finishing up my autodidactic doctorate

Most hangovers fade into the past unremembered, or memorable only for an occasion they made more difficult. One glorious day several years ago, however, I endured what I look back on as the best hangover I ever had. I woke up knowing that there was no way I was going to do what I had […]

medical German

At the moment my language brain is too occupied to write blog posts because I am taking a Medical German language course. I’m liking it a lot. I’m the only student in class that is not a doctor. Everyone is very serious and studious and the teacher is fantastic. I’m staying focused and learning as […]


Wow. I just skimmed this recipe and decided to save it to try later, and then realized, wait a minute, that was in German. It’s so exciting to me that I’ve reached a point where I can (and do!) read a German language article on my facebook feed and barely even notice. It suddenly doesn’t […]

A visit to the Rhineland

I spent a weekend in Mittelrheintal, a region of vineyards and castles, wine and tourists. I went to the history museum in Bingen to check out the St. Hildegard exhibit and it turned out they also have the grave goods from a 2nd century surgeon. Really interesting stuff. I’ve posted my photo album here. The […]

on the other hand

One of my favorite things about studying other languages is coming across words that don’t translate neatly and directly. I’m fascinated by the fact that people who speak different languages approach the world with such different tools for making sense of it. Sometimes I find a word or phrase that works so much better in […]

my new books

This week I made it to Dussmann, an enormous book and music store here in Berlin. They have an entire English bookstore inside the larger store. I got both English and German versions of Maria Treben’s “Health from God’s Apothecary”. My first German-language book! It’ll be a long project to work my way through it. […]

life update

Well, it’s been a while since I posted. Here’s my first attempt at getting back in the habit – an informational update on what I’ve been up to since I posted last. First, I went to Amsterdam and came back worn out. It was an amazing time and I’ll post more about that separately. Then […]

german in the bath

I mentioned in a previous post that I was having an impossible time finding my trusty epsom salts here in Berlin. Well, an amazon order and a series of shipping snafus later, I finally received my giant bucket from a German bulk salt vendor. Ever a multi-tasker, I quickly developed an epsom salt bath/Pimsleur language […]