Today K College is closed due to the world-historical blizzard that ripped through the midwest, wreaking havoc that included completely paralyzing Lake Shore Drive to the point where people had to abandon their cars:
I decided to take the opportunity to get back into a habit that I’ve sadly neglected: language maintenance. I find that even as little as a half hour a day of focused foreign-language reading makes a huge difference in keeping things at the point where I can effectively plunge back in when my research requires, but for whatever reason, that basic language work is always the first thing to go when my schedule becomes more hectic.
The languages I’ve done translations in are usually much more durable and can stand periods of neglect between more concentrated work, but others seem to deteriorate much more rapidly — setting off a vicious cycle where I am intimidated to work on them precisely because they need more work.
The only permanent solution would be to integrate the language work directly into my research and teaching, but there’s basically no way that would happen organically, especially with undergrad teaching. So the best I can do, short of periodically doing translations in all the languages I’m trying to maintain, is try to remain faithful to some kind of holding pattern that will allow me to call upon those skills in a hurry when necessary.
Does anyone have a better approach?