Rosetta Stone what?

Allora, alors, ثم , so…. for those of you who don’t know me, I like learning languages (have we not already established my high level of nerd?).  And if you saw my post a couple weeks ago (this one) I planned to study the main three I know (French, Italian, and Arabic) on a regular schedule.  Well we all knew that wouldn’t actually happen.  I am, however, refreshing all of my French as I may or may not have claimed to be fluent in it for the sake of getting a job (after twelve years of studying it I should be able to say I am fluent!!!)  Plus, I am teaching one of my friends across the country French, which helps me remember everything too.  (And I have found I enjoy making lessons for it… maybe I would make a good teacher…)

In any case, I long ago discovered that I will never be entirely proficient at anything as once I have learned what I feel is “enough” of something, I get bored.  So instead, I have decided to learn a little bit of EVERY language.  Well, every major language anyways.  Starting with the six languages of the UN (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Mandarin).  If I can learn the five most essential phrases in every language (Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank You, Excuse Me) I  will consider myself successful.

Mind you this is all a hobby.  You’d think there would be a bigger job market for people with such linguistic skills, but not so much.  At least not that I’ve been able to find.  And no I can’t join the military.  Already checked, too many medical conditions.  (Which, by the way, my “eating healthy” plan did not help but in fact, made worse!)

Anyways, we shall see how it goes.  The problem with self study is I tend to get distracted and then forget everything I have learned.  So if anyone wants to help me with any languages, I will gladly accept (I recently lost my Arabic teacher, so that would be especially helpful)!  I could stand to learn a few curse words too 😉

I do have a method in mind for actually completing this plan, and when I finish I will post the final result!  (Note: I did not say how long this might take…)

What’s in an IQ?

Somehow I got to chatting with a friend about IQ scores.  I don’t generally share mine with people because I learned at an early age that it’s generally the smart kid’s that get picked on.  I learned at a later age that sometimes people are intimidated by my intelligence… especially boys.  I personally don’t care what other people’s are.  I think everyone I know is smart in one way or another, if you weren’t I probably wouldn’t talk to you as I have no patience for truly stupid people.

It can be fun to try and guess people’s though.  You’d be surprised.  Some of the smartest people you would never think are so smart.  (Apparently this is often the case with me.  I have a theory that the higher one’s IQ, the ditsier one tends to be… I may as well go blonde!)  In any case, if you ever wanted to know what IQs mean, I found a nice little website here.  Let’s just say mine is in the “genius or near genius” range….

In any case, I was tested when I was five or six, and I feel like since I finished school I have gotten dumber.  Perhaps my knowledge base has merely shifted.  I may not remember all the mathematical equations or grammatical structures I once knew, but I have since learned how to change my oil, put up a wall, make a drink, etc.  Well I learned how to do a lot of these things in theory, some of them the actual performing part is still a little tricky.  Drinking all those drinks I make probably doesn’t help.

I Could Live in a Theme Park

I have two huge passions in life- dancing and theme parks.  The first has its own whole blog, the latter gets this post.

I go to a lot of theme parks.  I worked seasonally in one.  But I hadn’t been to my favorite theme park in 4 years, until yesterday.  And I finally figured out why it is I love theme parks.  I could live inside Epcot.

First off, theme parks are like their own little world.  Like going to a different country in your own backyard (Epcot especially so!).  They have their. Own inhabitants from all over the world.  They develop their own culture.  I have always loved studying world history and culture, and what better way than to go straight to the source!

I don’t even like roller coasters, but I spend a good chunk of my days off at various theme parks.  I realized yesterday that most of the time, I don’t even care about any of the rides.  I don’t have a set aganda for what I have to ride.  I don’t have to get fast passes to avoid waiting in lines all day.  Waiting in the queue is part of the theme park experience I feel, and sometimes its one of the best places to make new friends!

Most people go to Disney World for the Magic Kingdom.  Or for thrill rides or to dine with Mickey and friends.  I go for Epcot.  Some people don’t even know how I could spend a whole day there, but I could spend a week and still not see or try everything.  There’s of course the big name rides like Test Track, Mission Space, and Soarin’- thrill rides I can actually ride.  And after every ride there’s little interactive play areas to play and learn new things- you could actually spend the whole day just doing these probably!  Then there’s innoventions- the huge interactive arcade with all sorts of things to try.  There’s the Land and the Living Seas with all sorts of things to see and do and learn about nature.  And then there’s my favorite part- the world showcase.  I could spend a whole day just here!  There’s presentations and comedy shows in each country.  Plenty of shopping if you have the cash to burn.  For the kids and the kids are heart there’s a craft station in each country.  There’s at least two restaurants in each place to eat around the world. There’s my favorite pasttime of drinking around the world.  And my second favorite pasttime, finding cute foreign guys to flirt with.

