I was pretty good at languages. I began learning Latin my first two years of high scgool, then fell in love with French the last two years and majored in it in college. French vocabulary and accent was the only class I passed in my last semester, when I registered for classes and attended practically none. The B- I got in French was based on the recording I made at the start of the class, before I stopped going to class completely. Just think what I could have done if I had actually taken the class.
In the years when we had foreign students with us, I learned Portuguese by osmosis. Everybody around me, that wasn't related to me, spoke Portuguese, some of the mothers wrote me letters in Portuguese. I never took a class but at the height of our Brasilian invasion, I was conversant in the language, as long as the subjects weren't too complicated. Brasilians told me I had a great accent.
Because of having a smattering of knowledge of two romance languages and growing up in California, I can kinda sorta read very simple Spanish and make a pretty good guess at a lot of Italian.
Today I began examining three new languages. The first is Telugu, which my sponsored child, Anjali, in India says, in the letter I received today, that she likes studying. It is the official language in the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and several other Indian states. I haven't had the opportunity to hear it spoken, but I am intrigued now. Gonna be a little difficult to learn much, though.
Does not roll trippingly off the fingers!
The second language I studied a bit today is the language of "dog." Last week at Logos, I started reading Cesar Milan's "Cesar's Way," which talks a bit about his upbringing, his learning how to "speak dog" and his interpretation of dog behavior and body language. A lot I read I either knew or had observed, some was new. It was an interesting book, but does not cover the case of three dogs living together in one house for many years, all of whom know they are top dog and I come in 4th and how you go about changing those behaviors when you are old and too fat to take your dogs roller blading.
I'll work on that. I decided to try some of his "calm assertive" behavior tonight on Leaping Lizzie and it was essentially totally useless. I dream of the day when I tell her not to jump and she actually doesn't jump.
And then we come to the third, and most important language that I found myself trying to learn today: the language of Senior Living. Now that my mother is starting to entertain the idea of moving, I decided to do some research on the Internet.
I started with the place her doctor had recommended. A Catholic home, across from Kaiser, and around the corner from her best friend. She had also seen it before, as a priest friend had spent his last year or so there. The doctor raved about it, about the staff (which, I gathered, was all nuns) and it sounded like it would be great. The grounds are beautiful and that is definitely a "must" for my mother who loves nature and plants and birds.
But. uh. No. From what I could gather from their web site, it's a place where you have a room with a bed, a desk, a TV, your own private bathroom (whoopee!) and communal spaces where you can "entertain your guests." That's definitely not where she needs to start. I'm looking for something like Walt's mother had in the two places she stayed for several years before she died, with at least one bedroom, a living room area, and a kitchenette. Where she feels she has her own place, not a hospital room.
The more I looked, the more depressed I got until I realized that I really didn't want assisted living, I wanted independent living, where she could have her own apartment, but also have assistance available if necessary. She doesn't need help with the activities of daily living...she can bathe and clothe herself, brush her own teeth (and they are her own teeth, something of which she is very proud of having at age 93), and remember to take her medications.
Once I started checking independent living, I found there were different options there too and a wide range of prices (on those places where they actually posted the prices). Naturally the one that I liked best was the most expensive.
When I did a search for "independent living" near where she is now, I got a list of places from 40 miles north of where she now lives to 40 miles south and across the Bay from where she doesn't want to leave. I am really going to have to start finding people to ask for recommendations since the more web sites I visited the more overwhelmed I felt.
I have the feeling that the web sites that offer you NO photographs are the ones you want to avoid...either that or the places are wonderful and I want to design new web pages for them!