Life Abroad, San Francisco, Thoughts & Opinions, Writing
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Post #40: Invest in Yourself

Welcome to the fortieth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #40: Invest in Yourself

The New York Times recently ran an article about the benefits of being bilingual:

“The collective evidence from a number of such studies suggests that the bilingual experience improves the brain’s so-called executive function — a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks. These processes include ignoring distractions to stay focused, switching attention willfully from one thing to another and holding information in mind — like remembering a sequence of directions while driving.”

I am awesome at remembering directions. If I have been there once, I can get back and get home. And I can speak a little German – enough to get by – but I don’t think I can really count myself as bilingual. Yet. But I have just started another session of German classes and this is just one of the ways I am investing in myself.

It's amazing what a cleaning work space can do for your enthusiasm for homework...

Invest in yourself: learn something new

Now is the time of year when a lot of the universities and colleges offer their summer (or winter for my Southern Hemisphere friends) classes. So invest your time in yourself: you are important and your brain is important. Why not take a class in something that has always interested you? From learning how to code, to parlez vous-ing Francais, to introduction to print making — the world is your oyster! Taking a class is a good way to meet people with your interests, to learn new skills and exercise your brain.

I have tended to get a little disheartened when I realize just how much I have to learn before I become fluent. Katja, my teacher, laughed at my impatience and said, “We’ll have you for another seven years, yet!”.

Seven. Years. That’s a freaking lifetime!

 My impatience gets the better of me. But, as the American says:

Is there anything else you’d rather be doing?

And the truth of the matter is… no. I am happy as pig in mud going to the Goethe Institut each week, and learning another language. The goal of being truly fluent in another language is much closer when I’m investing in myself. And that’s kinda exciting!

What is one thing that you’re doing to further yourself?

I love using Japanese stationary with strange English captions for my German notes.

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