slan's blog


What I Learned from a amazing Person

#time: 2023-12-12 13:41:00

Recently, I met a person who were professional in english. Her name is Xuan, She taught me English, and besides English, what I learned most is how she do things, which I think is the most important thing.

And now, I've been kicked out by her because I didn't meet her expectations. I wanted to learn English but didn't have the courage to commit to 3 hours of listening. Unfortunately, I had become the "Old white mouse" (老白鼠) in her words. It's a huge pity that I can't learn with her anymore, but I knew that day would come. I know I'm not a truly hardworking person, I just want to be one, but I haven't done anything once as a hardworking person.

The main thing I learned from her(or sense from her) is:

  • drive by interest, purse what she like.
  • extremely serious, do the best she can do. hardworking

Driven by Interest

We met on a BBS discussing English learning. She deeply pointed out my mistakes, and I started to contact her. She was conducting an observation program to see how adults learn English, and she would teach them English. So, I joined her program. She taught me English by having me listen or read books every day.

She is very good at it. The reason she's learning English is that she's immersed in the English world and enjoys it. She watches documentaries, YouTube, listens to podcasts, reads books, and teaches others. She has created hundreds of video lists on YouTube, read thousands of books, and listened to dozens of podcasts.

Her everyday life is full of English. She wakes up teaching English and goes to bed with books. We meet 4-5 hours every day, and she has other learners completely occupying her schedule. I once asked her if she ever gets tired. Her answer was, "Why would I be tired doing what I like?"

Extremely Serious

She has drawn an entire wall of pictures to help her understand the content of a book. The painting is sophisticated and filled with her own understanding.

She will watch the simple audio again and again, do the test repeatedly. When she encounters a new word, she will open to read all the meanings, examples, and the context. ALL. She said, "Others get a rough idea, but I want to know the details. The gap between us is getting bigger and bigger."

When a person in her class answered the question, "Respond to a greeting when you meet an old friend," the person answered, "Just so-so." Xuan was angry and disappointed. She said, "You spent your time learning English, but why didn't you try to say more, just wanting to avoid speaking?" Xuan said she would never do that, "She will do whatever she can to speak, try to expose errors, then others can correct her."

My Thoughts

I'm shocked by her attitude. Recently, I've been trying very hard to catch up with her, but today I failed, and she kicked me out. That's a relief, but it's not a good thing. I know I need to change my underlying system, but I also know I can't change it in a short time. What I can only do is promise myself: I will be the man who is extremely careful, doing the best I can. But promises are cheap, aren't they?

I tell myself:

  • Be extremely careful, don't fool myself, or I will be fooled by time.

That's all. Of course, she has given me much help in English guidance, like how to handle a conversation, how to correct my pronunciation, and how to train. But when compared to the attitude, that is not the most important thing.

What I should always consider (in building a system), especially now that I can't get help from Xuan:

  • What is the goal?
  • When will the goal be achieved, in my estimation?
  • How can I find the way to achieve the goal? Can the current method be improved?
  • How can I get feedback? especially real men's feedback.


This section records instances where I fooled myself, serving as a cautionary reminder:

  • 2023-12-12: I wanted to learn English with Xuan, but I didn't carefully follow the plan, didn't find an appropriate solution to manage fatigue, and consequently, was kicked out by Xuan.