S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen


Languages are so difficult to keep up without practice. I have a reasonable grasp of reading German. I can ask for a hotel room with its own balcony and a private bathroom, but I can't respond at a second's notice to "Wie geht's?" I know how I am. My instincts can't tell me how to say it in German. This happened to me this afternoon. I ran into a fellow student from the beginning German class I took a number of years ago. I didn't take any more conversational German after that class, but she went off to a year in Germany. I could understand everything she said to me in German, but couldn't think how to respond to any of it. I need to study German again, or at least go to Germany at some point. It's a good reason to look for employment in Europe.

It was good to catch up with her. She's working on campus now, no longer a student, still just as much fun to talk to as back when we were in the same German class groups, devising artificial conversations together to perform. She ran into me when I was talking with a friend from Latin, and we were all three mutually surprised to find we all knew each other. After collectively complaining about conversational German, Italian, and Latin... well, it was the complaint of the overeducated. We're all highly educated and know how little we know and are frustrated by it. I'm just as glad I'm not trying to learn conversational Latin. I'd rather remember how to answer "Wie geht's?" with a reasonably variety of appropriate answers.

I had my hair trimmed today. I'm telling all of you this since you probably won't be able to figure it out on your own. I haven't lost any noticable amount of hair.

I spent today preparing for my talk: dry cleaning, hair trim, pretty pictures. The important things.

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