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The Airport Girl

It's 2002 and I haven't even heard of the pickup community. It's a shame because there is just about nothing I need more.

I get on my plane, headed back to Austin. It's a late flight and there aren't too many people on it. I have a whole row to myself. I'm not paying attention, and before I know it we're airborne.

The cabin lights are off, but some people have their reading lights on, creating small islands of light in the darkness of the plane. The island in front of my is inhabited by two girls.

The Learning Curve Tipping Point

On Linus Rylander

I am having bucketfuls of trouble understanding spoken Spanish at regular conversation speed.

I know the grammar, the tenses, all that fun stuff. My vocabulary is still lacking, but I know the important stuff. Via text chat, I can carry full conversations for hours.

But as soon as someone opens their mouths and starts talking, I turn into an instant moron.

It's not that I can't HEAR them... see, I recognize most of the words. But my brain can't keep up. I'm like a child who has just learnt how to read, needing to look at each word and process it in their head. As an adult and "fluent reader," you see groups of words and instantly understand the meaning of whole sentences at a glance.

Same with spoken languages. When someone talks, you don't really "process" it word by word. You just understand.

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