Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Revisting the Rubicon

Did I realize five years ago that opting for a year of Arabic would be a rubiconical juncture?  I don't think so.  Some of the best advice I've ever gotten was not to think about 'what to do' -- much too big to consider! -- but rather to think about 'what to do next'.  It's a good general approach, and I like that it allows for the 'deeply significant' appellation to only be assigned to decisions in hindsight.  If I had any interest in uchronia, I suppose now would be the time to exercise it (luckily, I do not).

So 'next' is another year of Arabic, and then Libya.

Embarking on more long-term language study at the unkind age of 35 is a level of masochism I had thought beyond even myself, and I'm curious to see how this goes.  Who knows -- maybe in five years I'll look back on the time and think 'Ah, good thing I went through that pain, or I could never have experienced [insert amazing outcome here]'.  I imagine so.  I'm happy with my path thus far, even though (in the cosmic sense) I couldn't really tell you where I'm going.

Plus, Oman has sea turtles; I've heard that on good authority.  I'm not sure they'll be totally worth the pain of what's coming, but I'm banking on them compensating for quite a lot.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I drop by from time to time to check on you, though I don't know you. Very, very odd thing, that. But I have commented once before.

Anyway, you may miss being in Africa with State at the same time as my son. Not that you would have met him, of course. It's a big continent. But, still ...

My son took a year of Arabic at university, then opted for Urdu because Urdu is much easier. Which lets me know quite a bit about the difficult of learning Arabic.

Good luck. Enjoy. It's the rare individual who gets to take time off work to learn as a full-time job. Most of us are envious ;-).

Katie said...

Thank you -- I certainly welcome being checked on, and I remember your earlier comment. Long language study is as exhausting as I remembered it being, but I am grateful for the chance to do it. Hopefully I will make good progress.

Good luck to your son! I have heard good things about the Africa Bureau taking care of its people. I hope that will be true for your son as well.