I seriously need to calm the hell down about learning Hebrew. Ever since I fell apart at class two weeks ago, I've gotten incredibly stressed out every time I've sat down to study. It didn't help that we didn't have class last week, so I've had two weeks to obsess about my weaknesses.
Seriously, last night I sat down to do an hour's study, and I had to take an anti-anxiety pill because I was starting to wig out. On other days, I've just put the book away altogether because it was too stressful. D. keeps telling me "the only way out is through," and I'm sure she's right. I also know that the pressure I'm feeling is entirely self-imposed. Last week, the rabbi told me that I'm made in the image of God and don't need to compare myself to anyone ... to which I thought, "sure, blah-blah-blah, but why aren't I the best yet?!" I may have issues.
Fortunately, this morning's class was only half Hebrew study, with the other half on a couple of prayers from the morning Shabbat service. I do much better with the latter!
The other good thing about today's class is that we finally had a lesson in which my knowledge of English grammar was an asset! And it just so happens that, while I am clearly the weakest student of Hebrew in the group, I'm also the strongest student of English. This slight edge did not actually change my position today as the straggler in the group, but it made the difference less pronounced.
Partly, I think we're just moving too fast for my ability levels. We're working our way through The First Hebrew Primer one chapter a week, and I think I'm just a slower learner than that, humbling though it is to admit it. Fortunately, we only have classes scheduled through Memorial Day weekend, and then it's not yet clear when or how often we'll meet during the summer. This will give me some time to do lots of review and maybe even work ahead a bit so that I'm more up-to-speed when we resume in the fall.
In the meantime, I'm hoping that the relaxation I'm feeling post-class will help relieve the stress and pressure I've been imposing on myself the last two or three weeks.