Ani's 2017 Log

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Elsa Maria
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Elsa Maria » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:53 pm

Seconding what IronMike said about the overseas job. I have no regrets about our 5+ years in Denmark. I think it was absolutely a win for the kids, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the challenges we faced.
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Xenops » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:32 pm

What an awesome, possible opportunity! I'm very glad to hear that other European countries were accommodating to foreigners. In Japan it sounds like the experiences really depend. One American family tried to get their kids enrolled in the Japanese school system, but without success. So they home-schooled the kids, but for some reason, the family never acclimated to the culture, or made a big effort to learn the language. They served as missionaries for eight years, then called it quits and moved back to the States. Then I met a gentlemen that taught English there for a year, and made efforts to stay permanently, and he couldn't be happier (I believe he brought the family over too).
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:12 am

Thank you for the positive feedback on the job, IronMike and Elsa Maria! I love hearing about kids successfully transitioning and even thriving. The kids are obviously at the forefront of all these decisions, but we'd need to make a decision well before we'd know how exactly they would each handle it.

The application is in but I don't know the timeframe for when DH should get a call back, if he were to hear anything at all. And there are still tons of questions of housing and how relocation works. All new to me and so many gov't acronyms! Lol. There is also the complicating factor that I am having a baby in April.

I dunno, even if DH applies for 5 European jobs/year there is a good chance the right fit will come up with in a few years. DH is super good at his job and everybody wants him :)

Xenops - thanks for coming by! Yeah I hope it would be pretty easy to integrate. The exact area I think is full of expats on temporary stays like we would be, but they would not all be American. Even if we didn't truly integrate, it would be the coolest long term vacation ever :)

Update for today:
Didn't do my Finnish yet. Sill hoping to get to it. I did finish La Délicatesse though. Oh my gosh I couldn't put it down. I thought it could have used a *slightly* stronger ending but I was smiling stupidly on and off all from the mid point on. I love books that leave me with a goofy smile. It's definitely something I'd read again. Nice book for a rainy summer weekend (if it were English, I'd say rainy Saturday, only 200 pg). It had a reference to L'étranger which was fun, having just finished it like an hour before seeing the reference. It also references lots of other books that I now have to read. Also some cultural mysteries to sort out... Like how youth in Sweden is like old age in Switzerland... I dunno. Does that mean boring? I have no idea what it is like to grow up in Sweden or grow old in Switzerland but now I'd like to :)


Fortheo- Thank you so much for the resource ideas! I'll check them out tonight and see what might suit. Have you decided on your resources yet?
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:59 am

My my, where is everyone today? I must need more adult interaction because I have been checking this board and another I am on about every 10 minutes all day.

Despite my distraction level, I did manage to get my Finnish done. Still reviewing. I just started Assimil over at the new year and am reviewing at one lesson a day -- although it feels more new than review. I might check out Soumea Soumenski also.
I looked some more Russian resources and I LOVE Le Russe à Votre Rythme. Definitely going to be studying from that bit by bit.
Tried picking up a new book. Actually 3. I don't enjoy reading written accents very much so although I had planned to read Zazie dans le metro next, it will have to wait until I have a little more patience. Then I tried Bilbo Le Hobbit but my copy seems to have been printed in a time of extreme paper shortage. The minuscule print and total lack of white space make it hard to read so I might keep it by my bed to nibble bit by bit or I might just set it aside. Finally I checked the shelves for the most enticing looking book and settled on Fred Vargas's Sous Les Ventes de Neptune. The paper and binding are so nice.. Much much better.

Trying to read all the paper books I can in the next three months. Won't have free hands again for a couple years :-p
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Fortheo » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:44 am

Hey Ani, I'm glad you enjoyed La Délicatesse! You're right, it's definitely a book that is suitable for a nice rainy day. I'd probably read that book again just because of the bittersweet, melancholic, yet hopeful atmosphere that I felt while reading it, and because of Nathalie's quirkiness. If you ever read more books by that author, let me know what you think of them because there's a few of his books that look pretty interesting, "Charlotte" and "Les souvenirs" for example.

