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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Swedish For Immigrants - Week 8 Part 2

The End Is Near
Part 2

I’ve become interested in language as a thing in itself, the spoken sound, the origins of word. Carl Jung wrote some interesting observations of language. This from Symbols of Transformation, II. Two Kinds of Thinking. “Language is the registrar of tradition, the record of racial conquest, the deposit of all gains made by the genius of individuals. . . the social copy system thus established reflects the judgmental processes of the race, and in turn become the training school of judgment of new generations.”

Then further on:
“Jodi rejects the identity of language and thought on the ground that the same psychic fact can be expresses in different ways in different languages. He infers the existence of a ‘supra-linguistic’ type of thinking. No doubt there is such a thing, only it is not logical thinking.”

Interesting thing to think about . . . or not. Memories from other language classes, mental fragments, come to mind uninvited. I find myself suddenly remembering how to ask what time it is in Japanese, and Spanish . . . one or two Italian words from Army days in Eritrea. German from a college class I dropped.

I haven’t learned as much of the backgrounds, stories, of the other students as I’d hoped. Only the basics, ages, marriages . . . . politics. They keep telling me how much they like George Bush. Hard for me to respond to that one. “Obama, not so much,” they say. Whatever. 

Of the twelve who started with me, eight remain. Class size has stayed about the same, a few new students added over time. I’ve no idea where my missing classmates went. They might have taken low pay jobs, which would mean more money than they are being paid for attending these classes. There might have been family problems. Most are married and have kids – more than one kid, and a few with more than one wife.

The student from Vietnam is gone. She had a child, almost a baby, and family here. Every moment not in class was spent on her cell. I frequently glimpsed her family on its screen, excited, animated conversations, laughter . . . no idea what about.

I’ve finished the book I’ve been reading on class breaks these past weeks. We’re in mid-Fall . . . leaves turning. Still some nice days. Freezing at night sometimes. Time to start clearing the deck.

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