Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Whole New Written World

Although it's been temporarily put on hold due to exams, I've officially begun studying Arabic. I don't want to repeat the experience of living in a country without a functional knowledge of its local language, and I know my procrastinating self well enough to force myself not to waste time! In fact, my only purchase during the Candidate Weekend in Abu Dhabi was an instruction book; Doug from Yuma and I spent a few minutes looking at them in the bookshop at Marina Mall and then, very optimistically, bought them in an "I will if you do" kind of agreement. I figured I should make a start now while I'm near some native speakers who can correct me, and it's fun but challenging. I can already glimpse the beauty and subtlety possible in the Arabic language, and its a bit sad to know that I will never be able to grasp the language in all its complexity.

But the boundaries of my knowledge are still light-years away. At this point, the letters still look like smiley faces and my handwriting like a kindergartner's. Several weeks ago, I Stumbled Upon a site giving instructions for writing one's name in Elvish, and in a burst of dorkiness decided to write my sister a whole letter in LOTR language. At least writing the characters is good practice for Arabic, right?

Hilary and I made rice for dinner and somehow started trying to manipulate our chopsticks with our left hands. Call me crazy, but throughout this year I've resorted to taking notes with my left hand in lessons I find boring so that I have to concentrate more...and focus on the long-term goal of becoming ambidextrous. It's said that left-handed people pick up skills such as artistic techniques more easily than their right-handed counterparts due to the fact that the left side of the body is controlled by the right brain, which controls more creative creative functions than the logical left hemisphere. I think there's something to that, because a greater than expected proportion of people in most art classes I've seen as well as in UWC are left-handed. Two tests I've taken have told me that I'm naturally a left-handed person who was just instructed to use the right hand and adapted. That may be true, but I can feel the creativity I had as a child seeping away. The processes of seed germination do not inspire any poetry in me, and lately even my dreams have moved away from mythical towns to very logical, banal sequences of conversations and exams. And by this, I am completely convinced that it's time for IB and even UWC to be over...it can take my sleep, my health, even my sanity, but my subconscious?! That's over the line.

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