Daniel Santos

Week 21, 2024

I love languages and how both my sons seem to have inherited part of this taste of mine for them. This week I saw my youngest son call his brother right after knowing that a friend of his, in Japan, played the same games he likes. They started a Discord session to talk.

And they talked. Away and away. I've seen my soon practicing his English before, and I've acknowledged in earlier posts and notes in this blog how good his English has become. He posts whole stories he writes in certain Discord channels and Reddit communities, and he talks to me in English for fun. But this week it was his first experience communicating in real time and orally with someone not from the family. He got very happy and satisfied, and my parent senses tingled out of pure happiness.

Seeing him get along by himself in another language is a great reason for a father to feel pride, isn't it?

Meanwhile, in Japan, my older son is getting along just fine β€” and why not say, finer every day. In recent conversations with him I've seen him finally starting to realize that living at the other side of world has its own challenges and cares that need to be observed.

Around one month before his departure to Japan, I went to the Japanese Embassy with him, for his final orientation session, which I've also talked about before. There, one particular student talked about his main initial difficult: the amount of extra zeroes in yen, the Japanese currency, when compared to our Brazilian reais, confused his money management, so he usually felt as if he had more money than he actually did.

Well, before my son travelled, we taught him how to make and keep a simple expenses worksheet. He created it using Google Spreadsheets and started to feed info into it, anticipating likely expenses. This week he said that he fortunately realized his expenses had decreased between April and May, and so he could save some money. That means, he apparently avoided the yen x real trap. But his mother and I reminded him how this is to be a continuous effort... and how being able to maintain a sustainable lifestyle is going to play a big role in his Japanese season enjoyment.

It is really good he understood it.

I recently finished reading Running Lean and, since then, am on a personal challenge to transmit all the possible ways the concepts taught in this book can be useful in our professional activities at work. I've been creating a presentation, to show my work mates how the concepts can be applied. The problem is, I was stuck without knowing how to continue the storytelling I was wanting to get across. It took me many days stuck, until this week, I could finally continue creating the presentation, meaning I overcame my "writer's block ". That was a complete relief, and it wouldn't be possible for me to accomplish that without the help of a fantastic work mate. it is so gratifying to work with people who share the same passion that you feel and who have so many different abilities for you to learn.

On the other hand, I'm finding it very difficult to finish reading the third and last book in the Southern Reach trilogy, by Jeff VanderMeer. I'm past half of β€œAuthority” and can say that the story has made me lose the interest almost completely so far, to the point where if a great ending doesn't come (spoiler: by now, I believe it won't come), reading the trilogy will become my biggest literary fail this year.

The thing is the first book was a quick read: So much so that I finished reading it in a couple of days, so interesting the storyline felt. The situations, the characters, the feeling of something I had never read before contributed to my growing interest in the trilogy's next chapters.

The problem was the sensation didn't last once I started reading the second book in the trilogy. It told the story from a different perspective, introducing a new character that I taught at first would bring a new dynamics to the story, but that in the end contributed to kickstart the decrease in my interest. This character wasn't the sole reason to make my interest diminish, though. I haven't finished the third book yet as I said, but to this point, I see lots and lots of pages being wasted with characters' points of view, recollections of what happened, rantings, thoughts and theories all revolving around the central mystery of the trilogy, albeit the mystery itself never gives the slightest hint that it is going to be solved anytime soon. That's a horrible sensation, at least for me, to be reading a book β€” a whole trilogy, for God's sake β€”while feeling that, as the number of pages to finish the last book decreases, it is very likely that a poor ending awaits me. I don't hope so, but it becomes more and more evident.

After my family and I missed the annual influenza vaccination campaign that the company I work for promotes every year this year β€” I completely forgot about it and mixed the deadlines for subscribing to the list of interest while busy with my son's trip arrangements β€”, my son, my wife and I got down with the flu.

My son's been coughing very strongly, the main symptom he's displaying. By using antibiotics, he seems to be slowly recovering. As is the case with me. I've caught the flu from him and had two to three days feeling feverish and weak, with a very strong indisposition and some pain. Oh, and the strong coughing came as a bonus feature 😭

My wife, the one who better feeds and the one of us who practices more exercises, thankfully, caught only a throat inflammation. Hopefully the family will fully recover soon enough.

#english #weeknotes