As for what I'm doing for Russian, I doubt it will be of use to you because I'm actually using Russian as my break from French ;) So no French based courses for me, at least not for a while. My goal for Russian is very unambitious this year—finish Michel Thomas, finish Hugo's three months, and get a decent chunk of Assimil done.

You may have mentioned it in your last thread, but what was it that interests you about Russian again?
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby IronMike » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:09 pm

Ani wrote:Trying to read all the paper books I can in the next three months. Won't have free hands again for a couple years :-p

Congrats, btw. What # will this be for you and your hubby?
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Elsa Maria » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:06 pm

Keeping it real, there were times of doubt and loneliness while living overseas. There was the cost of living (ouch) to reckon with. Dealing with taxes was complex enough to be considered traumatizing. I worried about my family in the USA, and there were feelings of guilt to be reckoned with, too. But, still no regrets about actually going. It changed my life for the better.
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:03 pm

Fortheo wrote:. . . If you ever read more books by that author, let me know what you think of them because there's a few of his books that look pretty interesting, "Charlotte" and "Les souvenirs" for example.
. . .

You may have mentioned it in your last thread, but what was it that interests you about Russian again?


I will totally let you know. When I get through a bit more of my to be read shelf, I am sure I'll start grabbing up books again and he would be an author near the top of my list.

I think I have three main reasons for being interested in Russian. First is that there are oodles of Russian speakers where I live. The language is as ubiquitous as Spanish in other parts of the US. Lots of resources, lots of Russian speaking moms and kids on the playground. (By contrast, I couldn't find a French tutor for my kids for any amount of money)
Next, Russian literature. Need I say more? :) I am a huge fan of both classic and some modern. After listening to the laments on this board about how large a vocabulary you need to actually read Russian books, I am a little intimidated. Not sure I'll get to the level that would make it more enjoyable to read the original than a translation but I definitely won't get there if I don't start.
And lastly, we are Orthodox Christian so a huge part of our church history is in Russia. I find the stories of the church before, under, and after communism very compelling. Plus we have church music and a beautiful Russian church* not too far from our house we could go for some more practice :)

*Don't know if you are familiar with Orthodoxy at all. My church is Antiochian jurisdiction (based in Syria), but we are "in communion" with the Russian jurisdiction so consider ourselves the same Church. We visit each other a fair amount :)

IronMike wrote:Congrats, btw. What # will this be for you and your hubby?

Thank you! #5 :)

Elsa Maria wrote:Keeping it real, there were times of doubt and loneliness while living overseas. There was the cost of living (ouch) to reckon with. Dealing with taxes was complex enough to be considered traumatizing. I worried about my family in the USA, and there were feelings of guilt to be reckoned with, too. But, still no regrets about actually going. It changed my life for the better.


Uff taxes already scare me. I can't even imagine. We'd actually be closer to family in Luxembourg than where we live now, and be a shorter, less expensive flight away. Ridiculous right?
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby IronMike » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:05 am

Ani wrote:
IronMike wrote:Congrats, btw. What # will this be for you and your hubby?

Thank you! #5 :)

That is so awesome! You and your hubby are so lucky. We wanted six, but biology got in the way. Still: no complaints. We have four healthy and successful kids!
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Re: Ani's 2017 Log

Postby Ani » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:33 pm

Nothing dramatic to report. Finnish slipped a hair as I did a little more in Russian during the first part of this week. I only have 30-40 minutes a day to devote to them combined. Since they are such new language, I think 15-20 minutes each is better than alternating days but it is hard to pull myself away when I hit a place of enjoyment. The root of the issue being that Finnish is with Assimil, Russian is not. How does anyone deal with getting little bits and pieces of information in drips and drabs over months? It's making me beyond insane.

I have about 70 pages to read in French today to keep up with my book a week goals for a 52 in 52 reading challenge on another forum. I caved and bought another Fred Vargas last night on Amazon although I am really trying to read what I have here already. Next week I'll start a much longer French book (650ish pg) so I'll have to intersperse with a couple English books. I have Modern Syrian Short Stories, The Language Instinct (reread), and Schrodingers' Kittens and the Search For Reality (a favorite from college) queued up, plus a shelf full of books I bright back from my childhood bookshelf. Will be interesting to see if they are mich like I remember them.
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