Infant Americanism

I find French incredibly difficult to understand, much like a dog trying to understand English. If it’s written, no problem. On the other hand, if someone speaks to me in French, they might as well be saying nonsense words, because their message is not getting into my brain.

That being said, navigating Paris, a city not notable for its love of the American way,  can be a little daunting. For the most part, everyone has been really nice and gone out of their way to communicate with me (which often means switching to English). But sometimes, I wish that I had better communicative powers in French, that way I would be able to explain myself and apologize.

Today the three of us went down to the Luxembourg Gardens today which is right next to the Catholic Institute of Paris (where I have had the opportunity to study French for a month). In this very large public park, there are tiny pools that kids can play in. Stephenie has wanted to take Kadence there for about a week (although I think she was more excited about putting our baby in a swimsuit than actually going to the park).

When we arrived, there were a number of native Parisians enjoying the small pool with their children. And then decided to join in on the fun.

Within about two minutes, our thuggish seven month old had complete control of the pool, taken the toys of the other children, and run them of their native land. As an American, this doesn’t send the best message. And of course, we tried to make sure that the toys were immediately returned to their owners and then stayed in a small area of the pool so that all of the kids could have fun.

So anyways, it looks like our daughter is a great American.



Die Deutschstrasse

Students in New Testament studies (and many other fields) are required to eventually learn German if they (against their better judgement) continue to pursue higher education. I’m not going to lie, and I realize that this video isn’t totally fair in its characterization of German and the way it compares to other languages, but this is definitely the impression I got when I first started down the Deutschstrasse.


Reading my Bible

While I’m home, my daily work schedule is being drastically cut back. Most of my time will be spent just reading the bible (novel idea). This is my process for reading Mark during my time back in the states. It would work for any book of the Bible. Each day I complete the following steps for each chapter:

1. Read the chapter in English. Simple and straightforward. Read it slowly and carefully. Try not to “think ahead” to what is in the rest of the chapter. 

2. Go through Mark pericope flash cards. I made flashcards for the different pericopae in Mark. One side of the card is the verse reference (Mark 2:1-12) and on the other, what happens in that pericope (Jesus heals the paralytic). 

3. Do Greek flash cards. I made a flash card for any word in the text that I had to look up. So, I go through these cards so I don’t have to use a lexicon while I’m working through the text.

4. Read the chapter in Greek. Again, pretty straightforward. I mark any sections that seem a little obscure, or where the Greek is more difficult to put together.

5. Read in English again.

If you don’t know the original language of the book you’re reading, just drop the original language steps. Maybe read the chapter three times instead of two in english and one in the original language. 


I Shouldn’t Care

This type of stuff really bums me out. Just reading The Life of Apollonius by Philostratus can prevent poorly researched tweets like this. But maybe I shouldn’t expect much better from twitter. 



I sometimes think that writing is like driving sheep down a road. If there is any gate open to the left or the right the reader will most certainly go into it.

        -C.S. Lewis, Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces, p. 555

Probably my most frequent mistake when writing is being ambiguous and expecting the reader to sort is out on his or her own. Why leave any gates along the path open?  

I sometimes thi…