I have been watching a lecture series on DVD, produced by The Teaching Company, taught by Professor Brooks Landon of the University of Iowa, entitled Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft. This is my first exposure to a university level course in writing, although I have taken other on-line practical writing courses and attended workshops, and read books on the subject, all practical, none with the in-depth discussion of the sentence as an art form, not considering just its function, but the way in which phrases and clauses, vowels and consonants play against and with each other. I’m enjoying this series, although some of the concepts are so new to me, that I will watch it a second time, take notes, do the exercises and explore at greater length some of the concepts, as well, I might add, as learning the new vocabulary, not included in the language I learned in medical school. It seems a practical course in many ways and it is great fun.
Sakineh: She’s still in that prison. I see that the Iranians have accepted five hundred thousand dollars as the price of an American woman accused of spying and released this week. Some people in Oman arranged it, so we are told. I wonder what it would cost to buy the freedom of Sakineh and the others.
Spain: I’ve spent the last few months trying to learn some Spanish, using the course supplied by RosettaStone, enough to be polite, and not assume that everyone that I meet speaks English. I did the same with Italian several years ago, finding that it took at least two years to gain enough language to communicate a little. It becomes more difficult as I get older, or so it seems. We’re leaving shortly, so this will be my last posting for a while, unless I have access to a computer somewhere along the way.