Friday, November 25, 2005

A bodkin is some kind of pointy object, apparently

I had never really considered how great English is as a first language. This week in the high school class I volunteer in, the kids were translating Shakespeare from Danish into English. There's nothing like trying to explain the bit about making his quietus with a bare bodkin to a couple of highly suspicious Danish teenagers to make you realize that you have no idea what a quietus or a bodkin is. The Danish translation just rewrote the meaning of any bits that were too hard to understand, which made me appreciate being able to read so much of the world's best literature in the original language just by virtue of speaking English. It also makes me wonder what kind of garbling all the translated texts I read have gone through.

I'm starting to plan next summer. The international internship emails from Bryn Mawr were looking tasty, but I'm thinking no because if I'm going to go to a foreign country for two months, I'll barely have gotten trained and figured out what to do before I'll have to go home.

Option number two is the leadership program at Pendle Hill. I'd be living there (it's a Quaker center near Swarthmore) doing cooking, gardening, manual labor, etc plus 20 hours a week interning in some kind of social service agency in Philadelphia. It sounds just about perfect, and hopefully they won't mind that I'm agnostic. Co-founding a very short-lived Quaker student group last year should count for something, right?

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