Egghead. Bookworm. Such were the endearing terms applied to me in my youth. My bookworm-ness has gone electronic so I don’t have overloaded bookcases any more, but my Kindle weighs a few electronic tons, if you want to look at it that way.
I morphed into a geek when at the age of 26 I built my first computer by hand and hooked it up to my first modem. I was connected to the rest of the world. That was in 1978.
My day job is doing quality assurance for software development. I can see that 0.1% of you know what that means. Kindred souls!
So now, in year 61, I’m trying to stretch a bit and equal out my right brain / left brain usage. I’m walking on the wild creative side, but with baby steps… I’ve learned to have fun with this blog. That was the challenge my loving spouse, Cee, threw at me. (See my About page.) She runs four creative challenges in WordPress. I usually end up sitting around bored when she is on a photo shoot, but I finally discovered that I could take pictures on my iPod (which I brought so I could read a book while I was waiting) and blog about it. The result was a my “I Remember When…” blog. That’s when I turned a corner and discovered that blogging could be fun. Show things and talk about them. Reach out and share your world, but use pictures, not just words.
Then there’s Pinterest. I can get lost in Pinterest because that’s where words and images come together to spark emotion. My right brain and left brain can hug. I’ve started a graphic quotes board, See How I Think, and I’ll be showing some of my selections in this blog from time to time. I’m also going to challenge Cee to work with me on creating our own art. That will teach her to challenge me!
So what does any of this have to do with Mandarin Chinese? I have studied Spanish, Russian, German, Latin and Greek, languages that all have common roots. They have an alphabet, with letters that represent sounds, as well as concepts. Now I’ve started studying Chinese. Mandarin doesn’t have an alphabet. It isn’t phonetic at all. It has (gasp!) pictures instead of letters. Pictures for words. Pictures like stick drawings to represent ideas, concepts, emotions, thoughts. I’m turning my head inside out to learn this language, but it is fascinating.
I saw a TED talk, “Learn to read Chinese … with ease!”. The speaker, ShaoLan Hsueh, has designed a new system of learning that decodes Chinese words. I love it. It makes sense to me. If you want a little taste of reading a language that doesn’t have letters, watch the talk.
So that brings us full circle. Baby steps to see the world in images as well as words, and to share both with you. Thanks for coming on the journey with me.