It sparks joy

The day passed by like… like… like my youth. At times I thought there’s so much I can still do and time is plenty and life is long and looking back it was over in a blink of an eye.

I lost a lot of time in my morning session in the coffee shop. Instead of working I was reading up on the life of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, whose novella Carmella I read on the weekend. I even found a little bit of conspiracy surrounding the circumstances of his death in 1873, just one year after his Vampire novella got published. I felt perfectly entertained. Ah yes, and I watched a bit of Jeff Cavaliere’s AthleanX. I’m particularly interested in how he’s teaching one-on-one. I’m very impressed by his mastery of the English language and how he uses it to crush it on Youtube. Side by side to the genetically gifted players of The New York Mets Jeff looks totally like an underdog.

What else did I do?

I filmed AND edited a video. I call this a success. A more comprehensive version of the shoulder-and-hip-circles class was on my personal wish list for over a month now. However, after listening to two audio recordings of Moshé Feldenkrais today (both from ATM lessons for Elder Citizens) I reconsidered my big plans and went for a 10 minute version.

Now, with the help – and burden – of daily blogging I’m improving my English language skills a little bit myself as well. No big jumps or anything fancy, but enough to see my shortcomings, to see and hear things I previously didn’t. Decades of watching TV series and movies in English, as well as using English in my profession, didn’t seem to yield much progress beyond the level I was stuck at. Years and years was I scouting the shelves of libraries and book stores – and the Internet – to try to find out how to become better at English. Much to my disappointment I found very few books that I liked or trusted in being able to live up to their highly promising covers. I bought two dozen or so books on the topic, including an ESL preparation textbook the size of a cupboard, but most of these books were just dead collections of phrases, grammar, dead-boring exercise drills, and pages that could suck any reader’s life-force right out of their eyes. Surprisingly the ultimate answer to improving language skills was not in a particular book, but in the medium „book” itself: All it takes is to read more self-selected literature, preferably fiction, preferably read aloud. Forget about that speed-reading and flit-through-100-books-per-year nonsense.

It’s almost midnight already, I finally finished my blog post, but I’m still uploading my video to Youtube and working on the meta data (thumbnail, description, filling out the upload forms). Tomorrow I want to produce a transcript of today’s video, and then I want to improve it, re-write it. And then I want to film the same lesson again.

I enjoyed today’s filming quite a bit. And the thought of improving it, and with it my way of teaching, my language, my phrasing, my precision, it excites me. It sparks joy. Maybe it is a way of tidying up, and all the pleasures and possibilities that come with it. At the end of the day there is another day, and enough time.