Flashed of Flowers

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I had fun with flashes and flowers this afternoon.

The digital sensor recorded -2 degrees F this morning, but the analog thermometer was showing -8 degrees F at 8:00 am, but I think it got a lot colder than -8, especially since the pipes were trying to freeze. When I turned on the water in the bathroom sink this morning, the water was a trickle for about 30 seconds, then it started spurting around and blowing out rusty, sandy water for a few seconds before it started running steady and clear again, which seems typical of water running through thawing pipes.  The almost frozen pipes is a sign that it go much colder than -8 degrees F, because two years ago when the temperatures got down to -15 degrees F, the pipes didn’t freeze.

Classes begin tomorrow at UNM and it’s going to be more of a family affair this semester. Laurie is starting a graduate program in Linguistics, but she has to take a couple of 300 level classes to make up deficiences. Tristan is starting back to school this semester and taking Linguistics classes with Laurie, and Laurie is thinking about auditing the philosophy class Tristan is taking. Here’s the kicker — I’m taking French 385 with Laurie. That’s right silly moi is taking 300 level French. And to answer your question: No! I have never taken French before. Not officially anyway. Last Spring, the teacher for French 101 allowed me to signup for the on-line French Lab so I could do home work for the class, and I wrote papers that were assigned in class, Laurie turned them in for me, the teacher corrected them and sent them back.  Other than being a virtual student last Spring, reading Tintin and watching French movies had been my French studies up until Christmas.

Laure got me a Drive-by French course and a couple of other self study guides for Christmas that I’ve been using to do a bit of cramming. The Drive-by French, which is designed to do while driving, is pretty good, but they hit you with hard stuff pretty quickly, and expect you to be able to 1) hear, and 2) remember things — two things I pretty deficient in. Now the first CD, which they call the “On Ramp to French” is pretty easy, the people speak slowly and clearly, and they have you repeat words and phrases many times over. So I was thinking this will be great! Then lesson one began, and everything changed — the instructors only say a word once, the dialogs are spoken at normal speed, and then they drop the question bomb on you — they ask a question and give you a few short seconds to answer it. Right! I’m still trying to digest the question when the answer is given, which turns out not to be anything I would have answered, so I obviously didn’t have a clue about what the question was in the first place. I felt like I should pull off onto the side of the road and put on a dunce cap. But I go back, start from the beginning, and listen again, and again, and again — each time words, phrases and questions become a little clearer and I understand a little better, but I have to really struggle to with it. I may drive fast, but I’m pretty slow when it comes to learning languages.

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