Hello world….!

via Hello world….!

Here is a blog I like enough to want to share.  I hope you enjoy it too.

I will be sharing more blogs as I get the time – I follow quite a few.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

French lessons

I am still working on learning French.  Why, you ask? Because I can. 🙂  I actually like the way the language sounds.  It’s smooth and almost musical.  I took classes back in high school, and I fell in love with the language.  It helps that I am able to produce a pretty authentic accent when I’m speaking as well. 🙂

So, I’m using Duolingo and TinyCards ( an offshoot of Duolingo) to learn the language.  I’ve recently begun watching videos of French children’s songs on YouTube (not sure if I’ve mentioned that before or not), and I’m using the videos to help me with my accent and with strengthening words I’ve already learned.

I’m having fun with this. 🙂 I’ve also found a website with French poems that are both translated and read aloud in French so I can practice reading the language as well as speaking it.  I will, eventually, practice writing it as well since I want to become fluent in the language.

Will I ever visit France after all this work, or because of all of this work?  Possibly, but that’s not the reason I’m learning the language.  I’m doing it because I enjoy it.  I plan to learn other languages as well. 🙂

Well there you have it.  I hope you all have a great day/night!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towels and sonic screwdrivers!

As Promised – Kafka Mini Reviews

Just finished reading the last short story in the collection, and I am ready to write the mini reviews I promised you ages ago. 🙂

The last story I reviewed was The Stoker so I begin this with In The Penal Colony.

This short story, In The Penal Colony, was written in 1914 and published in 1919.  It is described as a parable.  I agree with this.  It’s describes a torture device that is actually put to use.  The description of that scene is pretty graphic and if you don’t like blood, you won’t want to read it.  It’s not scary, not by a long shot, just puts too much emphasis(in my opinion) on the bloody nature of the device.  It’s also one of his longer stories.

A Country Doctor is next.  It was written in 1916 and published in 1919.  This story must have been one of his “dream logic” stories because it was quite confusing.  Either that or the doctor, while freezing to death waiting for a horse to take him on a house call, loses his mind; said mind going on one last house call that made very little sense.  Read it if you like, but I saw nothing to recommend it except Kafka’s emotive writing.  His use of words to convey surrealism on the verge of horror is fantastic.

An Old Leaf was published in 1919 with no mention of what year it was written – most likely 1916 along with A Country Doctor.  Not sure what this story was trying to say but at least it wasn’t that long.

A Hunger Artist, written in 1921 and published in 1924.  This short story is about an actual hunger artist who can’t seem to come to terms with how society viewed his idea of “art”.  People used to flock around people who were actual hunger artists but only because of the morbidity and oddity of these “performers”.  I found it interesting from a historic perspective.  I wouldn’t have considered these performances as being art.

Josephine, the Singer, or The Mouse People was also written in 1921 and published in 1924.  It’s a longer story, but it also deals with an artist who can’t come to grips with the way her society actually views her “art”.  I found this story to be boring.  I won’t lie since that would be a disservice to you, the readers of this review.  Read it for yourselves as you may get more out of it than I did.

The last story in the collection is actually part of a larger novel.  Before the Law, written in 1914 and published in 1919, is part of his completed novel The Trial which was published posthumously in 1925.  Before the Law is very short and doesn’t make any sense at all to me.  It might to you.  Personally, I think I’d rather read The Trial as context might help it make sense to me.

And thus ends my mini reviews of the remaining short stories of Franz Kafka.  As always,  I urge you readers to read this body of work for yourselves because only then can you truly know how you feel about them – know completely what you have brought away from reading them.  I am no expert on anything and thus, you have no need to take my word for anything in regards to this body of work or any other.  Don’t take my word, or anyone else’s for that matter – find out for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Duolingo, TinyCards and Me

Sounds almost like a song lyric doesn’t it.

In high school, I took French as an elective class two years in a row. Two years ago, roughly, I discovered Duolingo – an online language course that’s free.  I played with it off and on for a while before not bothering with it up until November 2017.  Since then, I have been working on it almost every day – the touted 5 minutes most of the time but sometimes longer – relearning a language I only remembered parts of.  The course is lots of fun and quite easy. It helps you not only learn how to pronounce words, you learn how to read and spell them.  Fluency is the goal for this course, and it helps you get there.

Now TinyCards is a site that works in conjunction with Duolingo. If a word has more than one meaning, Tiny Cards teaches you these words along with the ones Duolingo has taught you.  Same with words that have more than one spelling.  It just enhances what you’ve already learned.  You can spend 5 minutes on this site as well and still learn something new.

I’m currently at 34% Fluency.  I have found a site that has French children’s poetry on it so I can work on my reading and translating skills – when I feel I’m ready.  This same site has adult poetry as well, but I’m aiming for the kids’ stuff first.

I highly recommend these sites as they have numerous languages to choose from – a friend of mine is learning German, and she’s gotten very good at it.  Let me know how it goes for you if you do decide.

I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!