Friday, October 25, 2013

7QT: language learning, dancing, and the existence of mint-fig ice cream!

1. Long live flashcards! I had been thinking a lot about how a key element to learning a language is learning vocabulary. And in high school when I was taking Spanish classes, the only way I passed my vocabulary tests was to study using flashcards. So then I was thinking that there must be a new 'modern' way of doing this, and that surely a flashcard program (or 'ap' (or is it app) as the cool kids say) must exist. Well well well. Much to my luck I had a couple to choose between. I was immediately sold on Anki when I saw a youtube video demonstration, which showed that decks are shareable. This means I can go to the Anki webpage and search Swedish/Svenska, and immediately have a deck of flashcards (more than one actually) ready to go. Amazing! Even more amazing is that someone has shared a deck of the vocabulary list from the textbook I am using in my class. Bonus!

2. Greg and I have two beers fermenting right now. The first is our Christmas beer, which is now in a secondary with vanilla and cinnamon, and I have such high hopes that those flavors will really be present in the end product. The second is a pale ale, which is our first hoppy beer and also our first beer that we designed (as opposed to following a recipe). I have some brewing photos to share as well, so at some point in the future I might write a post dedicated to the topic.

3. Tonight and tomorrow are full of Swedish folk dance! I am really super excited, especially since the concert/dance tonight is free. Even though I go to our regular dance session every Wednesday, I feel like it has been awhile since I've gone to a proper dance event. On Wednesdays we usually focus on learning a new dance, or trying to improve a particular aspect of a dance, or things like that. So while there is plenty of dancing, it is geared toward instruction and learning. The dance events are more like a party where you just go and dance all the different dances!

I really have to work on making my words about folk dance sound as enthusiastic as I feel about folk dance. Just adding an exclamation point doesn't really help much.

4. In two weeks Greg and I are spending a weekend in Denmark. For a dance weekend of course:) A Contra Dance Weekend! Basically Sweden has no contra dancing, but Denmark has quite a lot. So we will travel there for the weekend. Contra dancing has been in Denmark for 25 years now, which also means that the group of people who enjoy the dance have aged by about that much. It is often said that the popularity of contra dance sort of goes in waves, and sometimes it gets really popular with younger people and sometimes it sort of fades away. I guess in Denmark right now there is a big lack of young people, so we'll be bringing down the average age of attendees. If people only understood that they were missing one of the greatest contra dance bands and two of the greatest contra dance callers, they would regret not going. And for the record, I have no familiarity with the other band, so I can't claim that they are a favorite.

5. They make mint-fig ice cream here. Mint-fig! I found this out the way I find out about a lot of good things you can buy in Sweden - someone was reusing the container for their lunch yesterday. And clearly I have not been paying enough attention to the ice cream section of the grocery store, because if I had seen this I just would not have been able to pass it up. I cannot even imagine what this would taste like. My new goal in life is to find this ice cream.

6. Shall we talk about the weather then? It got below 0°C a couple days ago. The outside temperature likes to surprise me, although it is not too difficult to do so. Our apartment is always very warm now that the heat is on, and it never occurs to me that I should be expecting the outdoor weather to have changed drastically in just one day. I'm bored of talking about the weather now.

7. I found this really nice flickr photo stream called Beautiful Uppsala. Such a nice reminder that I really live in such a beautiful place. This also makes me want to take my camera out more. Plus I love seeing this city in all the different seasons. Here is a particular favorite (note this is not my photo, but clicking it will take you to the photo stream).



As always, that is all from me for Friday Quick Takes; thanks for reading!

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