A Weekend Of Good Weather
This weekend, the weather is so cool–70F (21 degree Celsius) for both Saturday and Sunday. During the night, the temperatures dips to 50F (10 degree Celsius). And I had to take the blanket or quilt out since it was quite chilly during the night. The coolness is quite unusual for this time of the year. Given the recent records, I expected 90F (32C), or probably even 100F (37C), to say the least.
“It’s not a sign of the weather becoming better. It’s just a sign of the weather becoming crazier.” My friend L says to me. And as a typical pessimist, she predicts that something bad might happen. This weekend is just the calmness before a storm, the cool quietness before another round of crisis. “You know, like in a horror movie. You get several minutes of respite before being plunged into a scary abyss.”
I hope not. I hope this is untrue. I hope that she says this, only wishing to be contradicted. She has such a personality. She likes to predicts the worst so that when reality turns out otherwise, she feels quite happy about it. Probably this is the technique she has developed to deal with reality so that she doesn’t have to experience the perpetual disappointment of it.
I wonder if this is true for people with doomsday phobia. I mean if they think doomsday is coming soon, they are entitled to be very happy for each day, upon which such a bleak eventuality is not falling.
There’s a silver lining in this inflation crazed world. I have found that the prices of vegan breakfast patties, packages of tofu, and other vegan products have hardly budged. Somehow I guess this is because vegan products have been way overpriced for very long. It really seems a little unfair that soy milk is much more expensive than milk for a very long time. It takes a lot less effort and resources and manpower to produce a quart of soy milk than a quart of cow milk. So it is quite baffling that soy milk is so expensive. Also soy milk is never sold in gallons. I’d like to buy soy milk in gallons since I drink a lot of soy milk, but that cannot be done. Now I buy soy milk from stores in one-quart cartons.
Learning Without Learning
“To understand more, don’t try to understand too much.” “Making mistakes is the only way forward.” This is what Luca Lampariello, Steve Kaufman, or other polyglots say. I wish I knew this when I was young. I mean in those days when I was learning English as a student, I tried to understand every word and every grammatical structure, but only to be frustrated with the frequent search of dictionary and perpetual puzzlement of grammar irregularities. Yes, I remember those days. I also tried to be a good girl who didn’t make mistakes–such a goal inevitably caused diffidence, shyness, anxiety, and self loathing.
Obviously my journey of learning English is a testament to bad learning. Almost everything I did was counter-intuitive and unnatural. Needless to say, I labored for fifteen to twenty years, only succeeding in very limited language capabilities despite my stellar test scores.
My real progress happened when the “International House” on a college campus in Pennsylvania where I was living at the time started a New York Times delivery every morning. I read it every day, even though I could hardly understand a whole paragraph. I think at the time I was at the “intermediate” level. When I didn’t understand, I just skipped; when I didn’t know a word, I just assumed. And one year later, Viola. One year of learning without learning really made a difference.