Monday, April 23, 2007

Hindi Lesson #3

Today I sat through my third Hindi lesson (self-taught via a tape). I'm still on conversation one, of 10, and am finding it much harder than I thought! It's not that I thought it would be easy to learn, but rather my lack of fore-thought of what areas I may find difficult has caught me off guard. Part of it, I believe, stems from the fact that I'm a very visual learner - I like having a description of something with a picture or some visual cue to go with it. The tape is great to follow the conversations, but my level of recall is much lower without the usual visual link. A couple observations:

1. Shorter words have been much harder to remember. I only have a vocabulary of about 30 words so far, but most of these are two and three letter words. I find the smaller they are, the harder they are to distinguish them from each other, so I always mix up the meaning of simple words like "se," "hu," "aur," "ap," "hai," "bhi," which are essential to tie sentences together.

2. I'm mixing up my French and Hindi! This is something I NEVER anticipated! I figured the languages were so different that this would not be a problems, but often when the tape prompts me to give the Hindi translation for an English word, I automatically think of the French version instead. It happens the other way around as well - if I hear a Hindi word that also sounds like a word in French, I think of the English translation to the French word. For example, when I hear "mai" I automatically think "but" (a translation of the French "mais"), rather than "I" which is what the actual translation from Hindi to English is.

If I continue on learning through this method, even if I get to a level where I can have a basic conversation, when I actually get to India my understanding will drop a few points because 1. They'll talk faster and likely with a different accent, and 2. I won't have a written text in front of me to follow along and interpret. When I broaden my vocabulary a bit more, I should cut off the use of the written text and rather converse as much as possible in small Hindi phrases to practice my verbal comprehension.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I just read that last post and realized how horrible my sentence structure and grammar was!

First Steps in Prep for India

Besides the CEED preparation weekend last weekend and a quick chat with the MCVP PD of India, until today I hadn't done too much to prepare for going to India. But today during a study break at Chapters, I bought 3 things in preparation for my envoy - A travel book, a history book, and my new favorite toy - a set of CD's to learn Hindi with! Probably not the smartest move given that I'm writing my MCAT in just over two weeks and the last thing I need is another distraction...but meh! I havn't started reading the books yet, but I quickly popped in the first CD of my hindi lessons. My first lesson was following a conversation between Amit, who had just married Angeli, and Rohan on the India I assume! What did I learn? Well, Amit is from London and Rohan is from Delhi and both are very tired! Also, my pronounciation is not all that bad! Likely because I speak Singhalese, but maybe it's my sister's influence from listening/watching all those hindi movies and songs too! I'm going to try using all the phrases I know from songs/movies when talking to people. I wonder how people would react if I went up to them and said "Kuch kuch hota hai!" :P

Anyhoo, I'm super excited to immerse myself in learning more about the culture and history after my exam is over! I'm also making Puneet help me learn Hindi - which he doesn't know I hope he actually does speak Hindi...?!

Mai thaka hu! Good night! (I think that meant "I'm tired"...I'm not really but I figured it would be the most appropriate thing I could coin together for this time of night!)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Time for Change

I needed a change - the other template was too peachy. The only down side is that now I need to go back an edit my template with all my links again... :(

Monday, December 11, 2006


It feels so good to be home! Just before the plane touched down in Calgary I could see the mountains on the horizon, and the flat flat brown land - such soothing sights!

Yesterday I relaxed for most of the morning, then in the afternoon I went to pick up my sister and go see Scout! He's so adorable - no longer has the satelite dish, and looks back to new, except for a slight limp. A couple weeks back, while I was still in Toronto, I mailed Scout a present, just a little something to let him know I was thinking about him. They saved the present till I came before opening it. When I arrived Brodie took the present and held it up for Scout - he quickly figured out it was for him (I think he smelled the treats!) and when we put it on the floor he started to tear it open. It took 5-10 minutes for Scout to open it, but it was so adorable! The raw hide was the first thing he came across - loved it and wouldn't let it go out of his mouth, and completely forgot about the rest of the present! Then we took it away and made him look at the rest - which was a ball that had holes in it, and a bone that fit right in the ball. So I put the bone in the ball and Scout was rolling behind the ball and trying to maneuver the bone out of the ball for a good 30 minutes or so. Sooo cute!

Pictures to come :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Winter Cleaning

What a productive day!

7:30pm: Arrive home with yummy Chinese food - SM and I eat massive amounts of food intended for four people.

8:10pm: SM wakes JN with her piercing wails.

8:30pm: JN exits his room, and dismantling of the dishwasher commences (Toronto Waste Management is expected to arrive tomorrow to pick it up! As a note, Toronto Waste Management requires that the door must be taken off prior to pick up).

