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– Brazil Journal – Week 3, 2 de Julho – Joseph Thieman

July 22, 2012

Brazil Journal – Week 3,  2 de Julho

This week has been a little bit crazy. I started the Portuguese class, Josh Jessen (CCM) and Shane Porter both arrived, and Jon, Matt, Tina, and I went to a Festival for July.  The Portuguese class is extremely fast paced, and frustrating.  Our teacher is very good, but she doesn’t speak any English whatsoever.  C hris took a year and a half of Portuguese before even arriving in Brazil, so he is able to answer every single question the teacher asks.  The first day was frustrating, and the second a little more so, and Thursday I left class extremely enraged with myself, because I have no clue how to learn a language.  I was hoping for some kind of structure in learning, because until now I have just been trying to teach myself out of several books, plus all the interactions with Brazilians.  Now, I have the class and I feel even more frustrated than I did before.

I consider music to be a language, and it is fairly universal. I play many instruments, and I feel like after learning the basics of music, learning a second or third instrument is much easier.  Because, you already understand the process of learning on instrument, learning the second is easier;  I would say you have to learn how to learn.  Matt and Chris, have both already studied other languages in the past, and I feel like they are picking it up very quickly.  I on the other hand have never learned a language other than English; so in a nutshell, I am having a hard time.

Being in Brazil, not being able to speak the language is an extremely humbling experience.  Something as simple as ordering a sandwich at Subway, is a difficult adventure here.  Josh and Shane are staying in a room directly below us.  I had never met Josh before this week, and he is a nice guy. He is a great piano player.  He started playing jazz and going to the Aebersold camps at the age of ten, furthermore he is home-schooled and very smart.  Sometimes I wonder if I enjoy arguing about politics, and socioeconomic problems in the world too much.

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