Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Jay!


May you have many more! <3

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Introducing...

Seamus "Flopsy" McGee!
video

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

For all the Fencers Out There

As with all sports, it's a good idea to do some training on your own to keep your body in good condition and improve your skill. Here is a good workout laid out by Colin, the leader of our local salle, Salle Honolulu. Anybody in the Oahu/Hawaii area or avid fencers who will be visiting long enough to get the itch to practice, feel free to contact me for more info. Without further ado;

follow the classic pro boxing championship model: 15 3-minute rounds
with one-minute rests between each
start out simple and add one move per round
end simple: the last round is just lunging and recovering

example:
round one: advancing & retreating (varying speed and size of steps;
also include stutter-steps and body feints)
round two: add lunging (varying size of lunge and type of recover -
backward, forward, scissors)
round three: add another footwork move
and so on.

when you run out of footwork moves, add bladework moves
when you run out of moves, change from one round to the next by
visualizing (imagine an opponent), or change what you're visualizing
(imagine a different opponent)

when you fence bouts in your head, imagine winning close bouts and
come-from-behind bouts


This is also a good workout for non-fencers to build stamina and agility!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lisez et Repetez

I'm really addicted to StumbleUpon, and came upon this page, which interested me in a dorky, linguistic way. And it made a point. Most students, including myself in middle school, when given a passage to read and questions to answer, will translate the passage first and then answer questions. This is fantastic if you're training to translate passages, but does not mark true fluency in the language (in my opinion.)

So what is true fluency? I believe it's when you can converse in a different language with no hesitations. This means there is no time to translate into English and back; imagine how awkward that conversation would be with all those pauses! If this becomes easy, as it does in most advanced classroom/immersion settings; why doesn't this extend into reading passages? I believe it's the structure of the assignments. Sure, the source material is in the target language, but the questions? The discussion afterwards?

In my opinion, if the questions of the assignment are in English, I am forced to translate. If the questions are in the target language, there needs to be no change in mindset. This still leaves room for completing the assignment without real understanding of the text- with a few simple vocab. words, you can copy and paste the answers. The burden, therefore, lies on the teacher. To make sure you understand the fine nuances of the language that disappears during translation and to increace fluency, what better way than to discuss it in the same language?

As much as I hated the language school for doing *everything* in the language we were trying to learn, it taught us more quickly (albeit in a 'sink or swim' method) and made sure that we understood written texts and not just mastered the use of a dictionary.

There. I just regurgitated an article for you all. Discuss.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Friday the 13th- Fun for the Whole Family! Mmm-hmm!

I like going to movies at the right time. For example, seeing Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th. It's just cool. Anyways, I do this, and am totally enjoying the experience. Sure, there are people talking, but it's a cheesy slasher flick. There were two people, however, that both annoyed me so much I couldn't decided who was more annoying. So, I will leave it up to you, dear readers.

Person #1: Sat directly behind us and started to make grunty noises. You know the ones. "Mm. Mmm mmm. Unh unh. Uh. " This doesn't seem annoying, but I trust you, it was. If you have experienced a Grunter, you know.

Person #2: Sat to the left of us. Decided a movie about marijuana, boobs, and violent, bloody, deaths was the perfect one to bring their *clearly* under five year old daughter to. This is clearly more morally reprehensible than Person #1, but is it more annoying? No. Unless you factor in the fact that said daughter kept crying that she was scared and asking what was going on, only to be told by her mother and father to be quiet. The cherry on the top was every time there was nudity or sex (which happened quite often) the kid's mother would very loudly shout "don't look! don't look!" Maybe I want to look, which is why I bought tickets to this movie. Maybe you should have hired a babysitter instead of taking your still potty-training toddler to a rated-R movie about someone who kills people.

Question: which is more annoying to sit next to, and why?

Catch-up Photos

Someone said to me that I haven't updated my blog in awhile, which is true. I have about eight bajillion photos of my husband fencing, which he has been doing very well at, he's now rated with the USFA. I picked the one that to me represented all of that. Here is my husband looking awesome and judging one of the matches at a recent tournament.


For Valentine's Day my husband took me out to a dinner cruise off of Waikiki, which turned out to be a tourist trap but was a very romantic gesture, and at least we got this nice sunset shot out of it:


Next post is a rant with a feature from my favorite vlog (sxephil)- a question of the day. Which is more like a question of the post, since until I get a Mac I will rarely be on this computer, which I will only say nice things about in hopes it will publish this post.