As I mentioned last weekend, I recently began studying the Greek language. My husband and his family (who hail from Athens) had previously taught me a few basic words, but until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t tried to learn the language in any disciplined way. The main reason is that my husband and his mother, sister, and brother-in-law all speak English, so I can communicate with them just fine in my own native language.
Still, that felt a bit lazy on my part. And now that we are planning a trip to Greece, I want to be able to read street signs, say hello to any non-English speakers I encounter, and ask the kinds of questions one often needs to ask when traveling. My husband will be there to translate for me, but there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from being able to speak and read at least some of the local language when traveling.
In this occasional series, I’ll share what I’ve been reading, watching, thinking, and doing.
What I’m Reading:
What I’m Watching: Master of None, Season 2
What I’m Listening To: Modern Love, “A Slow Fade to Black”
Current Guilty Pleasure: ice cream (most recently from Marble Slab)
Where I’ve Been Recently: Chattanooga, TN
What I’m Looking Forward To: My trip to Greece later this summer!
Latest Personal Project: Learning Greek (with the help of DuoLingo, Collins, and my Greek husband, who’s been a helpful and patient tutor)
Recent Moment of Joy: Reconnecting with a former colleague from a past job and learning that we have more in common than I’d realized
Currently Inspired By: My friend M, who fought through a painful foot injury to complete her third half-Ironman last weekend. She ran her first 5k just a couple of years ago. Way to go, M!
Grateful For: A beautiful, sunny day after a long rainy spell
Have a lovely weekend!
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I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving, working out, and doing chores around the house. In this weekly feature, I’ll tell you about one episode I particularly enjoyed that week.
My recommendation for this week is On Being’s episode Eula Biss–Let’s Talk About Whiteness. You may have heard On Being on your local public radio station. It’s a Peabody Award-winning show hosted by Krista Tippett that explores the question, “What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?”
In this episode, Krista and writer Eula Biss talk about race, the language we use to discuss it, aspects of privilege like opportunity hoarding, and how we might start conversations about these things. It’s a thoughtful, frank, and insightful discussion.
Race is a subject that often provokes strong feelings. I encourage you to approach this interview with an open mind and to observe any emotional reactions that arise in you as you listen, whatever they may be.
Is there a podcast you think I should be following? Let me know in the comments, send me an email, or tweet using #LexListens.
One of my language usage pet peeves of late has been the increased use of the word “humbled” in contexts that demonstrate a lack of humility. A connection of mine recently posted on LinkedIn that he was humbled to have been selected to receive an award. I suspect that he was in fact feeling honored or proud rather than humbled.