Look, our forefathers died for the "pursuit of happiness," okay? Not for the "sit around and wait of happiness." Now if you want, we can go to the same bar, drink the same beer, talk to the same people every day or you can lick the Liberty Bell. You can grab life by the crack and lick the crap out of it.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Language Training Begins
I started this week at the Foreign Service Institute taking Indonesian. I'll be attending classes here for the next 6 months (24 weeks) though I'm planning on beating that by testing out in 22 for personal reasons.
I was surprised at the large number of people they had starting classes this week. I think the number 800 was put out there of students beginning language studies. That number though includes FSOs, who make up the largest amount of that number, Eligible Family Members (spouses of FSOs, typically from State Dept., who are allowed to learn their post's language), and a handful of DoD and other agencies.
So far, I've been very impressed with the method of instruction and have good expectations for the future. They push us at an aggressive pace to build our understanding of grammatical construction and vocabulary and the instructors are very personable and knowledgeable.
When contrasting it to my previous experiences in formal language training, I think this is the most impressive. The teachers seem well-trained and quickly adapt to the needs of the students. They also prepare much of their language materials and books themselves to specifically address the needs of the Foreign Affairs professionals which they mainly cater to. I'll need to dedicate lots of time to studying..