A Reboot (Un reinicio)

On May 10th — my mind full of ambitious hope for language learning — I started this project.  I saw myself learning several languages — Spanish, French, German, American Sign Language, and hell, even Dutch, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Japanese… — and envisioned a future of public service; I’d volunteer at polls, I’d work in civil service, I’d volunteer in Africa… I would learn the language my religion’s texts were written in, and I’d learn the languages of those who still practice it in it’s purest form.

I am, after all, nothing if not arrogant.

On May 15th, my wife began chemotherapy radiation treatment for Stage IIIB cancer.  I think that neither one of us anticipated how much this would affect our daily schedule. Suddenly, I was taking an hour of leave from working every day so I could drive her to and from treatment… I missed a dozen night classes at the local community college… and most importantly (for this blog at least) I lost the time to learn any foreign languages.

Suddenly, I was taking an hour of leave from working every day so I could drive her to and from treatment… I missed a dozen night classes at the local community college… and most importantly (for this blog at least) I lost the time to learn any foreign languages.

My wife finished her radiation treatment on June 23rd, and while chemo will continue for several more months, I am finding more time in my schedule than I had before.  I can

I am finishing my associate’s degree in a matter of weeks.  I’m applying for promotions which are in my field.  I have spare time for studying and for language learning.

I’m restarting this blog — this journey — as of today, July 1st.  I still plan to learn as much as I can.  I still hope to volunteer at polls, and work in public service.  My goals are no longer as haughty as they once were; after all, I’ve learned now that you don’t have as much time as you think you do.

Today, I’m restarting my Spanish courses with Memrise and DuoLingo; Monday, I’ll be beginning Michel Thomas’s Spanish courses.

Today, I begin to Speak in Tongues.

Why Am I Doing This? (Oh, God… Why Am I Doing This?)

Hey there, folks.  Welcome to my little corner of the internet that’s devoted to my attempts at language learning.

Between a full-time job in government, a full-time college education, kids and a wife, and creative writing feeling more like a job than a hobby, I recently found myself looking for a something that was just for me.  After kicking a few ideas around, I finally decided to focus on language and the pursuit of knowledge, and issued myself a foolhardy challenge:  to attain professional proficiency in as many languages as I can before my thirtieth birthday.  And with that, to Speak in Tongues was born.

I have 733 days to see what I can learn.

to Speak in Tongues will serve as part-journal, part-data-dump, part-scratchpad, and part-soapbox as I pursue polyglottism for personal enrichment, and maybe help some others along the way.

With an existing elementary knowledge of Spanish and German, and an interest in French, Japanese, Mandarin, American Sign Language, and many others, there’s no telling where this pursuit will lead.