Monday, April 28, 2008

Я пришел, чтобы мужчина растительное

My Russian is horrible. I supposedly took a couple of years in college. There is only the barest residuum of any of it in my mind. It was a requirement for graduation, which was the only reason I spent any time at all in the classes, which were GPA busters for me. I have very good friends from that era, all of whom were quite fluent and literate in Russian. I am a foreign language moron.

The title is a stupid inside joke several of us shared in college. We measured fluency in a foreign language by how well the speaker could translate one dumb phrase: "I have come to see the vegetable man." I forget the origin of the phrase- it might be a Monty Python quote, or it might have sprung from a bottle of cheap wine we shared.

As I age, and come to grips with the fact that I am mortal, finite, and have all sorts of limitations, my inability to process foreign language stands as typical of things I absolutely suck at. I put no time in to them unless forced. I become dyslexic and twitchy when I try to study them. I am petulant when I have to face them.

I think it might be that I just don't like things that don't seem logical to me. This is perhaps a reason why I gravitated to science. I'm not proud of the blind spots that I have, and I know that in some way, it is something that will always be hidden from me. This pings my curiosity, and makes me sad that I haven't mastered myself more.


At Monday, April 28, 2008, Blogger Ψ*Ψ said...

I love languages! I still catch myself thinking in Spanish on occasion, despite having taken only a little in high school. Wish I'd taken one in college, but I'm trying to correct for that by teaching myself Japanese while the autosampler runs.
I'm weak with anything spatial, though (and by weak I mean hopeless).

At Monday, April 28, 2008, Blogger David Eaton said...

One of the perqs at the place I work is that they offer on-site Japanese classes. I have always been far too busy, and far too phobic, to join in. I think they might teach French and German, too. A lot of our business is in Asia and Europe, so the company will pick up the tab.

Perhaps I should grow up and get in one of these.

At Tuesday, April 29, 2008, Blogger Ψ*Ψ said...

i'm really, really jealous! sounds like a nice place to work. trade you labs? (the analytical lab, i mean. i rather like the research lab)


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