up due to a toddler haha, at this point my wife and I consider 7am wake-ups to be "sleeping in." I believe that you are following a pretty healthy sleep schedule though, last I checked with the latest sleep research anyway, the recommendation was 7h~9h of sleep for adults. I'm personally on the lower end of that (having kids doesn't really offer parents much of a choice indeed). But still, I feel like I wake up naturally in the mornings, rather than groggily when I gamed before bed.

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I take back the positive things I said about Duolingo.

Over the past several days of studying I have felt like it isn't really teaching me anything that's going to stick in my head long-term. Especially because upon returning I remembered a lot of words from before and that kinda rubbed me the wrong way. If I could remember them in this context, why not outside of it?

So I decided to investigate this...

and yeah it's pretty much useless.

So I'm going to quit it and try to find something else. Thankfully I didn't give them any of my money this time around.

So basically I just wasted good chunks of my time the last few days GAMING. Infuriating! But I'm not really going to hold that against myself because it's not like I really meant to, I was trying to study a language ffs.

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2 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I take back the positive things I said about Duolingo.

Over the past several days of studying I have felt like it isn't really teaching me anything that's going to stick in my head long-term. Especially because upon returning I remembered a lot of words from before and that kinda rubbed me the wrong way. If I could remember them in this context, why not outside of it?

So I decided to investigate this...

and yeah it's pretty much useless.

So I'm going to quit it and try to find something else. Thankfully I didn't give them any of my money this time around.

So basically I just wasted good chunks of my time the last few days GAMING. Infuriating! But I'm not really going to hold that against myself because it's not like I really meant to, I was trying to study a language ffs.

I've been teaching English for about four years now. I normally recommend Duolingo as one of the ways to keep in touch with English, however not too many of my students use it. I agree that it's mostly a waste of time for intermediate learners.

It relates to my experience with Duolingo from around 2016 and 2019-2020 when I learnt Russian and revised my half-forgotten Spanish from high school. It can be a good supplement, but saying it's "the best way to learn a language" it's akin to saying that you can learn a language just by watching TV or reading a book.

To learn a language successfully, the person needs to be intellectually curious about the language, otherwise the effort is half-hearted and futile.

I agree there's no point to beat yourself up over it though. Just find other sources that suit you better 🙂

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I've been doing French on Duo myself, and still plan on continuing it; but I have my wife and my kids daycare educators (at a francophone daycare) to practice speaking French with on top of that. So more of the every-day vocabulary I pick up is from real experience, rather than from Duolingo. I also listen to their podcasts in French while reading the transcript, which helps me pick up new vocabulary that I don't learn by just doing their problems.

Basically I 100% agree that it is a supplement, and that you need to be intellectually curious on learning that language too. My French has gotten a lot better in the past month, but it's not just because of Duolingo; it's because I have real life situations where I can apply that practice.

But I'd also be wary of fully trusting that blog post you linked. While they make a lot of valid points - they are right that it's not the best way to learn a language, the leaderboards and exp it gives doesn't mean anything either for learning it, nor that it will teach you 4 sememsters in half the time or whatever - that website also clearly has their own goal in promoting their own products and lessons. They are in competition with Duolingo basically, and I can't help but be at least a bit skeptical reading their conclusion that "it's a waste of time" due to that.

(That said, I will bookmark the site and give one of their free speaking sessions a try)

Edited by D_Cozy
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9 hours ago, D_Cozy said:

But I'd also be wary of fully trusting that blog post you linked. While they make a lot of valid points - they are right that it's not the best way to learn a language, the leaderboards and exp it gives doesn't mean anything either for learning it, nor that it will teach you 4 sememsters in half the time or whatever - that website also clearly has their own goal in promoting their own products and lessons. They are in competition with Duolingo basically, and I can't help but be at least a bit skeptical reading their conclusion that "it's a waste of time" due to that.