8:40pm: We establish that there is no easy way to remove the door of said dishwasher. One must dismantle the ENTIRE dishwasher (ie. the front, the sides, the top, cut the electrical wires, and cut the hose).

8:40pm - 9:10pm: HG and SM watch, and barely help, as JN and his guns dismantles the dishwasher.

9:10pm: HG, SM and JN take the dishwasher and other trash to the curb (ie. This equals, a dishwasher, 4 full garbage cans and 6 additional garbage bags. Yes, we are pigs).

9:30pm: SM, JN and HG begin cleaning...the kitchen, the living room and the hairy hallway.

10:00pm: Just as we are done cleaning, SM begins to clear the top of the fridge, and when JN opens the freezer door, a full box of beer bottles smash to the ground.

10:05pm: We pull out the fridge to clean the spilt beer that has creeped under. What was behind the fridge causes HG to explore into uncontainable laughter.

10:10pm: JN drives to Dominion to pick up a mop, as our dishrags just don't do the job of cleaning up 6 bottles of smashed beer.

11:00pm: JN arrives with a mop, and the cleaning of the kitchen commences again.

11:10pm: The dishwasher, after 6 months, is gone, and we have kitchen table space. The kitchen looks like new!

Thank you Toronto Waste Management for forcing us to invigorate our kitchen!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Back therapy = SM stomping on my back

A few days a ago the tips of my shoulders started to get really sore, and now its gotten to the point where my whole back is in some pain, with the most knots being in the upper left hand side of my back. I feel like a cripple and I have no idea why. In an attempt to try and take out my knots - Shirley did some back therapy for me. i.e. she stepped on my back trying to take out the knots. It helped a bit - but my left side hurts so much that I swore in pain by her just slightly stepping on it (the same pressure on my right side didn't hurt at all). I'd say we did a good 5-10 minutes with me screaming in pain...from fist stomping, light stepping and hand sounds dumb...but it really did hurt! I think it helped abit...??

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What happened to reading?

I used to LOOOVE reading - would start a book and couldn't put it down until I was finished - till 3 or 4 in the morning. Yes, I was (am) a geek - go ahead and judge! Lately, however, I havn't been able to get up the motivation to read as much as I used to. I've had the Fast Food Nation out for about 2 weeks now - and I'm only about 50 pages in. And I've actually WANTED to read this book for some time now. Perhaps it was the onslaught of undesired reading that came for 3 years in University, but still, been about 6 months since I've been in a classroom or read a text book. I need to finish this book before I leave for home on Sunday morning - and this will be the toughest week to come home and read, with NC planning, board prep and X admin (for all those SN packages!) on the horizon. So fellow bloggers: I need your help to hold me to this! Otherwise: SHAME!

And all...that.... JAAAAAAAAZZ!

Wow! Shirley, Carolyn, Tai and myself went to see Chicago today and it was an incredible show! Our tickets were on the balcony at the side of the theatre - so you had to pop your head out a bit to see the whole stage, but the seats wern't too bad overall. Because of the success of the movie, the show was sold out - but in retrospect I can see why! It was 2.5 hours filled with the most talented acting, singing and dancing I've seen in a long time. I have to say though - if I hadn't watched the movie first I would have probably been confused at the beginning, but the show was similar enough to the movie (or the other way around really!) to know what was going to happen next, but different enough that it was still entertaining and held some element of surprise.

Most shocking scene: Towards the end of the show, at Roxie's trial the cast is singing about how not everything is as it seems - then Billy Flynn pulls a wig off of Miss. Sunshine, and surprise! It turns out that Miss. Sunshine was being played by a man the whole time! This guy switched back and forth from singing like a woman to singing like a man with such ease, it was really quite earie, but impressive!

Favorite parts: Definitely the singing! The tunes are catchy and up beat (even though they're singing about murder...kind of paradoxical), which made it really tempting to join right in! I'm not sure how much they would have appretiated that...I still have the songs stuck in my head. They also had the orchestra right on the stage, and involved them in the acting/lines - refreshing!

Overall, definitely the best theatre show I've been to (although I've only really been to two others - Lord of the Rings, which was so boring I fell asleep, and Medea) but even so...BLAH it was sooo good!

If you're in Toronto and can still find tickets to the show, GO!!!! You won't regret it!

On a side note, if you're wondering whether that's Kevin Richardson in the photo above - it is! He played Billy Flynn the lawyer! It was so wierd - I kept seeing him as the backstreet boy (you know in the Backstreet's back video how he's kind of wearing that kind of outfit?) but he was actually really good in the role!