Friday, December 7, 2012

Getting back into the "First 100 Hours"

The "First 100 Hours" guide to Phase 1 began in early 2001 in Kazakhstan. I would get up two or three hours before my wife and son, and plan a two-hour session, and gather all of the resources required by the plan. Then the two of them would get up and Galia, a sweet Kazakh woman, would arrive. For two hours we would attempt to follow my plan.

Then Galia would leave, Angela would head to the kitchen and put her apron on, while Chad would plunge into his home school work. I would go back to my clamshell Mac laptop, where the original plan had been saved in a file, and I would now edit that file so that it was no longer the envisioned session, but the actual session that we managed to accomplish in two hours with Galia. So at the end of eighty hours with Galia, we had a complete plan, which was in fact a description of just what we had done.

 That was twelve years ago. Since then, the plan has been translate into major languages, and used by hundreds of people in scores of countries and languacultures. This past week, after all that interlude, I find myself using that very plan again personally, for the first time since twelve years ago. Those who know me well might think I'd want to modify or replace it. However it is *so* nice this time to not have to spend two or three hours a day making a plan for a two hour session! Now I can see why so many people are happy to use it as is. It simplifies life.

Angela and I are now growing participators in the Potwari world, a languaculture of Pakistan in the same subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages as Punjabi. In our first six hours, we have done four sessions. That's faster than we went twelve years ago, when we only did one session per two hours. However, there are huge lexical and grammatical similarities of Potwari to Urdu, and so I'm suprised we didn't go farther than session four in six hours.

 Anyway, after hearing feedback from many, many people, doing Phase 1 in normal life, or having a Phase 1 experience in workshops and in my North Dakota course, I'm again experiencing Phase 1 on a full scale. As I'm doing this, I'm always thinking of how people who know nothing about Sociocultural Theory and Psycholinguistics would be experiencing what I am now going through. It should help me to better explain the GPA in the future. The GPA did not exist yet when the "First 100 Hours" plan was created, but some of the explanatory material in the guide developed along with the GPA.