Studying another language

I have been trying to build Farsi (Persian) study into my daily routine again. It’s hard to make it a habit but it’s so fulfilling when I actually sit down and do it.

I’m back to using Teach Yourself Modern Persian, one of the first books I tried learning with. Although I think other resources are probably objectively better, I find that the lessons provide a bite-sized amount of information to encourage a daily habit. And the book serves as a physical reminder to study.

The downside is that I don’t trust all the grammatical details. My husband disputes some of the book’s examples, and aside from that I have found internal inconsistencies. In one case, I found the book using two different prepositions for the same context and decided to make a note so I can investigate later:

You may have noticed the backwards “OR” between those Farsi sentences. No, that was not on purpose. When I first learned to write, I taught myself … backwards. I wasn’t paying attention here and my brain just decided to stick with right to left, I guess. Hah!

Appreciating new art

While visiting the Manchester Art Gallery, I discovered the artist Jai Redman. His watercolor series portrays still life using representative water sources — Beauty of Bath uses juice from the apple itself. In these paintings, once the water is used up the painting is done!

In this case, Gavin Turk’s Ergo Sum (the bronze apple core under the painting) provides an intriguing juxtaposition.

There are many paintings by Redman on exhibition (in this series and others), and entry to the gallery is free, so if you’re in Manchester I recommend stopping by for a visit!