Two day intense online 'Bootcamp'

Just thought I’d give you all a heads up on how this extremely interesting first test is going.

We’ve got 6 participants - Allynn, Clare, Karen, David, Gareth and Tom - at varying levels of proficiency.

I’ve been flogging them mercilessly - I might have lost track slightly, but I think they’re onto their fifth hour flat-out of work on the relevant sessions for them, and we’ve been interspersing that with little 3 minute swaps of conversation with different people, and touching base as a group (via various ‘how the heck is Skype meant to work?’ hiccups, of course!).

I’ve been very impressed with how much ground they’ve all covered so far - and relieved that they are now starting to show signs of real tiredness - I thought for a while that I wasn’t being hard enough on them, but they all sound now as though they really are quite looking forward to Cocktail Hour… :sunny:

It’s entertainingly exhausting from my side of things, too - trying not to confuse myself about how is at which level, and who I have/haven’t done one-on-one stuff with yet, and thinking of useful things for them to be doing as I see/hear more about their Welsh - but it all feels pretty worthwhile so far. It’s going to be absolutely fascinating to see what they all think about it by tomorrow evening, and how much they want to come on here and abuse me for being cruel to them… :scream:


I may have made a tactical error by pre-pouring my wine for Cocktail Hour. It’s sitting on my desk staring at me. I’m not sure it’s going to make it all the way to half-past five…

It’s being allowed to breathe…

That’s what I’m telling myself. It’s living dangerously, though…

Looking forward to hearing from the six participants about their today immersion.

Well, the good news is that everyone was still alive by the end of the first day!

So we’ll see what sort of language headaches they have by tomorrow morning - but I’ve been hugely impressed by everyone’s appetite for work so far, and they’re getting through a great deal of new material. I hope that their increasing familiarity with going through several sessions in a row, and not repeating anything, will have a very significant impact on their journey towards Welsh in the coming months… :sunny:

And I’ll be asking them to come in here and sing out about the experience once they’ve survived Sunday, so hopefully we’ll hear some interesting stories.

Don’t believe anything they say about me being cruel or heartless, though. It’s all lies.

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Up and running very promptly indeed on a Sunday morning! And although most people are a bit tired, they’re soldiering on impressively, and achieving a huge amount. Everyone very keen to skip the ‘3 minutes talking in Welsh’ bit this morning, so I’ll have to force them into more of that in the afternoon…:wink:

Do it! You’ll be so pleased with yourselves afterwards. Pob lwc I bawb!

They did a good few of them yesterday - I felt as though they deserved the slightest of breathers this morning! But they’ve been back in the saddle with the 3 minuters against this afternoon :sunny:

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So, a 6/6 survival rate so far - and just half an hour or so to go until we wrap the weekend up with our final Cocktail Hour. I really take my hat off to these language athletes for all the hard work they’ve put into the last couple of days, and I’m looking forward to raising a glass of wine to their very good health :sunny:

[Note to self: must leave enough wine to raise a glass with sincerity.]

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Decided to join you all.

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Me and my friends - “hic!” - salute you all…

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They made it!

And they did fantastically well.

It was a real privilege being witness to such a huge amount of hard work, and I’m looking forward very much indeed to the follow-up session we’ve scheduled for a fortnight from today - when we’ll find out how well their new Welsh has stuck after two weeks of being under orders to do no work at all…:wink:

As one of the participants, and the most primitive of all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, hard work but satisfying. Aran is cheerfully supportive, diolch Aran, and makes it great fun, my fellow participants were patient and interested/interesting Grrrrrrrrrrr, I now have to prepare a speech (yn Saesneg!) for tomorrow afternoon, which this w/e has interrupted.
Thoroughly recommended to any one out there who might be interested.

David, I thought that you did remarkably well - coming into this from a more traditional background, with a strong feeling that you need visual input, and with a lot of tradition Welsh learning behind you over the last few years, it was a huge step to be so willing to work through what is a hugely challenging and tiring process.

I’m looking forward very much indeed to seeing how you feel after you revisit session 4 in a fortnight! And thank you very much indeed for your commitment and effort, and your willingness to suspend disbelief :sunny:

Good luck with the speech!

I quite like the sound of cocktail hour. What about a SSIW weekend cocktail hour :tada:`without the bootcamp ? :blush:

Hmmm… the fun without the hard work… I’m not sure we can sanction that…:wink:

Although I think we’ll need to find some volunteers to see what impact alcohol has on the learning process at some stage… :sunny:

Well… it looks like I survived one of the longest and strangest weekends of my life! I’m in New England and we changed our clocks back Saturday night. So I started at 5 AM (my time) on Saturday but 4 AM on Sunday! I’m really not sure what time it is right now. Glad I have the day off to sort it all out.

It was a lot of fun to Skype with everyone. I had never done that before and it went remarkably well. And everyone was so supportive. It was a great experience just talking (in whatever language) to other learners.

I can definitely attest that there was some serious learning going on. I woke up this morning (at least I think it was this morning) and thought “I want - Dwi’n eisiau”! For those not in the know, I just started the Northern course on Saturday after finishing the old Southern courses 3 or 4 years ago! I never thought the Northern words would stick! And Aran, I also remembered that difaru means regret! You only said that to me once or twice on Saturday morning!

So now my job is to not practice for two weeks. That’s going to be more difficult than I thought. It will be very interesting to see how everyone does in two weeks!

Oh… and Dad’s New England Patriots beat the Broncos 43 to 21!

That must have been such a surreal experience for you, Allynn! I was delighted that you didn’t end up needing immediate hospitalisation - pre-dawn starts, switching dialects, early afternoon Cocktail Hours, and then managing conversations with your Dad about football!

You did remarkably well to make such a huge amount of progress against such a challenging backdrop - and I’m looking forward enormously to hearing how the fortnight off and revisiting the last session goes :sunny:

It was almost impossible to believe that was the first time you’ve used your Welsh in a conversation - it was clear that there was no real need to use English with you, and I hope very much you get the chance to come over for a Bootcamp one of these days, because you’d romp through it.

Llongyfarchiadau mawr iawn iawn! :star2: