Tag Archives: learning spanish

All I can do is laugh

1 May

Last week my laptop did a really strange thing.  I was using it when the screen went black and startled me with a loud continuous buzzing.  I tried pushing the Alt/Control/Del with no success.  Then I unplugged it and continued pushing buttons.  Suddenly, the noise quit and the computer turned off.  I was really afraid that is was fried!

I decided to leave it for awhile.  Later, fearing that I might not be able to get in, I turned it on.  Surprise!  It booted up as usual.  I couldn’t see anything wrong, so continued what I had been doing when it crashed.  I then went to YouTube to look up something, only to find that their was no sound!  I checked the Control Panel/sound, and it showed the same volume I have always had.  So, of course, I thought that whatever the crashing problem was, it had taken out my sound.

I wasn’t happy about that, but decided I could live with it.  (I’ve been shopping for a replacement iPad, and certainly didn’t want to get another laptop too.)  After a few days I was on practicing my Spanish on www.duolingo.com and realized the sound was working!  I really didn’t understand how it could have fixed itself, but I wasn’t going to complain.  However, when I tried YouTube again later, it still wasn’t working.  Rats!

Well, those of you who are more computer savvy than I, are probably shaking your heads!  But although I was perplexed I still couldn’t figure it out.  Okay, besides shaking your head you are probably thinking ‘that poor woman’.  But if you think that is bad, just read on.

Yesterday I had been online comparing prices and models of i Pads.  I had also been looking at houses for sale.  There were papers all around me where I had jotted down prices and addresses.  I was using my laptop to search the sites, and my iPad to find the address.  My phone was also nearby in case I wanted to compare two different sites.   In the midst of all this my brother called.

I am always happy to talk to him, but unfortunately right then part of my mind was still half on what I’d been doing.  So I was gathering up the papers, sorting them into piles, turning off the laptop and iPad when suddenly I wondered where my phone was.  I knew it had been right there!  I remembered laying it on the arm of the couch. I searched down in the cushions, but couldn’t find it.  I was beginning to panic—I must have my phone.  Then (I guess I must have been a little of topic??) and my brother ask if I was busy.  I started to tell him, I couldn’t find my ph…..Oh Wait!…..HOW STUPID CAN I GET!!!!!!

I burst out laughing.  I told him what a stupid, stupid sister he had.  I also told him the next time when he can’t find something–we both are convinced it must be an age thing–to just remember, he isn’t as bad as his younger sister!  We agreed that, even though we do things that are really crazy sometimes, it is good we can laugh about it.  Sometimes that’s ALL we can do.  Laugh and shake our heads.  That’s so much better than getting mad, which would only  upset us more.  Maybe this silliness is due old age, maybe it’s too much multi-tasking, maybe just not paying attention to detail.  Whatever the cause, it is just something we seem to have to live with.  So if laughing helps us handle it, great!

Oh, and just a few minutes ago I figured out why the sound on YouTube hasn’t been working.  I usually use my iPad for YouTube.  It has a slider tab for the sound.  But my laptop doesn’t.  However, it does have–I found–a little icon for sound.  I selected it, and wonder of wonders I again have sound!  In turning it off and on (just checking) I realized there is a little ‘x’ beside the icon when the sound is off.  I don’t know when I pushed it off.  Perhaps when I was using the pause, since the icons are side-by-side.  Whenever it was, I only noticed it after my laptop had frozen.  Such a simple thing, don’t know why I never noticed that icon before.

Even as I continue to laugh and shake my head when I think of these experiences, I realize that at least I have learned something today.  I am a tiny bit more computer savvy than before.  I still don’t know why my laptop crashed that day, but since it is working now I’m not going to fret about it.

I was going to text this to the daughter I had told about my sound problem, but decided to post it here instead.   My silliness is still making me smile, so it might bring a smile or laugh to others.  If so maybe it’s worth it.  In fact, maybe it’s even worth it to me.  I probably needed a good laugh too .

 

Help for learning Spanish

7 May

Here is the Spanish post I promised.  The one that has taken a different direction than my usual Spanish posts.  (If you have read very many of my posts you will find that I change direction quite often.)  The direction is different, because this Spanish post will be written in English.

I won’t be writing the post in Spanish because I just can’t cover this material with my current Spanish skills  (notice I didn’t say my lack of Spanish–I’m still working at having a positive self-image).  I am going to tell of some of the different ways that help me  learn the language.

The best way would be to live near Spanish speakers, but there aren’t any living near me.  Another way, if one had the time or the money would be to take a Spanish class at the university or on CD’s.  But that isn’t a option for me at present.

I found, instead,  a small informal class that meets weekly at our local library.  We visit  sites on the internet and are slowly learning.  The following are the sites we use most often:

www.123teachme.com  This site is filled with Spanish courses, tests, games, and other resources.  We each progress at our own level at home, then do some of the lessons in class.  We frequently use the ‘English to Spanish’ and the ‘Spanish to English’ translator.

www.spanishdict.com  Although, not filled with as much content as the Teach Me site, this one has a translator with audio, Word of the Day, a featured article and common words in both English and Spanish.

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/  We use this site to read children’s books in Spanish.  We select ‘Read Book’.  When the page appears  we select set the language for “Spanish”and select ‘Short Books’.  Some books are in both Spanish and English, which is helpful.  Some are in Spanish and other languages and others only in Spanish.  We have to pick and choose to find the ones that are best for our beginning level.

From http://www.gutenberg.org we have been reading two books until we progress to a place where the language is beyond us.  Occasionally we return to the site and are pleasantly surprised by how many more of the words we have learned.  The two books we read are  “An Elementary Spanish Reader” and  “A First Spanish Reader”

In addition too the class and these sites I like to find Spanish blogs, newspapers, and websites.  Some of these I return to again and again.  I am always looking for new ones that are not just lessons, but actual writings of people posting on their blogs.  Ones that aren’t too hard for me.  I like it best when I can get the gist of the article without looking up the translation of words too often!  From my college Spanish class and in our little informal one, we find that we can often understand the story even if we don’t know all the words.

These are some I have found helpful:

www.spanishspanish.com  Lots of information on this site.  Audio, flash cards, vocabulary, grammar, textbooks, etc.

homeschoolspanishonline.com  As the name indicates, this is a home school Spanish course.  Lots of material, music, and some stories in Spanish

When I visited www.marisamontes.com today I learned that the author has died.  The site is being kept as a memorial to her.  I click on Links” and choose  ‘Ónline  Resources for Children’.  This displays a page with several websites for Spanish.

One newspaper that I continue to try reading from time to time is elsur.mx.  It is from the Yucatan Peninsula.  As with the books, I seem to get the gist of the articles.  I still need to translate many words, but my progress, though slow, encourages me.

Most generally I find sites through internet searches.  I try to remember to bookmark the good ones I find.   I have found that using different words in my search brings up different sites.  I’ve yet to find the best words for what I want, although I still seem to stumble onto some good sites at times.

Sometimes I find a blog I like from a search, yet when I go back to the main site page, I have a hard time finding the blog.  It seems, from what I can gather, that some of the Spanish blogs are connected to a main site page.  I suppose I just haven’t learned how to navigate well enough yet.

But it is frustrating.  Today I stumbled onto a blog I liked and noted–but sadly didn’t bookmark– the site.  I thought, www.hola.com, easy name, I’ll remember that.  And I did remember it, but when I went to the site later, I found it doesn’t seem to be the site of the person’s blog I had read.  It seems instead a collection of various writers, maybe bloggers?  I’ve yet to find the one which I was looking at earlier and wanted to mention in this post.  If my Spanish understanding was sufficient, I believe the blogger was a retired woman who visited different places and made videos of them.  It was a video that I watched.  The whole ‘hola’ site has a tremendous amount of material, but hopefully I will stumble onto the one I liked again sometime.

While searching www.hola.com I found another video that was interesting.  It was a video about art and food.  And there was something about the hands.  When I realized I had to have the translation it meant a trip to www.123teachme.com.  I was surprised to learn it said árt and gastronomy go hand in hand’.  I also learned that Reino Unido mean the UK.  It was good to be clear about the content of the video.  But I was still happy that I got at least part of it on my own.  I know I will return to this site over and over.  From the Food section, with help from 123TeachMe, I also learned that ‘paso a paso’ means step by step.

In trying to find a blog about gardens written in Spanish, I found this site  www.buenastareas.com/ensayos/Jardin-De-Ni%C3%B1os/6681595.html    I have just copied the whole link.  I’m afraid if I try to just enter the main site I won’t be able to find the article again.  Although I didn’t read very much of it, I plan to return.

