The Nerding

I really love studying. Like, really really love it. In fact, every couple of years, I take a Masters-level course to refresh my knowledge. I nerd OUT and take matters very seriously when I do. I have often contemplated doing another Masters or a PhD; but, I think that a PhD might best be placed post retirement. Because I obsess in my nerding.

Right now, my laser focus is on French. I don’t need to do this; there is no obligation for me to do it, but I am doing it, anyway. I am pissed that I am not getting 100% on all tests.

The French language, Québécoises style.

Which is my third language, and which I have neither spoken nor studied since approximately 2007. But a language that I really love, and the essence of which is so elegant and sophisticated. I’m not being nice; meaning, I’m not pretending to like all of the insane and completely incomprehensible rules of this language (that appear to have been decided upon by different drunk people). Rather, I really appreciate how a brain has to function in order to properly speak this language.

That written, I took my nerding online, as I usually do, because I am curious about what happens when the brain learns a new language, as opposed to learning anew something else. According to the Swedes, only in the former group do specific parts of the brain grow. Specifically, the “parts that developed in size were the hippocampus, a deep-lying brain structure that is involved in learning new material and spatial navigation, and three areas in the cerebral cortex.” [Source: Lund University. (2012, October 8). Language learning makes the brain grow]

Apparently, we still don’t know why language is the thing which grows our brain, while other newly acquired things do not. Fascinating, right?

So! Fascinating! Especially when one considers the present swing of this world towards the fascist and xenophobic.

PS One thing which I have decided to study once I am able to tuck away my French books is the concept of time. I can’t wait to feel really stupid, y’all.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. My friends who are engaging me in only French. And those who have graciously accepted the warning that when I see them (IN BRAZIL, Hi Nat!),  I must spend a couple of hours in both the morning and the evening studying.
2. M’s messages that leave me in complete stitches. Everything he writes is funny and brightens my little world.
3. This approximate 7,000 word essay on the different kinds of erasers. WITH PICTURES! (For those reading on Instagram, Google jackson art blog erasers, and it will be the first hit.) I am erasing a lot, and erasers leave behind…crumbs. Which are annoying as all hell. I thought I might find an eraser that didn’t crumb, but that seems unlikely unless I want to use a type of putty, which you dab, rather than run back and forth. Crumbs it is. (And thank you Jackson’s for your forensic advice on all things rubber.)

Ottawa | Day 284 | September 10, 2019

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