I have come to the realization that chapter 4 in the Teach Yourself Norwegian book was meant to make me reassess my goals. The fact that I go stuck on it - so desperately that I abandoned the book itself for a few days - served some purpose. Now I can say with some confidence that if I didn't let that one awful chapter derail me in my resolution, my resolution is safe.
I still can't say that I defeated chapter 4. There's some massive vocabulary there that I haven't committed to even the short-term memory. Of course that means that I would probably be a horrible sightseer in Oslo - after all the chapter deals with sightseeing in Oslo - but I realize it may be years before this hole in my linguistic education will affect my life. So I decided to do something radical and GET OVER CHAPTER 4.
I may go back to it at some point - surely months from now. In the meantime, life is too short. So today I moved on to chapter 5, fully expecting it to be as difficult as chapter 4 was. So I made a plan to change the way I work through the book and instead of trying to do all 3 dialogues one after another in one sitting, I was going to do just one dialogue today. Then another one tomorrow. And so on. It would have slowed me down in my language acquisition but I was planning to add some other methods to fill the presumed holes. However, it turns out chapter 4 was much worse than chapter 5. I'm breezing through chapter 5 and I don't feel any worse for not having completely internalized the content of its predecessor.
What IS slowing me down is all the research I do these days about languages, learning and learning languages. Right now I really want to read Stephen Krashen and his theories of language acquisition. I keep telling myself if I spend time on theory I will have no time left for practice, so I'm trying to wait it out and if possible not purchase any huge volumes full of theory.
It may be hard.
So today I think I will try to do some more of chapter 5 of Teach Yourself Norwegian, work through unit 24 of Pimsleur and read some more of Anne of Green Gables and its Norwegian translation. Lofty goals but it is a sunny afternoon perfect for a walk in the park with some foreign sounds in the headphones.
I'm really liking this language!