76th: While you are talking, point not with your finger at him of whom you d iscourse nor approach too near him to whom you talk, especially to his face.
(probably good advice when you wear wooden teeth!)
Today's Search Engine queries:
(labia queries seem to be running neck and neck [so to speak] with urethra queries this week. It's probably a good thing I worked for a gynecologist, or I'd have hardly any hits at all!!)
9 November 2004
As I have mentioned on more than one occasion in this journal we went through a period of about 10 years where we hosted ~70 students from 14 different countries around the world.
We learned a lot about other cultures -- the special foods, bits of the different languages, in some cases clothing that is specific to a certain region.
While the exchanges were great for us, I hope they were better for the kids themselves. There is nothing better for learning a culture (or a language) like full immersion.
Ned went to Brasil and spent a year. He came back speaking fluent Portuguese, and even with a Portuguese accent.
The best way to learn a new culture is total immersion.
On Sunday, Walt and I had our own total immersion in a foreign culture.
We went to a "5th wheel warming" for the new trailer my cousin and her husband had just purchased.
Walt and I have taken vacations. We've even taken camping vacations (in the distant past), but we've never entered the RV culture and sitting around this group listening to the talk was like trying to learn a whole new language.
They talked about widgets and whatchamacallits and torques and engine sizes and caps for this and straps for that and hook-ups and all sorts of things. They talked about camping grounds I'd never heard of and fishing, about which I know nothing. I know they were speaking English, but it was an English to which I couldn't relate.
Oh, I'm not saying I wasn't enjoying myself--I was. My cousin and I have become closer in the past several years, ever since we started having family reunions and Peach took up researching the family history.
But as I sat there, I realized that this must be what it was like for our foreign students, coming to the United States with a basic command of the English language and then running into colloquialisms, idioms, in-jokes, and specialized grammar they'd never been exposed to in their studies.
So I listened and tried to figure out the difference between widgets and whatchamacallits, tried to remember if it was Sea Cliff or Sea Ranch that was up along the Northern California coast. And in the meantime I munched on the tostitos, the mini tacos, and the brownies.
When the group had dwindled down to just my cousin and her husband, their son (my godson), his wife and 2 (semi-adult) children, we moved the party inside to the spacious 5th Wheel living room.
My cousin and her husband are two of the most gracious people you'd ever want to meet, making sure that everyone is comfortable and nobody wants for anything. They'd also do anything in the world to help you. I really love those guys.
When my cousin mentioned that she had seen an ad on TV for "Movin' Out," the Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp musical currently playing in Sacramento, my ears perked up. They were finally talking my language. This was a topic on which I could expound, since I'd just reviewed the show last week.
Then the subject switched, very cautiously, to the election. When we discovered that we all felt pretty much the same about the outcome, it led to a lively discussion about how we felt about the current administration and our dispair that things will improve in the next four years.
Finally, Walt and I said our goodbyes and went back to the car. It was a very nice afternoon, but I still don't know a widget from a whatchamacallit. I'm thinking there might be a "5th Wheel Lingo for Dummies" book out there that I can study before our next trip to admire the new addition to the family.
Mollie didn't care. As long as she had a nice warm lap to sleep on, she didn't care if it was a house, an RV or a 5th wheel.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Trailers aren't quite what they used to be in the early days!!.