Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vous Ne Pouvez Pas Tout Apprendre à Partir D'un Livre

Photo by Aussiegall

By this age, I should know things. I'm supposed to be the grownup.

I learned something this week. Two things, really, but they go together.

I decided to mow the lawn. I tried mowing one other time, but I ended up shearing the cap off an important drain, and I was so traumatized that I said I'd never do it again.

Then, this week, I saw my 83-year-old dad out mowing. And my petite daughter-in-law. If they can do it, I can do it, I thought.

So I tried it. I just mowed. I mowed and mowed and mowed. I thought it would take me an hour. It took me four hours. When I finished, I was hot and covered with pieces of grass, but I felt happy:  I did it. I mowed the yard.

And how did I figure out how to mow the yard? I just did it. I tried it. I missed some spots and I won't try going over a tree root again and now I know that you have to open the valve on the gas can before you add gasoline to the engine, but the thing is that I tried it and I did it.

The other thing I learned this week was French. No, I'm serious. I learned French this week. I got a school subscription to Rosetta Stone and I learned French.

Now I've been trying to learn Spanish for oh, fifteen years, and I honestly don't think I know as much Spanish as I know French now. And that's after one week.

How did I do it?  How did I learn French?  I just did it. I tried it. I practiced it over and over. I wasn't always right, but I kept doing it, over and over, and now I know a whole lot of French that I didn't know before.

Here's what I took away from these experiences:  As Nike says, Just Do It. Don't just talk about doing it. Don't just contemplate doing it. No. Just Do It. 

What does this have to do with books? Well, here's another thing I figured out this week: You can't learn everything from a book. Or, as they say in French, Vous ne pouvez pas tout apprendre à partir d'un livre.


  1. "Just do it" is a motto that can apply to everything, can't it? Doesn't mowing the lawn give you such a great sense of accomplishment? You have physical proof of what you've done. Congratulations on learning French and on mowing. You have had a wonderfully productive week!

  2. This post made me grin. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Merveilleux :)
    La langue Francaise c'est ma langue paternelle, et quelle belle langue le francais!

    Une bonne semaine a vous
    Sylvie Madeleine

  4. I felt the same way when I painted a house last summer. Didn't think I could do it, but I just did it.

    Great post :)

  5. I agree, Sylvie. French is a beautiful language.

  6. I used to always mow our lawn...then allergies kicked in. Now it's my dear hubby's job. ;)

    I've heard great things about the Rosetta Stone program. Good to know it works! I may have to get it to learn Italian!


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