The Things We Do(n’t) Do

Recently my friend told me that she wants to pursue her masters degree, and one of the things she needs to do that is learn another language.  Apparently many places won’t accept you for her degree unless you know two languages, so she thought she would go for French.  She asked me if I would be willing to take a class with her as an extra motivation type of thing, and since I’ve always wanted to learn another language I agreed.

And then we discovered that classes are SUPER expensive, and we’re both already in debt with student loans.  But that conversation did get me thinking about what I wanted to do.

I always hated French class in school.  In Canada it’s mandatory to take French for five years (at least when I was in school, it could be different now), and I had to take it from fourth grade to ninth.  Not so bad, but I had a long string of terrible teachers.  I remember on the first day of French in grade four that the teacher asked me a question in French, and I had no idea what he said.  I’d never spoken French, never met anyone that spoke French, and was horribly embarrassed that I didn’t know what he said but the girl beside me did.  I felt so singled out, and he questioned why I didn’t know (a freaking eight year old!).  It was terrible, and ever since that day I hated him and his class.  Not surprisingly he treated almost all students like that for the next two years.  In middle school the teachers were nicer, but they didn’t really teach.  They threw on movies and told us to draw a picture of the movie cover.  That was it, lesson done.  And when I finally made it to high school French I didn’t know much, and immediately dropped the class when I could!  Suffice to say, I’m not impressed with the education system.

What’s the point of this story?  Well, as I stated above, I’d always wanted to learn another language.  I’ve always admired people that were able to speak more than one language because it seemed like such an impossible task.  I always hated when people complained about an immigrants accent, when they were fluent in English!  Who cares about the accent?  Marvel in the fact that they are speaking English right now and had to learn that themselves!  I do.  But no matter how much I tried to work up the will to learn a second language I would flash back to school and find my strength vanished; if I couldn’t learn in a classroom five days a week, with teachers and plenty of resources, how could I do it alone?

That’s what I used to think.  Now though, I’m finally free of that negativeness.  Over the past few years I’ve read books and learned so much; mainly about writing, but also about physics and just the world in general.  I don’t need a classroom to help me when there are so many resources online and in a bookstore.

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to learn Russian.  That might seem ridiculous, considering I spent this entire post talking about French.  And it kind of is, since I already have a basis in beginners French, but here’s why:

Okay, you might not be able to read Russian in fifteen minutes, but this comic is what convinced me to look into Russian.  Admittedly, it is also because of my love for The Winter Soldier and Black Widow.  But mainly because I’ve always liked how Russian sounds.  I never really considered it because I thought it was such a crazy complicated language, and after reading this little comic I learned differently!  So I’m officially on a mission to learn Russian.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be fluent, or if I’m going to do this for a month and quit.  But I’m certainly going to try my best!  (I’ve signed up for Babbel.com, so I may do a review in the future.)

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