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For the past couple of summers, this is how I spent two evenings a week: I would leave my office at 5:30, walk through downtown DC, pushing my way through traffic and thick swampy heat, usually stopping at obligatory name-brand coffee store for something iced to revive myself, until I got to a pretty little building with a courtyard and made my way into a classroom with the air conditioning on full blast.  In the classroom, I’d take my seat, open my notebook, and spend the next two hours with one of the language loves of my life – Arabic.  To this day the Arabic language is all tied up in my memory with the sensation of humid heat outside and a slap of freezing air inside, the taste of an iced caramel macchiato, the buzz of a city on a summer night when I finally left to go home.  Similarly, this first stretch of summer swelter gives me an itch to get back into the Arabic classroom.  For various reasons I won’t, unfortunately, be studying Arabic this summer, at least not in a formal classroom setting.  But I have other language-y things planned that I’m also really excited about (I’ll tell you more about that next week!)

Summers are the time a lot of us slow down, explore hobbies, learn new things.  Recommended reading lists for summers are often filled with looooong novels, books that aren’t necessarily “important” but are hypnotizing.  We finally get time to savor things a little bit more – those of us who are students or who work in schools are particularly sensitive to this.  Summers are for indulging.

So what languages are you indulging in this summer?  Are you studying a new language just for fun?  Are you trying to pick up a few phrases you’ll need for an upcoming trip?  Or trying to stick with a language you’ll get back to once the semester starts back up?

Copyright Allison Taylor-Adams.  See About for details.

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