Tag Archives: learning

Thought #12. My cup of tea.

Prose is thought put to page. In other words, should you have a brain, you can write. Easy-peasy. And yet, each time you face a blank sheet of paper you are in potential danger of running out of steam. It might be a lack of ideas or an excess of niggling worries. Maybe today’s dismal weather or a heavy lunch has made you sluggish. Listing all possible causes would be a never-ending task.

Take it easy. You knew perfectly well that blogging was not going to be child’s play. Nevertheless, the benefits of writing regularly can easily outweigh the difficulties and frustrations. The beauty of writing or “thinking into paper” is that there are hardly any rules to constrain you.

Some time ago, I came across a telling argument against the so-called “Writer’s Block”, a condition in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. Apparently, laziness is not the chief reason for this blockage but the disdain that authors have towards their own work. Obsessive perfectionism can eclipse the author self-awareness like deluded self-righteousness can isolate any razor-sharp mind.

Therefore, my best advice is to have a nice cup of tea or go dancing, whatever. It is perfectly normal to not feel like doing it now. Put it off. And again, take it easy because you do not need to forego your creature comforts. After all, if writing is really your cup of tea, you will eventually go back to your blank sheet of paper and start to put thought to page.

Thought #1. Practice makes perfect.

Since last summer, my burning ambition is to become fluent in English. As many of you may know there is a famous English saying that goes “practice makes perfect”. To achieve my ambition I know full well that I need considerable drive and determination.

After working very hard with Mrs Robertshaw, my extraordinary online English teacher, I managed to get very high marks on the “Cambridge English: First” exam I sat in December. Then, I decided to continue my English journey by attending Mr Palmer English classes. He is probably the funniest and most knowledgeable teacher I have ever had.

Classes apart, I’m constantly exposed to a miscellany of English resources such as podcasts, newspaper articles, TV shows and films, and literature. To improve my vocabulary, I keep a notebook (actually, it’s not a proper notebook but a spreadsheet) where I regularly add all the new vocabulary or expressions that I found. Indeed, I can barely catch up with them all, so there is an increasing number of words, expressions, idioms and chunks of language on my waiting list.

A spin-off of my Notebook is the production of memorising materials in the form of flashcards (see my Quizlet profile) and categorised word lists (see my Memrise profile) which I constantly keep up-to-date. This is all very time-consuming but worth doing.

However, I always felt that there was something missing until today. I ‘skyped’ Mrs Robershaw on account of preparing the C2 Certification Exam that I’m going to take in June and she gave me a very useful piece of advice on putting the language in practice. “Why don’t you write a blog?” she said. And this is my very first entry.