27 October 2010

Grammar indigestion

My language class is in the thick of learning verbs and verb cases. We don't use cases much in English, so this stuff is MIND-BENDING for me. I mean brain-twisting-gray-matter-sizzling-help-me difficult. Lately, I get a stomachache at around the 2.5 hour mark of class. Like I've eaten too many verbs, or ingested too much grammar, and that one more noun or possessive pronoun or weird exception-to-the-already-bizarre-rule will make my insides explode. Pop! Kapow! Bang!

And I'm not the only one having difficulty with this stuff. Sometimes I swear that I can actually hear other students sweating. But, apparently it gets better. I'm guessing it is probably just like the G-force and anti-gravity training that astronauts go through. Sure they've got to black out and throw up a lot, but only until their bodies adjust, and then they get the sweet reward of being able to float around in space.

For astronauts and learners of new grammar....it is all worth it in the end.

26 October 2010

Nanowrimo 2010

How did an entire year go by? Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) starts next week on November 1st. I haven't touched my Nanowrimo 2009 project AT ALL! Not at all. Not even one word. As a matter of fact, I can't even remember what story I was working on. How did the time go by so quickly???

I'll be digging up my old project this week and taking a cold hard look to see if it is worth re-jigging, or if I should learn from it and try something new. It seems that life in Croatia is different than my old life in Canada. My old life was consistent, predictable. And thus I could work on my writing in a consistent and predictable way. My world was not changing much inbetween writing sessions. But here in Croatia, my life changes minute by minute. Not much is consistent and nothing is predictable. So when I put down a writing project for even a couple of weeks, I return to the project which is in the same condition when I left it. But I'm not in the same condition. I've changed. My life has shifted. Things are not the same. I'm not the same person I was 2 weeks ago. So taking up an old writing project becomes difficult because I am a different person.

Ever heard of that old telephone game where one person whispers a sentence into another person's ear, and that person whispers it to the next person's ear until 10 or 12 people later the last person says the sentence out loud and it resembles nothing like the initial sentence? So, something like: Barney has a grocery store, comes out as: Aliens make good traffic cops.

That's sort of what's happening with me and my stories right now. Hopefully a month of Nano will help.

I'll keep my fingers crossed, .....

10 October 2010

Crochet anyone??? Da da da!

It seems that studying Croatian grammar makes me want to crochet. A lot. Don't know why this is, but it is true. I yanked out a granny square afghan I started last year and have been obsessed with getting it finished. I made 25 of these squares last year, but have been struggling to crochet them all together because it is a tedious, unforgiving task. Thus, I put the project aside.

Until now. Maybe, just maybe, crocheting 25 squares together is less tedious than memorizing verb cases. Hmmm, could be. I remember back in my university days that whenever I had to study for a major exam, I would suddenly take a keen interest in cleaning the toaster oven, or defrosting the freezer.

Lucky for me, studying and crocheting can be done in unison. Sort of. Well, not really. Never mind. Enough procrastination for now, and back to the books for me.

Vidimo se (see ya later)

05 October 2010

Language school number 4

Today was the first day of a brand new language course at a new school for me. I decided to go to the Croaticum language school run by and at the University of Zagreb Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences.

After a few hiccups with the registration process (long story short: they sort of forgot to enroll me), I finally got things settled and am now ready to learn more grammar. This is another intensive program (they love these things over here!) and goes 5 days a week, for 4 months.

I'll keep you posted on how things progress....

If the grammar fairies are reading this: please sprinkle fairy dust on this whole experience. Thank you.