Fact: resveratrol, a chemical in red wine, has been linked with a positive effect on mild to moderate Alzheimer's (but is needed in a concentrated form equivalent to 1,000 bottles of red wine!)
Furthermore, coupled with the idea of needing Spanish for my imaginary job in the future teaching English in South America, my friend and I have been motivated into learning at least one new thing each year. This was sparked by going to see the film 'Still Alice'. It was around the same time that a study had been published suggesting that the best way to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s is to learn new things. Naturally having a fear of Alzheimer's and an already substandard memory I needed to jump on that bandwagon too. We brainstormed things to learn and my friend drew a very thick line at doing ballet but Spanish got the go-ahead.
My flighty brain says lets 'kill several birds with one stone' : book onto weekly Spanish lessons with my friend to have fun, improve my memory (which is clearly pretty bad as I had forgotten about keeping my year stress-free) and hopefully keep up with my new and harder OU module. So now I am committed to extra Spanish lessons, the OU degree study, cooking dinner for the kids and exam support.
I am in my fourthyear of a six year Open University English Literature degree (another story for another time). I think I am destined to be an eternal student as I enjoy continually learning new facts. Although, It has to be said that I find the assignments a bit stressful at times. I have to juggle many things, 'Do I cook dinner for the kids or submit my essay on time?'. I feel guilty when the essay wins and it is pizza yet again or even worse, a 'fend for yourself' dinner. This year is both GCSE and A level madness in our house so I thought it would be best to choose a coasting module. At the beginning of the summer holidays I duly paid for a nice and easy Academic English module. Then I put it to the back of my mind, supposedly until October.
However, over the summer I started mulling over the idea of learning Spanish. I am cursed by lots of dreamy plans flitting around my brain. These range from writing a novel, traveling the world in a camper van and teaching English as a foreign language in South America. The South America thing then expanded into needing to have a grasp of Spanish. You can see how these simple ideas grow into monsters! I had a brainwave and swapped the academic English to beginners Spanish. After all, it would still count towards my degree and I would learn Spanish at the same time. I was saving money. But, when my course material arrived I panicked, big time. I realised that I would have to work really hard this year as it is all completely alien and new to me. I would have to work hard at learning Spanish from scratch. I had completely forgotten why I had chosen the easy course and now I had added the stress of beginners Spanish to a GCSE and A level household.
My friend and I had our firstSpanish lesson this week.
We decided it would be funto learn Spanish together, 'safety in numbers'.
I thought I would elaborate about how our lessons came about as it is a bit of a funny story.
Although it is only the first week, it was fun because we met new folk- always great to have a new stock of friends. We can also say 'Hola!' and other friendly greetings.
Confession: I found myself drifting off in the middle of the lesson to plan a Spanish Christmas Party with Tapas and Rioja (red wine is good for the memory too!).
With my brain suffering from 'one thing always leads to another' who knows where the lessons will take us beyond teaching English in South America sometime in the future.