I think I’d like to build a new theme park that is just like that part of Epcot.  It would be a little bit smaller, but hopefully a little bit cheaper, and include even a larger variety of countries.  And right in the center will be a hidden tower that I will live in.  Yep, that sounds like a nice dream to hold on to!

What’s in A Name? (Not Israel!)

I went to Torah Study last night and like many times before, the Twelve Tribes of Israel came up.  People were mentioning which tribe they were descended from and I was wondering how one would determine this? So I started to do some research….

It seems that the simplest was to claim a tribe is based on where you are from. The United States/North American is mostly descendants of Manasseh. Which works fine for the part of me that is Native American, but the rest only came to the United States in the past century or so.

So I tried to see who came from Italy. But there really is no tribe associated to Italy or any of southern Europe really. Perhaps this is because it was the home of the biggest Pagan empires: The Greeks and Romans.  The closest I could find was Reuben, whose descendants are from Northern France.  So they suggested that by looking into the heraldry of your name and coat of arms (this is much easier to do if you are from England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, by the way) that you could associate the symbols of your family heraldry to that of one of the tribes. So I started researching my name, which I’ve never really done. I’ve tried to research my direct ancestors, but never my name in general.

One article I came across said how much of the the area my family comes from (Reggio di Calabria) was actually destroyed by Mt. Etna on my birthday in 1908! Which is funny because this is shortly before my great grandparents were born and would have moved to the states!  I also learned that before that our descendants came from nearby Krotonas, Greece and settled Crotone and Cotronei, Italy (notice the similarity in the spelling!).  Cotronei would be the plural of Cotroneo, meaning everyone in that city is a Cotroneo!

But I digress.  I failed to find a picture of the Cotroneo or any similar name coat of arms anywhere online for free. So I decided to look up the Calabrese flag.  It’s a knight on horseback  killing a dragon next to a person praying.  Not very useful in relating to the tribes.  Another flag shows a crown over a sheild with four poles and two equilateral crosses all surrounded by an olive wreath.  Olive wreath shows promise.  Still another flag shows a tree, two equilateral crosses and a stone pillar- perhaps slightly more useful.  What about Napoli?  A black mustang on a yellow background- useful still.  Finally there’s the Sicilian flag featuring the trinacria (which funnily enough looks like a three legged swastika) and the head of medusa.  Fairly certain none of the tribes of Israel used a swastika.  One thing these flags all had in common is that they were on red and yellow backgrounds.

Still none of this helps. I’m pretty sure my family was straight up pagan.  Further research shows that while their are some Levite descendants in Northern Italy, most Italians are not of Israelite descent and are in fact descendants of Greeks, Canaanite and Edomites (the arch-enemy of Israel).  It is possible that through migrations and mixes of Greeks, French and Arabs that all occupied Sicily at one point I could be descended from any one of these lost tribes or none.  I could go through my mother’s genealogy, but it is such a mix (Irish, German, Native American and Bohemian) that I could still belong to any one of the tribes.  Alas, this brings us to the second option- associating oneself with whichever tribe whose characteristics you share.  This is the Israeli personality test!

So, upon some semi-extensive research and the creation of a rough little chart of positive and negative qualities, I can most relate to Reuben (emotional, empathetic, independent perfectionists), Nephtali (faithful, modest, reliable, musical, and needing a partner), or Issachar (intellectual, hard-working, lacking common sense, down to earth, pleasure seeking, know-it-alls with dominant women-folk).

So at the end of the day I really didn’t find the answer to the question I originally sought.  But I did learn that you can’t define yourself just by your name.  And I did learn some interesting things about the dispersions of ancient peoples, the migrations of peoples and the development of cultures and languages. And I also found interesting links between things like the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 signs of the zodiac or the 12 birthstones and the 12 stones of the breastplate.  I suppose anything throughout history can be tied to anything else in history or in religion or culture.  It’s all about symbolism and at the end of the day a picture is worth a thousand words.  If I knew what to do with it, I would go back to school and study symbolism, just because it is so deep and fascinating.

You are What You Eat

You know the old saying “you are what you eat”? Well what if the reverse were true-“you eat what you are”.  I think you can tell a lot about a person by how and what they eat.  For example, for breakfast I usually eat either cookies and coffee (I’m Italian) or a bagel with cream cheese (I’m Jew-ish). Sometimes I have orange juice (I have a weak immune system).  Sometimes I don’t eat breakfast at all (I’m very busy!) and sometimes I eat it at 3 a.m. (I party as hard as I work).  See what you can learn just by observing people?Pay more attention to people, you’d be surprised some of the things you learn just by observing!

Blog Stats

  • 3,286 hits