Screenshot 2019-07-01 at 8.02.19 AMHappy Monday got a headnod from the Wednesday Connect post on Thinking Out Loud for being the best one he’s seen in a while. The music theme was apparent but unintentional; we noticed but didn’t say anything. BTW, I link Wednesday Connect each week on The Master’s Table Facebook page and my personal Twitter feed so if you’re not following Paul Wilkinson you might want to at least check it out.

A couple of items in the news this week; the new round of tariffs potentially affecting Bible prices was covered by several sources, graves being opened at the Vatican perhaps not so much.

Screenshot 2019-07-13 at 10.11.17 AMThere was another event in the news that has lots of people talking and that’s the ice cream licking trend. Copy cat videos based on the Blue Bell licker in Texas are disturbing lots of people. So the conundrum for Blue Bell is this: Do they continuing sealing their cartons by turning them upside to freeze as they always have or invest in new machines and materials to wrap the top of the carton in plastic? They have always used a natural seal process that makes opening the carton for the first time difficult and should be noticeable if the carton has been tampered with. After the events of the past week plenty of customers are saying that’s no longer sufficient. If they do nothing and wait for the attention to blow over it could cost them customers in the long run, not just this week. If they shut down and re-tool that will be money out of pocket right now and it will still take time for customer trust to be reestablished. There is no cheap or easy fix. Add to that the fact that people are stupid and now videos are popping up of people tampering with other products, spitting in the orange juice, etc.

¿Hablas español? I took two years of Spanish in high school to meet the foreign language requirement. I was not fluent by any means but 1) that would have been an excellent foundation had I tried harder during those two years; I was really only interested in passing the class and 2) I could have continued taking Spanish in college and just chose not to. It was not required in my major sequence but would not have been discouraged by any means. In that awkward time between graduating college and getting my first teaching job I worked with Mexicans and other latinos building fences and landscaping. I used what I had learned in high school but instantly regretted not learning more and picked up words on the job for things like hammer, nails, boards, concrete and wheelbarrow (martillo, clavos, tablas, concreta, carretilla). Screenshot 2019-07-13 at 10.32.55 AM

I am beginning an experiment to see if I can pick up where I left off on my own. Without spending hundreds of dollars for Rosetta Stone, or enrolling in community college, I am setting out to become fluent in conversational Spanish on the cheap. I may still invest in a paperback English-Spanish dictionary but there are so many online resources from podcasts to YouTube videos these days. There are even programs that stream from Amazon Prime. The big hurdle to learning Spanish for the first time is understanding the grammar. Spanish, like French and Italian, is a romance language which means based on Latin (a la the Roman Empire). I got over the grammar mechanics hurdle 25 years ago so that’s all coming back to me. As I work on vocabulary I can form more complete sentences. Here’s the thing: no matter how many words a language has we typically use only a few hundred of them over and over each day.

The goal is to report back in three months on how it went. By then I will know if this works, doesn’t work, or will take another three to six months.

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