Skip to main content

Language Mission Update

No, I’m not in Belgium yet–but twelve days from now I will be! And in keeping with the spirit of the mission, I thought it meet to post an update telling what I’ve accomplished this past week.

I’ve been doing Rosetta Stone for French since last semester, and now I’m about three-fourths through level one. Now, I don’t endorse it as the “best way to learn a language”–in fact, I’m not the biggest fan of its method–but it was free through the university, and I want to take advantage of it. Also, earlier this week I read a number of paragraphs aloud from Les Misérables, to work on both my pronunciation and my reading comprehension. I was able to follow the story line, and was much enlightened upon a few visits to the dictionary. And today I watched Toy Story 2 in French. I had hoped to turn on French subtitles, but our DVD did not provide this, so I had to make do with listening. I caught words and phrases here and there (“Qu’ est-ce que tu fait, Woody?” “Je suis Buzz Lightyear!” “Non, je suis Buzz Lightyear!”), but overall didn’t understand much of it. But I do not despair! I am just beginning, and I plan to make this a measure of my progress by watching the same movie in French once I get back, to see how much better I can understand it after the completion of my mission.

And that’s about it for now. Au revoir, mes amis!

Hymn of the Week – Sun of My Soul

Words: John Keble, 1820
Music: An old tune dating back to 1774
Recording by the Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir
Cyber Hymnal entry

Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
O may no earthborn cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes.

When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
Forever on my Savior’s breast.

Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.

Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take,
Till in the ocean of Thy love
We lose ourselves in Heaven above.

Language Mission: Français

In anticipation of my upcoming three months in Europe, I have been familiarizing myself with the French language, since most of my time there will be spent in Wallonia, the French-speaking portion of Belgium. Unfortunately I haven’t had as much time to devote to it this summer as I had hoped, but I have been working on it a little bit. And just of late I have become inspired by Benny Lewis the Irish Polyglot, who has achieved fluency in a number of European languages in just the past few years.

His site is called “Fluent in Three Months,” but really what he advocates is simply getting out there and speaking a language in order to become fluent, which he believes can lead to that goal of fluency much more quickly than other methods (perhaps even in three months!). Personally, I agree. No amount of study in a language will get you to fluency–as much as this will help, eventually you’re just going to have to get out of your comfort zone and start talking to natives. Read More

One Christmas Day

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

“Miss Sims and Miss Nellie Sims, and Miss Horn and Miss Mary Ann Horn, and Miss Hendon, all must come to Mr. J. R. Coleman’s on the twenty-fifth day of December, to a quilting. Be sure to came, and don’t fail to bring your needles with you.”

So read an invitation received by my mother, and including the whole family except my father and brother, who pretended to be very angry over the slight.

I had never been to a big quilting, and, of course, looked forward to the day with great anticipations. I was surprised that my sisters cared so little for the invitation and indulged in so much laughter concerning it.

We had not been living in the country long, and the Colemans were among our first acquaintances. They were “good livers”—a good, old-fashioned family—and, while not going in for style at all, lived well in a rough manner.

Mrs. Coleman was uneducated, but she had a brother who had been off to school, and who, I thought, was an exception. Viewed in the calm light of riper years, his face was very foolish. His forehead and chin retreated from a large nose, and his pale hair and light blue eyes gave him a washed-out appearance; but I thought him charming. He seemed to be quite literary, and I loved books better than anything; so, of course, we were congenial spirits. He was twenty, I was fifteen, and I had no hesitation in appropriating his visits to myself. In the foolishness of my foolish heart, I no doubt put on airs. Indeed, my brother often assured me that I needed taking down a peg. Alas! The taking down came soon enough. Read More