Can't Sleep Again ...

Published: May 27th 2011
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M – Ok, it's official, I’m blogging! The things you do at 6am when you can’t sleep. Those of you that saw Kate’s blog of yesterday will be pleased to know that I am not sitting in the closet in a towel. I have graduated to the kitchen. To save the neighbors (American spelling) blushes I am however dressed in my wife’s bathrobe. You may ask, ‘is this a new phase and a sign of cross dressing tendencies to come on the trip?’ No, it isn’t. Those with long memories (thankfully well before the age of the digital camera) will recall a certain bachelorette night which I attended in full make-up, a blond wig and rather fetching little pink and white dress and matching pink handbag. Unfortunately the caterpillar boots I was wearing on my feet were not a good match for the rest of the outfit. If I recall that evening was in a Spanish tapas bar in central London. Fortunately I did not need any Spanish to order my drinks that night. This brings me to what else can I do at 6am in the morning in an empty house?

I am faced with three alternatives 1) – work out on the Bowflex machine in my garage (we are leaving it for the tenants to enjoy); (2) continue with my Rosetta Stone Latin Spanish course or (3) blog. The first alternative has the benefits of a) reducing the average cost per workout of the machine that I purchased one afternoon when my wife was out of town and b) helping me get lose weight/get fitter. Both well worthy of brownie points. The second will be extremely useful during the 4-5 weeks we will be spending in Central America in June/July. Again very useful. The final item will at least get me ‘off the mark’ re blogging before we actually start our trip. Not probably as useful as the other 2 but certainly a lot easier on the mind/body. Hence here we are with me blogging.

For my Cuban friends in Miami, where I lived for 4 years, my Spanish has indeed improved. The Rosetta Stone system seems to work although I have a long, long, way to go. At this rate it will take me a year to get through the course. However, I can now do much more than order a couple of beers which I think is the first thing virtually everyone learns in a new language. I can now have eggs with my beers, a glass of milk and work off those calories by cycling home on one of my two green bicycles whilst educating myself by reading a book!

For those of you that have ever taken one of these courses here is an interesting/amusing thought (well I think its interesting). The course doesn’t use any of your own base language but teaches you by using a series of pictures, sounds and matching them to the pictures with the spoken word of the new language, reading phrases, spelling them etc. This probably makes sense as it is a repetition of how we learned as a child , however it is also a smart way for Rosetta Stone to keep costs down by reducing the need to produce material that combines every combination of languages. As they recently went pubic this is obviously good for their shareholders and the companies growth plans. This leads me to my ‘interesting/amusing point’ …

I am guessing that this means that everyone who is learning any of their languages is taking essentially the same course, i.e. they are learning the same vocabulary and phrases in the same order?
If you extrapolate that thought it means that at this very moment in time, subject to time zones, tens of thousands of people are now ordering a beer in German, French, Chinese etc and able to enjoying it with an egg and a glass of milk and looking forward to riding home on one of their green bicycles whilst reading a book. That makes me chuckle.

Anyway, I’ve put off task 1 & 2 for long enough so its time to learn s a little Spanish then lose some pounds. Adios!


28th May 2011

First rule of blogging Mark - don't start with something so crazily distracting that peeps can't absorb further info as you move on... Something about exercise and Spanish sure, but I'm still caught on a particular night you spent in London pre-digital...? Totally new way to think of my former CFO/boss!   Have fun, keep blogging and look after Kate (although we all know it's really the other way around) xx 
28th May 2011

Rosetta Stone
Mark - interested in hearing more about Rosetta Stone going "pubic" and why this is so good for their shareholders!!! Anyway, Bon Voyage to you both. Have an amazing time. Look forward to reading about it all. Much love Jx

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