Another way I learn is by writing in Spanish.  In our class we are now each writing a paragraph something about our week and then reading each other’s in class.  Reading, listening and writing Spanish really helps me.

So I stumble along in this blog, in most of my Spanish posts, writing in my own level of Spanish.  Struggling but keeping on for some reason.  I feel, like a member of our class who said, “I really don’t know why I want to learn Spanish, I just do”.  And really, do we always need the ‘why’ of something?  Can’t we just do it because we enjoy it?

 

Practico español

18 Jul

Entiendo los verbos presente pero aprendo los verbos pasado.  Trato usa la configuraciòn en mi IPad ‘Spanish’.  Pero el IPad configure en el verbo corecto y no entiendo las polabras.  Entonces, leo en el Internet que cuando apreto  las tecias del el IPad, las lettras el marca acento aprece.   Una problems usa este mètodo es el iPad corecte las polabras automatice y es necesario escribo despacio y con cuidado.

En esta semana voy a la granja de mi hija los màs jóvenes. Ella y la familia vamos en la vacaciòn.  Cuando en la granja doy de comer de los granos a las animalas.  Las animalas de mi hija son las gallinas, los gallos, los patos, los gansos, los caballos y una canejo. Me gusta voy de la granja de mi hija pero mi gusta mas cuando las tempuratura no es tan caliento.

Yo solicito las correciones en esta carta, por favor.

My changing interests

8 Jun

Life has a way of changing desires and plans.  So often things I have liked or been interested in briefly at one time, will resurface later-sometimes years later.

One of these interests that has returned is knitting. I learned to knit many years ago while in high school.  As is common with me, I wasn’t content to start out small so jumped right in and attempted to make a cardigan with cables.  It had a kind of bubble type stitching.  It wasn’t easy, to say the least!  But I finished it.  I didn’t know anything about blocking (or possibly I read about it and it seemed too much trouble?).  Anyway I had my completed yellow sweater.   I wore it at home and was proud of it, but didn’t really want to knit anymore.

But a few years ago my interested resurfaced.  At first it began as a pastime while waiting in doctor office, etc.  This time I had sense enough to start out small.   (One thing about me is that I do seem to learn from my blunders.)  My project was a one skein scarf kit with furry type yarn.  I was hooked!  I discovered so many, many different, marvelous kinds of yarn.  All I knew before was the old acrylic standby.  And needles!   Not just the old metal ones.  But wood, plastic, double pointed, and amazingly circular!  They looked so strange and I wondered how anyone could ever learn to use them.   But since I am not afraid to try new things-indeed I tend to thrive with new things-I decided to be brave and attempt it.   Needless to say it became my passion.  I now knit almost exclusively with circulars!   I recently was given a set of the plastic circular, and though I didn’t think I would like plastic, I have have enjoyed working with them. I have found I like differentkinds of needles with different yarn.

I have several young grandchildren.  They are so forgiving.  I can knit things for them even with mistakes and they love them!  I have experimented with different kinds of yarn.  I even learned how to unravel old sweaters for yarn.  I found one can quickly go overboard buying on eBay. I have a huge stash that I am slowly working through.

My most difficult and rewarding project was a fingerless glove with flip over part to make a mitten.  They took me much longer than I expected, but I learned so much.  I want to do another pair.  Guess I should start soon if I want them completed for this winter.

I have attempted socks, but just can’t quite get the hangs of it.  For now I’m content with making top, dresses and scarves for grand kids.  I just completed a skirt and working on another.   It seems I usually don’t follow the pattern exactly.  Sometimes I find a mistake and don’t want to redo all so I just change the pattern a little to make it work.  So all my pieces are originals!

Another thing that has resurfaced is my desire to learn Spanish.  I joined a small informal Spanish lesson group.  So if you see some of my text misspelled, don’t freak out!   It is just my attempts to learn the language.  If any of my viewers know Spanish, please jump in and help out.  I mostly know only the present tense Spanish.  And since I haven’t had formal training for over 10 years I have forgotten much.

Well, the day is calling,  so I’ll sign off for now.  I hope to get some response from these posts, but even if I don’t I enjoy writing them.  It seems to fulfillby need for expression!

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