gwendolyngrey: (bill und tom- emphatic)
I'm too lazy to cross-post right now, but I blogged about the sketching I did at UTR.  Had loads of fun with that, and will totally be taking my little drawing case to all reenactments from now on!

It's also time to start in on the next planned project!  My housemate, Nicole, and I are going to a Jane Austen ball which is being held a month from now in northern Virginia, and I badly need a new ball-gown.  There are grand 1790s plans afoot, and I'm waiting on a vintage sari to arrive in the mail which will become a key element of the design.  I looked through a massive archive of fashion plates from the 1790s, and have combined several of my favorite elements from various evening gowns... incidentally, all the gowns I really loved were all from 1797.  I don't know what it was about that year, but the fashions were killer

I'm not so excited about actually making the gown, since I'm always pretty sick of sewing when I get home every evening, but I AM very excited about the prospect of having the gown once it's done.   It'll definitely be worth it.  :D

Also, on a totally separate note, I just want to say that when learning two different languages, it's probably a good idea to segregate studying to some degree.  My brain has been an utter mess recently, jumbling around with bits of broken French and German that slip into regular thoughts and mix with each other and then mix with English and then I just try really hard to not let any of it out of my mouth when I'm at work.  This is kind of my own fault though.  Take for example the last two days... yesterday I spent all day at work listening to Harry Potter und der Stein der Wiessen and then came home and watching a French film and fell asleep listening to the French dub of Star Wars Ep VI. (and as an aside, that was seriously weird.  For years I could recite the entire dialogue to the movie verbatim; flip it into French and everything changes.  They even re-named trooper TK-421!  But moving on...)  Today, while at work, my ipod consumption was French podcasts interspersed with copious amounts of Tokio Hotel and some Rammstein to keep me awake.  Came home, watched a German movie this time before reading some French fairy tales.

This is all sadly typical of my normal pattern.   We'll see what becomes of it.

Oh!  And I was really excited the other day to discover something about Englisch that I didn't even know existed: Phrasal Verbs.  Finding out what they were, and then that French doesn't have them, made SO much all of a sudden make sense.  I love me my phrasal verbs, but will no longer try to bend French into making them work.  I believe I still get to have them in German though.  It's really the little things that make me happy.
gwendolyngrey: (S&S- playing piano)
"It is amazing to me, how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are;  I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished...  they all paint tables, cover screens, and net purses..."

"A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word." 

"Yet to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."
It might be a silly fancy on my part and Jane Austen might have sometimes been a little sarcastic concerning the topic of ladylike accomplishments, but for a while now I've wanted to possess all the accomplishments of a 19th century lady.  I can confidently say that I have a good start.  I can draw, dance, do all sorts of needlework, play more than one instrument (although my skills at the piano and at singing more resemble Elizabeth Bennet's level than that of Georgiana Darcy), and try to frequently read and expand my mind.  And while they are not fine accomplishments, I can also cook and clean tolerably well.

Where I really fall down, however, is "modern languages",  a phrase which most likely referred to French, Italian, and German.  I took one semester of French, and while I loved the language, I didn't have the time to study it further (something that has always frustrated me).  Last night, though, I had a stroke of positive genius!  Where I work, a lot of talking is discouraged but personal ipods are allowed.  Instead of sitting and listening to music for eight hours a day, I can use that time to listen to French lessons and various French podcasts and audio books.  I might not be able to speak along with the lessons while at work, but it certainly can't hurt.  Perhaps I'll finally be able to communicate in French better than a toddler!

And while I might be planning too far ahead (a bad habit of mine), after French I'll tackle German.  I'm not really interested in Italian and will mostly likely take on Spanish instead if I get that far, but there are plenty of people in the world who speak three or more languages, so why not me?  If I put in the work, it'll be completely possible.  Not only will it finally get me out of the camp of 'lazy-Americans-who-only-speak-English', but it'll properly round out my set of "accomplishments" very nicely.

April 2017



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