Comedy in a second language. Admittedly one of the hardest things to understand. You need the language skills, sure, but you also need enough cultural background to know why something is funny.
Yesterday, my teacher walked us through a little Dutch joke. I read the piece, realized it was supposed to be funny, but I didn’t understand enough to get it. Now I’ve got it in my arsenal, ready to whip out and try on Dutch speakers. I’m hoping to use it first on the teacher who taught it to me. She doesn’t laugh enough (in my opinion).
Almost thought it was going to be a one-on-one lesson yesterday. And for once, I would have welcomed it. My head was set for Dutch. Got some sections in my homework 100%, others not so great – but at least I’m seeing 100% on my homework a bit more often. One of the other students is well advanced with the language, and once we got going on homework answers it was like a quiz show: rapid fire responses, high excitement, and giggles when we got an answer wrong. The other student is one of the worst students in our lesson. Bless my teacher; she did her best to help the third student but kept the pace fast for we two advanced students. But WHOA, NELLIE! How did this person get into our class? She’s so far behind us she’s not even sure an M makes a ‘mmm’ sound. Getting her to read is painful. She knows zero letter combination sounds. Hard to believe someone thought she was ready to move into our class. She can’t even conjugate simple verbs from the personal to the second, third, or plural forms – much less handle the complex forms of verbs.
Ach! I was not that far behind everyone else when I began. Well…this is why your teachers were concerned over you growing bored. Thing is, I feel it still well worth my patience to sit there because my teachers are so damned good. I’ve heard from others in the lesson; they disagree. A number of them don’t think our teachers are good. I think they’re all mad; I’m learning so much from these two! But then, I’m reading. And doing the homework. And trying.
Lots of rainclouds. Many promises of afternoon or nighttime storms. While you can hear the city sigh with satisfaction over the cooler air streaming in through the windows, it’s still bone dry out there.
Feels like my body clock has re-set. I used to be a breakfast person. Oatmeal every day. I craved it, as a matter of fact. Woke up hungry and wanting it. Now… Now, I’m lucky if I get hungry enough by noon to force something down my throat so I can take the pills I need to take with food. And my real hunger zone is 6 pm to 10 pm. That’s when I get up, stomach growling, and search for ‘a bit of something’. Difficult. Seems I grow especially hungry the closer I come to my evening pill time, which I can’t take unless my stomach has been empty for 2 hours or more. I’ve put myself on a food schedule. Eat before noon, like it or not. Don’t eat after 7 pm, like it or not. Frankly, I don’t like it.
Oh – and Yippee! Confirmed that yes, most school lessons are beginning in the end of August, but our teachers will be on holiday ’til mid September. That means that even tho I’ve humped my way thru summer lessons, I’ll still get a solid 4 week break from everything. That’s pay dirt, people. I’m planning at least a week of lulling around, paying my respects to Mr. Jack Shit. It also gives me plenty of time to do the work I’ve lined up for myself.
Listened to my own music on the metro the other day. My roughs from my ‘latest’ techno release. It’s still in the works: roughs are recorded, but I haven’t gone further. I was enamored with my own work for at least a year, unable to hear any faults. Then I grew sick of it, and stopped listening all together. Now I can finally hear it clearly: what’s good and what isn’t. Have a couple of songs I need to edit. Too long; they end up dragging. Most I just need to mix.
Mentioned all of that to my bro, who sighed deeply. Will you just take a break, please? It’s either the play or the website or now your music! Slow down, sis. I still haven’t seen you really stop. Concentrate on the production, but don’t kill yourself over it. Get past it, then look at your music. Take some notes if you feel you need to. But please don’t open up the studio and start on all that!
August is here, with its damp breath and hot farts. I’m not a fan. Not of the dog days of summer, not of the sweat the month always brings, not of my sister’s birthday that sits like a buzzard on my calendar, ready to pounce on me when I’m least ready for it. Unlike my friends’ birthdays, I don’t have hers marked on my calendar. I don’t need to. The date stands out for me every year, like the damned day is on fire. This year I find my feelings more mixed than ever. I’ve learned a bit of understanding, a bit of empathy for my sister. I can even imagine the circumstances that created the scenarios I find so debasing and horrible. I see how she was abused. But I have no forgiveness in my heart. I cannot believe she will ever change or feel real responsibility for her part in what happened. My sister will die without me by her side, without me marking the occasion except with a befuddled and semi-amused ‘hmph’ when I hear the news. I guess that’s not a bad thing. I’d rather be non-plussed than triggered.
And someday I hope to write about it. I hope to see past my own anger enough to find what’s funny about it, because I want it to be comedic. It’ll take all my cultural understanding, all my patience, all my work on seeing and understanding my family from another perspective.
Truly… Seeing my family in a comedic light is a foreign language.