Categories
Life

My Theme for 2024: Energy

So, 2024 is now here and while most people come up with resolutions for the new year, I’m a big fan of CGP Grey. And I’m big on things like “themes” for a new year. So, my big theme for 2024 is going to be… energy.

I’m not getting sleepy, I am sleepy.

You see, one thing I struggle with is sleep apnea. I’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea for years now and I think on balance, I tend to wake up tired more often than not. This problem also impacts a number of things in my life, including weight loss. Namely, I feel like I’m not able to exercise effectively because I’m too damn tired. Also, I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.

So, I’m going to get treatment for sleep apnea. I recently got off the waitlist for primary care doctors in Whitehorse, so I’ll bring this up to them. I know my GP back in Calgary recommended surgery to treat my sleep apnea and that seems to make sense. After all, C-PAP didn’t work for me and right now, given my situation in life,

I waste a lot of time, and energy, with idiots.

Whether it’s social media or focusing on harmful idiots like Kent Hovind or Kevin J. Johnston, I do tend to waste a lot of time with idiots. The way I justify this to myself is the desire to charge ahead and debunk their nonsense. Whether it’s Kent’s rejection of biology and one of its central cornerstones, evolution by natural selection, or Kevin’s refusal to understand what a vaccine even is, I have wasted quite a lot of time on idiots.

For a person with limited energy, this isn’t a great idea. Maybe I should abdicate this task to another person who has more energy. Instead, I should focus on improving myself. I should spend my energy wisely instead of squandering it on idiots.

So, why do I need this energy?

I’m back in the Yukon, after a few months away in Alberta. I need to make the most of my time here. To do this, I need to both increase the amount of energy I have to get things done and be selective on what things I’m getting done. To wit, I will delete my Quora account within the next month or two. Last year, I also deleted Twitter.

But what, pray tell, am I going to be using my energy on if not social media? To put it simply, I’m going back to school. I’ve enrolled in a Biological Sciences diploma at Yukon University. After I earn this, I will transfer to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I’m hoping to earn both with honours. Afterwards, I’m going to go to medical school so I can provide transgender people with the care that we need.

Frankly, I find this to be a more useful and noble expenditure of energy than battling jackasses online.

I’m also hoping that I can use this energy to put the finishing touches on a novel or three that I have in the hopper. This way, I can finally launch my writing career while I’m in university.

Categories
Writing Life

Writing Romance During a Breakup

person holding red lipstick
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

So, I’m working on a fairly big romance novel and honestly, it ebbs and flows. I’m currently just a bit over 30,000 words in. What’s been the most challenging thing for me is writing the sex scenes. And now, I have a new challenge: I just had to break up with my partner of 3 years.

Now, I can already hear the criticisms coming at me. Especially since, from the outside, the relationship looked good. I thought so too. His friends and my friends would see our pictures when we would see each other and talk about how happy we are together. I’m not entirely sure that’s altogether true, though. I was in love with someone else. I was in love with the man I thought he was. Not the man he actually was.

I choose hope, authenticity, and true love. I’m willing to wait for it. I’m willing to fight for it. If there’s one thing I learned through my divorce, it was that I don’t want to be stuck in a relationship where I’m not loved.

Categories
Life

Learning French on Duolingo

I'm on Section 3 of the Duolingo French course, which corresponds to the A1 level.

So, I am currently learning French and while I’m not quite good yet, I feel like I’m making slight progress. However, I feel like I’m moving up the skill tree quite slowly. After all, I’m learning on Duolingo and I finally got around to finishing Section 2 of Duolingo’s French course. I also don’t feel like I’m getting a good sense of past tense/future tense, even though I am learning a few words (like pleuvoir) that describe something that’s going to happen.

Now, I feel that the way I started did help me to learn a bit more with learning on Duolingo. The first bit of work I did was a French course in community college with a native French speaker from Africa. This helped me with my pronunciation and I feel like I focused a lot on that. This was critical for helping me to speak French better.

Further, Section 3 (which I am currently on) is still the equivalent of CEFR level A1. However, I had an evaluation with someone from the local Alliance fran├žaise in my town. They placed me on level A2.1. They did mention that I don’t have the past and future tenses solid. However, they think I know enough to be able to flourish in the A2.1 classes.

So, what comes next, after Duolingo?

Honestly, I’m not quite sure. According to their course, they can get me up to level B2 on the CEFR. Even though I do have aspirations to learn a couple more languages, I do want to be just as fluent in French as I am in English.

So, what other languages am I planning to learn?

Spanish

The first result I got when I searched Pexels for "Mexico".

Well, it depends on when I get to level B2 of French. Pragmatically speaking, Spanish would be useful. After all, I’m planning to have three surgeries in two Spanish-speaking countries (Mexico and Spain, in case you were curious). And I feel it would be incredibly critical to be able to speak to people in those countries.

I also know that if I learned Spanish, I would be able to increase my reach. After all, I do want to be an educator on trans issues. To be able to do this effectively, I need to be able to communicate with more people. So, I would want to be able to communicate and relate to Spanish-speaking people. In other words, I have a mission-minded motivation to learn Spanish too.

Furthermore, I feel that Spanish would provide me a gateway to learning Hebrew. I know that statement would cause a few people to scratch their heads in wonder. However, it’s not that shocking. There is a Jewish language in the Diaspora called Ladino and it’s actually a language spoken by Sephardic Jews. Another name for it is Judaeo-Spanish. I also find it intellectually fascinating and a unique way to approach Hebrew.

German

The inside of a German train station.

However, my intellectual curiosity is pulling me towards German. I’m incredibly curious about learning German because English is a Germanic language. I feel that learning German would give me a greater appreciation for and understanding of my native tongue. I also distinctly remember wanting to learn German when I was a kid. However, I honestly don’t remember why.

Furthermore, I know that Yiddish has Germanic roots. I feel that increasing my knowledge in German would help me to learn Yiddish. And I feel that learning Yiddish, like learning Ladino, would help me to learn Hebrew.

Japanese

Akihabara

Then, there’s also the weeb in me and as a result, Japanese is a contender for my next language. I’d like to be able to watch anime and read manga without dubs or subtitles. I also feel that it would give me access to more manga and anime. After all, I wouldn’t have to wait until some fan group dubbed or subbed a particular series. I remember waiting anxiously while a fan group of subbers were slowly releasing episodes of Bleach. It was excruciating and I’d love to be a bit more independent in this regard.

So, what resources do I plan to use to perfect my French?

Honestly, not sure. I’ve heard good things from Evan Edinger about Clozemaster. I also plan to read more French and Qu├ębecois news and listen to French-language podcasts.