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12:26 a.m. - 2015-08-26
I finished my first full-length novel in Spanish the other day. "In Cadaver en la Biblioteca" -- Agatha Christie. I am trying to switch my pleasure reading from French to Spanish and Russian ...

Although it probably sounds nuts, since nursing school ended and I've had more time, I've been simultaneously studying six languages: French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Polish and Italian. Needless to say, I don't devote a huge amount of time to any of them, but it allows me to study whatever I feel like studying at the moment.

Languages make me happy. I love that they open the door to cultures, human history, and the way that people perceive the world. I love that they allow me to experience literature first-hand and hear the beauty of the words as they were written, undiluted by translation.

Perhaps just as much, though, I like languages because they give me a chance to really exercise my brain. I often feel like I wasted my gifts and bombed my life because I'm a nurse instead of a nuclear physicist -- I had the talent, but I chose an eating disorder over college. Languages give me a chance to redeem myself a little bit.

And who knows? Maybe someday I'll actually use them! Right now Doctors Without Borders is recruiting nurses who speak French and Arabic -- French I've got covered, and my Arabic should be passable by the time my kids are in college ....



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