American Sign Language (ASL) is so hard to "hear" even though I'm great at French/Spanish/etc. - people sign too fast! How do I read a conversation?
Great question, and it takes a lot of practice. However, ASL really is all about context. Many words use the same sign or one that is really similar to another, which can be really confusing for a beginner. But if you allow yourself to just watch and know some of the words, you'll figure out the other ones if you're patient.
Starting an essay sucks! How do I start it and not derail from my thesis or main points?
It all starts with the conclusion, which makes absolutely no sense because it's the ending - but it is the one paragraph that needs to be concise, combine every point you need the essay to acknowledge, and will be the basis of keeping you on track! The introduction is a little different because it's not going to say "This is what my essay is about" because let's be real, no one's going to want to read that.
All design programs have a standard "specialty." In your opinion, which ones do you use for, say, a logo design?
Everyone has their own process, and sometimes it takes a while to figure yours out. Personally, I always advise people to do a typical brainstorm of images or fonts that you believe best represent the company or brand. Sketches are vital, as internet searches can be limiting, and sometimes I take a sketch, take it into Sketchbook to play around more digitally, and if I think it's good enough to finalize and tweak, I export it into Photoshop (or Illustrator, depending) and make the appropriate layers and complete the project. At the end of the day, it's all about the planning process.