Friday, October 10, 2003

Last night I went to URSGA with some Magic:tG cards. There was no one else there who played, but still, I had fun. Most of that fun was in boggling at the weirdos playing D&D, but I also met some nice people.

Unfortunately, I'll have to make a choice about Tae Kwon Do and stuff. Luckily it was cancelled tomorrow due to Meliora weekend activities taking over the usual facilities, but that's only a two-day reprieve. The problem is that everything there is, happens on Monday and Wednesday nights. That or Saturday at noon. If I want to do Tae Kwon Do, I can't do to the URSGA meetings (Monday nights). Well, I can, but I'd be more than an hour late. So maybe it'd be worth it... but maybe not. And If I want to do to the Campus Times meetings (Wednesday nights), I can't go to TKD. That choice has always been easy to make. The silver lining of my knee problems is that I can't take up fencing now, but if I ever do want to start that (or any of a number of other things), I'd have to miss Tae Kwon Do on Saturday afternoons.

Now that I think of it... fuck it. I'm not the first black belt who's got out of practice and forgot his forms. The Tae Kwon Do club here on campus has never had what I want - no offense to the wonderful people in it, it's the teaching style and learning style I object to - and I'm not going to work my ass off to learn what is, in my humble opinion, a less fun or useful style than back home. In that time I could be meeting new people, getting work done, learning something new and different instead of subtle variations on an art I started when I was twelve... the possibilities are endless. If I really think I need exercise that badly, I'll get off my ass and go to the gym once or twice a week - big deal.

In Arabic today I got the results of a quiz on verb conjugation back. I did as bad as I remembered; I must have been completely asleep while taking the test. I need to study that stuff over the weekend before starting the weak verbs, as they're called - now those get complicated.

I wish I had more to show for my three semesters of Arabic. And not only that but also one whole year of it in France. I suppose it's just the teaching style or the difficulties of the language itself, since no one in my class is much better than me (except for a couple girls who have family members who speak it, grrr...) but still. After three years of high school French I could hold down a conversation. It would have been slow and badly accented and not about most subjects worth talking about, but I could hold down a conversation. After the theoretical equivalent of three years of Arabic, I can... conjugate verbs in the singular, plural, and even dual, in the imperfect and perfect. As for my vocabulary, I could probably count the verbs I know without needing to use someone else's toes. Of course, that would be in English, since I sortakinda know the numbers, but not all the rules about how and when to use them.

Now that I think of it, I'm probably being too hard on myself. There's something inherently bizarre about a language that only has three vowels but manages to find the space for three different "h"s. French was so easy for me, of course Arabic will be hard by comparison.

Maybe my Arabic class isn't that great, but the teacher himself is a character. When people talk about relics of the Eighties they're usually thinking of former stockbrokers who are now in jail and women who are puffy from their big hair to their ankle weights. Either that or freakjobs who have had their noses amputated. But when I say that Professor Beaumont is a relic of the Eighties, I mean he wears a jean jacket and tight jeans that probably haven't been changed since the Eighties. He's one of those people who would spontaneously combust if he wasn't a college professor. He's a tall, skinny, lanky guy who somehow looks exactly like his short, matronly wife.

In other news, I've quit smoking. It's a small price to pay for NOT GETTING KICKED IN THE BALLS! :)

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