Yesterday was the 10 anniversary of my mom's passing, and I did ok. I had one real breakdown, but it was relatively minor, and all in all, not that bad. Granted, I still miss her and it still hurts. The pain and longing has dulled a bit and I find I try to honor her memory in small ways now. Little Clover and I will talk about her and I'll tell him stories about her, like the time she decided to give me a hair cut. She took my long braid and just snipped the sucker off. I don't think I new what hit me. I tell him about how we went camping every weekend when we lived in Colorado and Mom would wear high heeled sandals. I smile when I see clovers and rainbows, and, I have seriously started relearning Korean.
For Christmas, I received Rosetta Stone's Korean Level 1 and it rocks. The software was sitting on my desk for the longest time, and for some reason, last week seemed like the right time to start it. Maybe it was the upcoming anniversary or the back to school bug, I'm not sure, but it has been the best learning tool I've tried. For starters, there is no Romanization. You are dropped straight into the Hangul alphabet and the Korean language. By the time I was 15 "slides" into the first lesson of the first of 4 units, I was already comprehending. I couldn't read nor speak to save my life, but I could understand. The instruction is intuitive and the lessons build upon each other. You are provided with immediate feedback, unlike books and cds, and you can move at your own pace. Repeating lessons is a snap as well. In the Korean language, pronouns are not heavily used. Instead, nouns or formal names are used and when people meet someone for the first time without introduction, they greet each other as "teacher." I like this. I think a language, the foundation for a culture, that bases interactions on the belief we can all learn from one another is a beautiful thing.
The software must be improving my pronounciation. This year, when we went to the Korean restaurant to celebrate my mom, I greeted the host in Korean, just as I do ever year, but this time, they started talking to me in Korean. I paniced! I threw up my hands and quickly blurted, "I just know how to say 'hello!'" The server smiled and changed to English, much to the amusement of Italian and Little Clover, and I think my mom was smiling too.