A thing that wants Virginia

I was reading famous historic love letters the other day (don’t ask) and I can’t get one line out of my head. The opening line of a letter from Vita Sackville-West to to Virginia Woolf:

I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia.

I can’t get over how well this one line captures the helplessness, and the out-of-bodyness that comes with the early days of an infatuation — when your head is swimming with nothing but the thoughts of someone else, someone who you want desperately and you believe/think/hope/worry that they want you back.

Here’s hoping that all of you are, at least occasionally, reduced to a thing that simply wants!

Learning Spanish

I’ve been learning Spanish for about the last year and a half, and I finally feel like I’m making real progress. Living in Mexico City definitely helps by giving me more opportunities to practice, but I do not believe that simply being around Spanish will help you make much progress unless you already have extensive training (say, 4+ years in school) or you are extremely diligent in your private studies.

In this post I discuss what has and hasn’t worked for me and how I think we should change how we teach beginners new languages.