From the email announcement about this podcast episode:Do you think you’re a crazy person for learning a language?Do you ever get asked why you would possibly spend your time doing this?If you’re learning a language and you “don’t have to”, other people think you’re nuts.Yep, totally bananas. And when you’re busy as hell and trying to sneak in 5 minutes of flashcards at the supermarket till, you may feel tempted to agree.But I don’t think you’re crazy. I know how it feels when you first speak to someone in their own language and have genuinely made their day. It’s unbeatable to have that conversation in another language. It’s probably as close to space travel as most of us will come.
Interesting podcast and blog, which I have recently begun cluing into when a topic strikes my fancy. Something about the comparison between language learning and space travel (the transcendent perspective both activities promise perhaps) really struck a chord with me. From when I was very little up until I went to college I fantasized about space travel a lot, and even very seriously (to the point of visiting NASA headquarters in Washington D.C., my senior year of high school) considered pursuing a space-related career. Eventually, through the tough reality checks provided by my undergraduate education, however, I eventually landed on English and Linguistics as a course of study.
Am I just a BAD POLYMATH? How far do my abilities actually go to support my interests in these seemingly disparate subjects. Or is there some kernel of who I am that has subconsciously been pursuing a common thread all along this winding educational path. If so, what is that common thread exactly? And what if anything does this reflective exercise I am engaged in mean for me now, as an EFL teacher, and bilingual parent?
In any event I was happy to come across this beautiful comparison between language and space travel because, on the surface at least, it seems to tie up several of my loose ends. I have a lot of loose ends at the moment.