(That said, I will bookmark the site and give one of their free speaking sessions a try)

Haha, yeah, I also thought that was funny. I think I could just as easily find a blog post that supports Duolingo. But to get back to the merit, I think the tools we use to learn the language are secondary to the desire to learn it. For me, it's too bad I've only ever been curious about English 😄

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I didn't even realize the source of that article was in competition with Duolingo! Sometimes I miss things like that, even if it's obvious, because I'm too focused on one thing. Bias is definitely an important thing to recognize. Still, it made me feel like the criticisms I had were valid ones. It really is too "game-y" for me. If it really came down to it though, something might still be better than nothing...

I've been trying out a few other apps here and there, when I settle on something (or give up entirely... Lol) I'll give an update on my situation.

Had another gaming dream last night, and I found myself rationalizing "moderation" in that dream as well. As if that has ever worked for me! Relieved as hell that wasn't real!

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I'm learning French on duolingo as well. I agree that its too similar to a game. I think it's definitely marketed towards kids/pre-teens to make them interested in languages. That said, it could've been designed this way so consumers don't become bored while learning. My mom is using it for German, and she is always concerned at where she is at on the leaderboard. So it is effective.

Either way, duolingo isn't going to help you become fluent in a language. As the others said to actually learn a language you really need to be invested in it, take classes, learn about the culture, listen to music, podcasts etc. All duolingo is good for is the basics, i find.

Hope you can find other resources to help you. 
 

best,

ace

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As embarrassing as it is, I think it's important to admit when we know we're wrong.

...Tonight at shul I was able to read Hebrew as well as I used to before I left. (I had taken an in-person intro to Hebrew class before as part of my conversion classes.)

So clearly I DID learn SOMETHING from Duolingo. If all else fails I'll download it again. I'd still prefer to find something less "gamey" (with a good free version would be great! Lol) but for the sake of my education I'll just take whatever works.

It feels so liberating when those symbols turn into letters in my brain! Just like every time I continue to be pleased by my ability to read/understand some Japanese, I got a huge thrill from actually being able to read along on the Hebrew side of the page instead of the transliteration!!

I feel so silly about this whole thing. Maybe the amount of relapse dreams I'm having is just making me extra paranoid about falling into anything I consider bad.

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I've been trying Rosetta Stone, and so far I like it! It uses the immersion method too, but there's more of a focus on realistic sentences and grammar than with Duolingo. I think I will actually use both together, because I like the Duolingo aleph-bet lessons. I will only pay for one or the other though, if I decide to pay for either of them.

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13 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I've been trying Rosetta Stone, and so far I like it! It uses the immersion method too, but there's more of a focus on realistic sentences and grammar than with Duolingo. I think I will actually use both together, because I like the Duolingo aleph-bet lessons. I will only pay for one or the other though, if I decide to pay for either of them.

Do you need to pay for Rosetta stone? Or is there a free component?

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On 8/20/2023 at 6:32 AM, BooksandTrees said:

Do you need to pay for Rosetta stone? Or is there a free component?

Yes there is a free component and it's really good actually! There's no popup ads or anything either which is really nice. I think it just limits how far you can progress each day which is fine by me I'm busy AF lol! I haven't actually hit any paywalls yet idk what premium even gives you!

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7 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Yes there is a free component and it's really good actually! There's no popup ads or anything either which is really nice. I think it just limits how far you can progress each day which is fine by me I'm busy AF lol! I haven't actually hit any paywalls yet idk what premium even gives you!

Ok that's great to know. I found a few apps for other hobbies or calorie counting and in the middle of using them I'd receive a pop up ad for... video games...lol. not helpful at all. 

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Well I finally hit a paywall on Rosetta Stone and it was worse than I expected 😞 Pretty much locked me out of most things after that. I've been combining Duolingo with physical flashcards and that's been pretty good for what I need!

I don't actually care about learning conversational Hebrew, I just want to better understand what I'm saying when I pray in Hebrew lol.

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There's something I really need to get off my chest... and normally I get things off my chest at my Narcotics Anonymous meetings but this time I can't.

