I think I have finally gotten frustrated with myself where the idea of learning the German language has become a challenge for me. Yes, it means I am p*ssed off and have made a commitment to simply immerse myself into the language and say a prayer, “God, may all this one day make some sense to me."
One of the beauties about growing up in the USA is that despite people coming from all over, English was the global spoken language. I guess one has to thank the English for allowing this to happen. It also made it possible to travel and work all over the world with shows, as I only remember rural china and some of the small rural Japanese cities we played that you really couldn’t get around with the English
Why am I learning German? Simply because the area of Switzerland I am in, is near the Austrian and German border. I can turn on the German television and hunt and peck words and understand some of what is said. If I turn on the Swiss channels, usually I am clueless, particularly with the various dialects. It amazes me how such a small country has such diverse dialects with the Swiss German mode.
We never were in a country long enough to really learn a language, I think I speak and understand more Japanese and elements of other Asian language that the rules, forms and regulations of German language.
But my goodness, this is frustrating.
Part of the learning, is that object or spatially oriented brains (like mine) really do not thrive or seem to fit in the normal rote learning world. I am not sure why, as I think the majority of the population is better suited to the three R's style of learning - read, remember, and regurgitate.
For the teachers reading, forgive me. But the spatial brain is the kind that had the wood blocks with letters on them. We will build an Eifel tower model with the blocks and have it spell “Eiffel tower. Paris France. Baguettes and croissants, Louvre” in the tower structure.
But we won’t be able to correctly read, write, or spell the language.
My greatest strengths are basically my biggest weaknesses here.
What to do? Go learn, get up, keep trying, and despite getting seeming to get kicked in the head and have ones pride pummeled to dust – just keep going.
The other evening, when my wife asked me to explain 3d sound, she wondered, “is there any idea of yours with characters I ever heard of?”
“Probably not, we created a bunch of characters and pitched them to various groups for our sponsor, but no one took them on, also, animation is not cheap, particularly classic animation like the old loony tune and Walt Disney style that was literally moving art.”
Then I drew out my favorite toy ideas that “didn’t make it” You had TV shows, bizarre shows, children’s books, and any idea to make a circus less frightening to kids. There were two ideas I liked. When I read what Disney took for royalty fees from licensing, I thought, “If one can create a circus character that can be licensed…that is a lot of money!”
So I sketched out various ideas, and then I got to characters that we called “the dork’s.” These were sort of blobs with the strangest eyes and unreal locomotion type movement that was perfect for deformation in computer animation. Basically the story line was a kid was bored in school (each of the creative’s in the team) and a tiny micro spacecraft crash landed into a young boy as he napped during class. The dorks would take up residence inside the boy’s body until they could fix their space ship.
What was unique about the dorks?
The previous 20 days? You had 4-5 people brainstorming every day. These were talented people who hit upon what I guess is considered a slump in “new” ideas. The clients wanted “new and amazing” yet, they ideally wanted the “20:1” gross profit margins for each item that is the gracious benefit of having a captive audience and a mini-monopoly of sorts for a limited time with a sporting, concert, movie, or live entertainment event.
Then I can still remember our lead animator Edgar playing with some props and toys on the table, I said, “turn it all upside down and make it waddle.”
When Edgar made the blob of items move, everyone saw the characters and one of the rare moments in brainstorming happened where you had an entire team come to life and create characters, storyline, and merchandising.
It is the “experience” with the dorks that gives me hope with learning German. That one day, all the parts I am working on trying to remember come together and the language finally comes to life for me.
I will be able to contribute something instead of sitting here with a blank look upon my face, politely listening, yet, not really understanding.
The next round of school starts next week. I am going to test an idea of how to learn better, this week.