Tuesday, October 21, 2008

But what if the old dog WANTS to learn new tricks?

My brain runith over. As in….it’s full. As in….if I attempt to insert any more information I risk my brain spontaneously combusting….or…..at the very least I risk losing VITAL information. Like my childrens’ birthdays……or…….my yahoo password.

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t believe I’m this enormous fountain of knowledge who’s brain is threatening to overflow because it’s so full of intelligence. I just believe that there was very little room to begin with. Kinda like an old computer. Our computer is approximately 5 years old. When we first got this computer we thought we were purchasing top of the line memory capacity. RAM, gigabytes….whatever. But the memory is reaching capacity and is now getting painfully slow. I can erase useless information to make room for new information on my computer. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do the same for our brain. Click a delete button.

I can remember useless information like the address and phone number to my childhood home (from which I moved when I was ten years old) but I can’t remember to send in requested permission slips and field trip payments. I can remember the steps to a tap dance I learned when I was 8 years old but I can’t remember a breakfast date with a neighbor and friend. I can remember the 13 digit Australian phone number of the guy I met on my trip to Italy when I was 16 yrs/old but I can't remember my God Son's birthdate (which is coming up btw). I can remember every geometry theorem from 10th grade (information that I have little to no use for) but canNOT ….for the life of me….memorize Italian vocabulary.

Have I mentioned that I’m taking an Italian class. I can’t even remember if I’ve mentioned that. And I’m too darn lazy to backtrack and check. But yeah. I’m taking an Italian language class with 4 of my immediate family members.

The Italian language is something I’ve wanted to learn since I was a little girl and now with my new found freedom (ALL 3 kids in school ALL day) I decided why wait? So here I am. 36 years old. And delusional enough to believe that I can somehow delete old useless information from my storage bin to make room for an entire second language. I’m having doubts.

I loved college. I loved learning about things that interested me. I was GOOD at learning things that interested me. The Italian language interests me. So logic should follow that I would be GOOD at learning it. Yes?

NO! I suck!

I sat in my Italian class last night for 2.5 hours and retained approximately 10 minutes worth of the information.

I think I’ve forgotten how to learn.

After my first class (7 weeks ago) I decided to start a stack of flashcards. By the 3rd week I realized that my stack was growing too large to manage. My stack was over 3 inches tall after just 3 weeks. I gave up on the flashcards.

After last night’s class I told my mom that I thought someone should invent a program online for making flashcards. A program that would allow you to make flashcards on the computer and maybe allow you to play memory games with these flashcards online. So, on a whim, I google searched this when I returned home last night. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that such programs exist. MANY such programs.

So I spent the better part of my afternoon today….after a delightful breakfast with a neighbor and friend…a breakfast I did NOT forget about btw…eh-hem…. downloading one such program and all existing precategorized Italian vocabulary flashcard files.

I WILL learn this language.

If for no other reason than to prove to myself that I am NOT too old to learn!


Anonymous said...

You need Immersion Therapy. Go rent yourself a bunch of Italian films with subtitles. Get yourself an Italian foreign exchange student. Preferrably a hot, male one that's in college. Start piping in Italian soap operas via satellite tv (do you have that?) Hire an Italian housekeeper and force her to speak nothing but Italian...

Dana said...

i think the flashcard thing is a good idea!!!! could be very helpful!

i would love to take itlian lessons!!

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

Check out professorgio.com. It's a free learn-Italian-online thing. I've done a few of the lessons as Italian is a language I'd love to learn - and I'm not even Italian!

Marni's Organized Mess said...

I don't remember you mentioning it, that is soo exciting!

Carol said...

Yes I want a delete button for all the crap in my head that I can remember and not need. I had to fill in a form today and couldn't remember if my 2nd child was born on the 24th or 25th.


But I can remember all kinds of things I have no use for or interest in.

Suzie said...

Youre not to old! Go for it!

Kellan said...

They say that learning a new language is one of the hardest things to learn - I know I have always had difficulty! Good luck - you can do it!

See you soon - Kellan

Kori said...

It is a beuatiful language, I envy your stick-to-it-iveness, and I am SO right with you on the whole birthday thing. I now have calendar reminders on my PC that chime when it is someone's birthday-when I remember to put them there. Still, I actually never did put the actual real DATE in, just a rminder to buy a gitft-so I still don't know when anyone's birthday IS.

Brooke said...

Good for you! I wish I had the time and brain space to learn a second language. I always thought that would be soo cool! I will have to check out the flash card thing!

Leslie said...

Just keep at it. I think repetition is key. Although, maybe the older we get, we need a whole lot more repetition than the younger models. Hang in there, and kudos to you for sticking with it! I often times wish I could purge some of the useless information I have floating around in my head.

Christy said...

I am impressed that you are putting so much effort into learning a new language. I took THREE years of Spanish, and I speak NO Spanish.