Both of my parents are recovering addicts, many people in my NA circles know my parents, I can't discuss this without breaking their anonymity. But on here, nobody knows me or my family irl, so I'm gonna vent to y'all.

My parents are separating... That is, at least I hope they are. It's so unbelievably complicated. Long story coming up...

My dad has a history of emotionally cheating on my mom. We do not know if he has ever physically cheated on her, as in full-blown adultery, but he claims he hasn't. I have my doubts but no evidence to back that up. We really genuinely have no idea.

He is currently pursuing a member of his rock band, a woman whom I originally thought was lovely. She happens to also be blind, which we think has something to do with his interest in her. Unfortunately she has also self-admitted interest in him. She told my mom she wanted to "share" him... My mom is extremely traditional about relationships and is very very jealous.

My dad is also a Narcissist. I don't say that flippantly, I genuinely believe my father has NPD as a result of the severe trauma he endured growing up and exacerbated by the trauma of being homeless for a decade as a young adult. He exhibits all of the symptoms. He is like a poster child for NPD. Either way though he is very, diagnosably, mentally ill and frankly straight up abusive. He abused me growing up and continues to abuse my mom. Physical abuse was frequent for me, infrequent but present towards my mom. Constant mental and emotional abuse towards both of us.

My mom has Stockholm syndrome, that's the best way I can put it. She never had a good model of a healthy relationship and every single relationship she's ever been in has been toxic. Some of it is even her fault. She is extremely possessive and literally goes through my dad's computer and phone which is why we even know he's cheating. I don't support snooping in a healthy relationship but given her suspicions constantly being correct I can't really blame her either...

When my mom is separated from my dad is when she is at her mental healthiest, such as when either of them travels without the other. I would say my mom is generally a pretty good person, but the people she chooses to date bring out the worst in her. Unfortunately she has been with my father for nearly 30 years now, and they only got into a long term relationship because she fell pregnant with me about a month into their fling.

The only reason they're even in the process of separating right now is because my dad really blew it, and in front of several people too.

My mom was sharing at her AA meeting at the recovery hall they both run together. She was talking about resentments in a way where she was talking about my dad but without saying or inferring it was about him. He spoke next and said "This marriage is over, I want a divorce."

He's already backtracking and trying not to lose her completely, because he needs his mommy slash punching bag, but she's taking it very seriously. Unfortunately I can tell from the way she talks about it that she doesn't expect this separation to last forever.

He's moving into a room at said recovery club (the building is actually a house) but that's only down the street from their house. My mom is calling it a "trial separation" and says it will last at least a few months. She wants him to come to his own conclusions about the future of their relationship without her influence.

Unfortunately my father has said that if he had to choose between the woman he's flirting with now and my mom, he'd choose my mom. I hate that. I am so sick of him using and abusing her.

My mom is actually aware that he is abusive and a narcissist, and she is asking everyone she tells about this stuff to pray that she is strong enough to resist him when he turns up the charm. I can tell though from the way she talks about these things that she doesn't believe she is strong enough. She has never known anything but the cycle of abuse, as f----d as it is that's what's familiar and "comfortable" for her.

I am stressed sick about the idea of this all being for nothing, just another case of me getting my hopes up only to be hopelessly disappointed. My mom always talks about "when your dad finally drops dead" and shit like that, and it's obvious from the way he treats her he isn't happy either, literally BOTH of them are better off without each other. I don't think my dad ever wanted to be with my mom and only stayed to help raise me, and I was worse off for it lmao.

Best case of them not divorcing is they continue to live separately, not just separate bedrooms but separate dwellings, even if they rekindle a romantic relationship. Best case overall would be if they divorced and he moved away completely though.

The thing I hate most about this actually is how it's making me realize how unsustainable the relationship I am in is. And it's nowhere near as toxic as my parents' relationship... It's mostly because I can't deal with how severe and chronic my partner's depression is. If things don't change drastically I know we are destined to divorce. I am holding onto a tiny thread of hope and the fact that my daughter truly is better off with both of us under the same roof. (My partner would be devastated if she read this so I pray she never does...)

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