Why language learning is never a waste

Originally published at learninglog.carleton.ca

We’ve all experienced the language classes of grammar worksheets and verb conjugation exercises.

Through memorizing verb tenses and vocabulary, it’s easy to let our minds wonder why any of this really matters. That’s what learning a new language meant to me, until this summer when I studied intensive French in Grenoble, France for a month.

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The Stories

Performed at: London Poetry Slam Finals, CapSlam, Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam, Urban Legends Poetry Slam  (Ottawa)

Who to be or who not be is a rhetorical question in this society.

Where we treat judgement like its the prescription of lens everyone’s supposed to have.

This is for the stories that are lenses of judgement don’t let us focus in on,

The stories too common to be ignored.
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The Voluntourist: Book Review

Finishing a good book is like walking away from a coffee date catching up with an old friend. You smile long after they’re gone, feeling like you’ve shared something special.

maria

Maria and I, while in Ecuador on a volunteer trip in 2011.

That’s how I felt long after reading the last page of The Voluntourist, in which Ken Budd tells of his experiences on six different volunteer trips on his quest for purpose and understanding after his father’s sudden death.

He helps Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans, becomes an English teacher in Costa Rica, works with developmental kids in China, studies the Amazon in Ecuador, helps refugees in Palestine and works at an orphanage in Kenya.

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The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown opens her TED talk by explaining how she was taught that “what you can’t measure, doesn’t exist.” We like to do things we can measure that have a direct result. Think about it; school we see it through grades and with a job it’s clear through money. But what about the unpredictable things, the things with no controlled outcome that cannot be measured or labelled?

These are the feelings that make us human. In Brown’s talk, she discusses her decade-long journey to understanding the power of vulnerability, an emotion often associated with fear.

“When you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak,” Brown says. “When you ask people about belonging, they tell you about disconnect.”
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