Back to the Basics

September 20, 2010

Forget feeling like a senior, these days I feel like a perpetual first grader.

It’s all because of my Arabic class. Now, I love the script and the sounds and the glottal stops and my professor, but I am starting to feel like I am six years old again. We have spent three weeks learning about five letters a week of the alphabet, and then with each new letter slowly sounding out words one syllable at a time.

We also have regular spelling and vocabulary tests and I realized today that I’ve been going about it all wrong. For my anatomy class, when I had to memorize bones and muscles and tissues I would sit and stare at the words and repeat them until they stuck. I am finding that this is ineffective with learning Arabic because staring at the shapes of letters does not automatically equate to any meaning for me.

Today as I sat in class I tried to dig back into my memory to the days when I was first learning how to read and write in English. How on earth did I learn that stuff? So now I’m back to “sight-word” flash cards and writing out new words over and over again.

It’s good to be a kid again.


Seniority

September 1, 2010

Being at the top is a terrific feeling.

My mailbox is filling up with announcements “For Seniors.” When I go to pick up books from the library, my status on the computer screen pops up as “Senior.” I had my two Senior Seminars today and I am one of the elite group of Rugby Seniors.

I know the system, I’m comfortable. I’m not nervous or lost and I have mastered ATMs, soda machines, and the art of juggling my schedule. I don’t have to worry overly much about my reputation because anything I do I can brush off as part of being a Senior. ┬áLet’s face it, the class of 2011 now owns the campus and we love it.

And since this only lasts for another 256 days, I will savour every minute of it.