Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ideas for the Mind & Soul & Spirit

Remember that I gave you 10 things to develop your Verbal Intelligence out of Tony Buzan's book Head Start?
One thing listed  was to learn a new word every day. And another was to learn a new language every 10 years. Did you decide to do either one?
I decided to do both. Now I'm cheating a little because German was one of my majors in college, but it was in the 1970s when I took it. Hmmm...I did teach German one year in high school. And the nice thing is that I remember some of the rules, which I know will help. German is very difficult, and if I were you, I'd choose Spanish or French...any language you like will encourage you to continue.

You can Google "German Vocabulary," or whichever language you'd like to learn, and a list will show up that you can work on a little at a time. Buzan said to learn the vocabulary first, and then the grammar. That's not the way they do it in college, unless they've changed, but I decided to try it. I put my list on a piece of paper and have been over it several times. I've just realized that pronouncing a foreign language can be impossible without listening to the language. All I can tell you is that there are lots of tapes on the market that are for beginnings, and Berlitz has dictionaries that spell a word the way it's pronounced. Both will help you get started if you're determined--and I hope you are.

Another thing Buzan said to do was to learn a new word every day. So I put my big, fat dictionary on a table behind my computer chair in my office. I now know 3 new words--or have a better grasp of 3 new words. I came across the word quiddle, meaning "to spend or waste time in trifling employments, or to attend to useful subjects in a trifling, superficial manner." And it reminded me of quibble, but I'd never heard this one. So it's on my list.

The next word is sardonic--a word I've read many times, and had a vague idea of it's meaning, but now I know it means "bitterly ironic or sarcastic." My curiosity drove me to add quibble to the list, to differentiate the meaning from quiddle. As you may know, quibble means "to evade the point in question or plain truth by artiface, play upon words, or any cavil; to trifle in argument or discourse." You probably don't know anyone like that!

Also, Buzan mentioned Scrabble and crosswords. For some reason, I don't care for crosswords, but my sister-in-law, Carolyn, told me about  playing Scrabble on (which is free). I have only played against a robot, which Quinlyn says is not the same as playing against a human, but that's the way I do it. And I may look at crosswords again to see if they are as satisfying as crossword addicts say! My sister, Miriam, is a crossword addict. Is there something wrong with me???   

Now the picture at the top of this page is a pastel painting that I did a few years ago. Pastel painting is like using  a very special chalk to paint your picture. I chose pastel because I'd met a friend on a train whom I wanted to take an art class with, and she was taking pastel. I didn't realize that other media were offered in the same class. The class was with a wonderful artist, Jeanette Dryden, who is from North Carolina. We became friends. I've taken several art classes in Santa Fe since I've been here. This is my favorite picture from Jeanette's classes. It isn't finished, and sadly hasn't been touched since I brought it home.

Of course, I think it would be a good thing for me to use the art that I know to improve my life at this point. In college, I took at least 2 classes in drawing, and a class in color.  The color class was very interesting--taking 200 silk-screened papers of different colors and using them to solve a problem on a blank white sheet of paper.  I still have the notebook I made in this class. Then I took a class in lithograph, etching, silk screen, and wood/linoleum cut. And I'd like to take watercolor next. My granddaughter, Kelly, is taking an oil painting class, but I can't take the chemicals involved with oils. I'm sure it's an enjoyable way to get a picture on canvas. So think about using your creativity for the sake of your soul and your spirit. You simply can't paint a picture and worry well.

And don't forget about reading. Make a big deal out of it by creating a reading list like Buzan said, that includes many different kinds of books. I haven't done that yet.  Reading will also provide new vocabulary words. And there are lots of movies which I enjoy watching. I saw a movie tonight titled Elizabeth: The Golden Age. It is mostly about the Spanish Armada going to conquer the English because they had become Protestant, and the beheading of Mary, Queen of Scots, which gave them an excuse. Not very deep, but beautifully done.

So choose just one of your favorite things to improve those little gray cells, and let me hear from you about what you chose, and whether it makes your life more interesting. And if you have questions, please ask them!

No comments:

Post a Comment