Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I am obsessed with learning Spanish. Every course is a language course. If you're taking Spanish, you learn that these words, in this sequence, stands for this idea. If you're taking Botany, in the same way, you need to learn the language. Take the word "xylem." You might build a little word bridge in your mind, i.e. xylem = tissue that conducts water in vascular plants, but what you really need to do is destroy that bridge and set the tiny islands of thought like transparencies on top of each other, until you understand the words qua the words, the same way when you see "agua" and you think "water" in English, you should be thinking of WATER, the stuff you drink, otherwise you'll be a translator, a human Babel Fish, instead of a speaker of Spanish or Botany. Compartamentalize ideas into the shorthand of words, make it second nature. Every course, I'll say again, is a language course.

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