Learning Spanish over 60

Learning Spanish over 60
Learning Spanish Over 60

Back in 1994 through 1996 while obtaining a Master’s of Mathematics from Boston University I learned some very valuable lessons about language and the benefit of using correct grammar. The course curriculum for the hard sciences was daunting, and I had just the minimum acceptable level of GRE score. Nine courses were required with one course taken at Harvard University and another from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The three universities frequently work together in some sort of state run cooperative, and since they are all just around the corner from one another, why not? For me, hard sciences like physics, engineering, mathematics, etc. came pretty easily. But nothing prepares you for the massive workload of a Masters program. It was a challenge for my own self doubt, self loathing, and a confrontation of internal struggle as much as the day and night efforts to accomplish all the assignments and to master the material knowledge. The absolute hardest part for me in both undergraduate as well as this first Masters degree were written reports. The drudgery of writing out the detail of defining the projects, the techniques for proofs, the execution of plan and research occupied my time and elevated my stress far more than proving the mean distance to the sun. 

Sunrises In March

As far back as I can remember in school classes it was always English I found most difficult. With all of the silly imperfections with such nonsensical silent letters, words that sound alike but have different meanings, always put the i before the e except in certain arbitrary situations when you just don’t do that. We have semicolons and colons; but even the Ph D in English literature cannot tell you precisely the correct usage. The language has just five vowels except it may include a sixth one. Each of the vowels have a variety of sounds which are sometimes strong or soft but not at all when silent. Oh the madness goes on and on. You see, science is precise. Science is exact. Mathematical proofs are not sometimes this or sometimes that, they are just this and only this so-to-speak. And so, one day in a fit of despair and anguish I basically in fact did tell a professor that mastering science should not have to at the sametime require I must also master language. He was quite calm as I recall. He explained to me that even the most brilliant person in the world, with the greatests of idea of all human existence who lacks the ability to explain the idea at a basic level of understanding has no worthy idea at all.

Sunrises of February

The lesson from that day was worth more to me than the entire course curriculum. I got it. It made so much sense to me. I wasn’t just writing a report, I was communicating. I was just doing the required work, I was helping others to understand what I have accomplished in a way they could confidently agree I had succeeded. For example when you hear a commentator on a televised news show talking about the success of a restaurant and how the success of the restaurant has made a good living for all the employees. As a scientist and a communicator I can instantly determine that story is incorrect and is as devastating to people as lead paint. It has more poison in its message than lead water pipes in your homes. The data they are using is incorrectly translated. The restaurant has not been a success. Restaurants like any business are not successful. The people working at the restaurant are successful and have amazing talents. When you combine all of their talents together they have made a good living for the restaurant. Not the other way around. Let me take this one step further. If I was able to come up with an idea for a new product or even a spinoff of an existing product, the idea is worthless even if I can write up an amazing document about the idea. To make this idea into a success I will have to have people work with me and for me to produce the product. I will need people who can get the product into the hands of consumers. Factually, therefore, any and all success isn’t the result of an idea, it is the result of many people working together to make the idea a reality. We’ve been poisoned with poorly written and spoken reports based on data that has been wrongly interpreted. It’s not the business owner who deserves all the credit and therefore all the profits. All the owner did was to file the paperwork with the state to register the corporation, and probably had a lawyer do that. All he did was find a place for the work to be done and probably had professional help with that. Maybe the owner hired a few engineers to layout the machinery, technology and methodology to make the product. You see the owner isn’t doing any of the work at all. It’s other people with amazing talents that are making the idea into a tangible thing. 

Sunrises of January

With the poisoning of the Regan era “trickle down” the narrative in classrooms, televisions, and governments alike have over forty years learned to tell the story with determination and boldly naive. The data is wrong, the story is killing humanity. People are successful not corporations, not the wealthy, not bankers and politicians. People are successful. We’ve been led to the gas chambers and forced to breathe in their poisonous wrong narrative. Their poison message works at our own demise. Sadly too, right now and even back then you can find 18 million people who believe the wrong narrative with such blind conviction they are willing to fight to the death to defend it. Everytime you find yourself in this kind of heated and highly volatile quandary, let it be a beacon of warning. When the issues of the debate seem to have people with absolutely differing opinions and the data on both sides is interpreted opposite to one another, it’s a clear signal to stop. There’s Mara again trapping you in the illusion of what is real and what is nothing but a lot of noise distraction. Enlightened as we would like to think we are, seeing this argument as a root cause for wealth inequality would seem evident by the obvious existence of wealth inequality. Further an enlightened mind would also see that all news is totally false and misuse of data and only broadcast to allure humans and to appeal to their vulnerability so the network businesses owners can sell advertising to make them wealthier. 

It’s all a masquerade and a game of illusions. Human nature at the whim of Mara has our ego constantly blaming others for the ills of the world. The world doesn’t have wealth inequality, the world doesn’t have successful businesses, the world doesn’t have i before e, except when insanity sets in. Humans can only ever have a chance at fixing just one thing and one thing only in each of our lives. Ourself. Whenever you find yourself judging, comparing, blaming, and getting your emotions all worked up pointing all the blame at them, it’s time to stop. Learn to use the emotional escalations in life as a trigger for self growth. Ask yourself, what is wrong with me that I think this is so important when I know it really isn’t? Ask yourself, how can I help myself to stop getting tangled up in all this noise? Always remember it’s not them who need to change, it’s only you who can change.

Learning Spanish at my age is not just a challenge to learn words, vowels, nouns, present tense, past tense, future tense, etc. it’s about continuing to teach myself how to better communicate.

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