19th August 2012

“If you speak to a man in a language he understands it goes to his head; if you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela

I actually quoted this in my personal statement for my university application, which I came across today, and it reminded me why I’m doing what I’m doing. Languages are very powerful, allowing communication, expression, emotion, care and structure – from running a government to international relations, to relationships. I love that by learning new words, grammar, idioms and expressions, I can convey so much to so many people. Just the other day, I spent 20 minutes speaking German on the phone and managed to book some train tickets, as well as have a laugh and a joke with the German man on the other end!

3rd May 2012

“We dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate, and love by narrative” 

Barbara Hardy

I came across this quote a few months ago in a ‘Reading Culture’ lecture, which was all about how we narrate our experiences and stories in a very specific way in order to convey them to other people. The order of a narrative usually follows this: an introduction, a difficulty or obstacle, an experience and then a solution or conclusion or realisation. This lecture popped through my mind earlier today when I was telling a coursemate and a flatmate about some of my experiences and feelings. What I said followed this order and it made me realise that almost everything that we do or think is created into a narrative by our minds. Even what I have said here has followed this vague pattern. It got me wondering whether the mind does this in order to rationalise our thoughts and feelings to make sense of things that are difficult to explain; or if it helps the mind to cope with the vast amounts of information we take in and process every second of the day- just a thought.

26th April 2012 – 2 months!

“This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I really dislike Thursdays. For a few years now, they have been my longest day – at school, sixth form and even uni. I remember year 11 Thrusdays finished with double German and Maths: the longest afternoon EVER. And at A Level, I had double German then double French in a row. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved the subjects, but my word that day was just a struggle.) It is also my longest uni day – my earliest start and most dragging finish with both of my oral classes and a lengthy grammar/language class. Today has been especially tedious as I am running on 3 and a half hours sleep due to a long night spent being an insomniac!

So yes, I have had a rather large whine and moan about a day of the week and I apologise- it won’t be happening too often, I promise.

On a more cheery note, it has been 2 months since I have been writing on this blog; I am enjoying it very much. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me so far. 🙂

20th March 2012

“Die Grenzen meiner Sprachen bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.”

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

…whereas the limits of my mathematical ability mean I use a calculator. Just defending what I study after my subjects recieved a large amount of (banterful) abuse today 😉