in which I want to learn too many languages

I've only had an hour's worth of Chinese instruction in my life, but I'm pretty sure they installed the welcome sign upside down.

The sun hadn’t even summited the apartment buildings, much less the lone skyscraper, when I walked to class this morning at 7:46. Three or four clouds were tinged with peach, but it was very much still not day. I’m dreading November and December already; I wonder if it will still be pitch dark when I leave for class. Yet another reason to be thankful for my apartment’s location seven minutes from school.

Something best friend Hannah said last night when we skyped (yay internet!) reminded me of a previous realization I’d had: I can’t learn Chinese on my own, from an app. It’s a tone language, and it has a different writing system , and there’s just no way I’d ever figure it out myself. French, on the other hand, might not be so impossible to make a start on alone. And as I look into my wonderfully uncertain future, I don’t envision any more opportunities to take languages in a classroom setting at no additional cost (beyond tuition) any time particularly soon. So this morning, months of announcing my French aspirations and yesterday’s post notwithstanding, I took the stairs to the fourth floor for Chinese class. And then, to make sure I wasn’t tempted to give up after a few days of waking up early, I bought the textbooks, which can’t be returned. It looks like I’m taking Chinese. Want to see?

Nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì Claire.

Hi, I’m Claire.

That was fun. Now you’ve seen the extent of my Chinese-speaking (and writing) abilities.

Beyond that, three more excellent developments occurred: I received permission to take two regular Universidad de Deusto classes, and I got confirmation that I should get credit for both the Spanish literature class I’m taking here and a class called Europe in the World! The first means I can take both Direct Translation and Chinese, and the second/third that I will actually finish my Spanish major and my gen eds and can graduate. Whoa, baby. To celebrate, I registered for my mandatory senior advising appointment (via Skype, naturally).

Once it rose, the sun shone again today and the skies were cloudless and blue. Alas, I locked myself in my room during the warm and bustling evening hours to work on some translation homework, which taxes my poor brain dearly – and far too much to allow myself to sit outside and be distracted by people and birds and happiness; plus, I need wifi for my online dictionaries. I may or may not be still working on said homework, in the sallow glow of my Japanese lantern-like ceiling light and the painfully blue brilliance of my computer screen. Let’s just call this post a study break, shall we?

 So maybe I don't know any Spanish after all.



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