It’s been like six months since I did a This post. You don’t care. That’s fine. I care. Anyway…
I’m a pretty firm believer that if you’re going to learn a second language, you need to be doing so in the place where that language is spoken so that you can immerse yourself in it. I’ve had at least seven years of often pretty bad Spanish classes throughout high school in college, but I also lived in Buenos Aires for small bits of time here and there and I live in a neighborhood where Spanish is the primary language spoken, but when I’m out of LA and in my Colorado suburbs, I don’t get to practice at all. Not to mention there are a ton of words I’m lacking in my Spanish vocabulary simply because I never have to use them. But I have a translation exam coming up soon for my PhD program and I need to be able to translate three pages of Spanish literary theory text into English. So I’ve been practicing with Duolingo, which I read about in GOOD Magazine, which is another This, but one I’m too lazy to write about right now.
Here’s how it works: Somebody who needs a webpage translated uploads it to Duolingo. That document then gets presented to Duolingo students who can translate it in order to practice the language they are learning. When the document is fully translated, Duolingo returns it to the original content owner who, depending on the type of document they uploaded, pays for the translation.” One of the websites that pays for this service is Buzzfeed. So you’re learning a language and doing actual work. Fucking. Epic.
3. Blood of an Author Box
A few months ago, Amaranth Borsuk stopped me at AWP and asked if I’d write a word on a microscope slide. She explained that a woman named Eleanor Antin created something called Blood of a Poet Box back in 1965. She collected blood samples from 100 poets. Amaranth asked her students what the blood of the author is in the 21st century, and they answered language, so she and others were having writers write one word each on glass slides. The full list of contributors can be found here.
|This photo is from the project’s facebook page.|
My word is listed in the box above. I bet you can guess what it is…
4. This video of an abandoned Los Angeles, which makes me feel so many things, for instance: confusion, also awe, also breathing. It makes me feel breathing.