The Finish

Turning-Road-Route-TournanteThis is a lovely, short piece from More Intelligent Life about art, hard work, and finishing:

“The Feeling of Finishing”

Language learning has no “finish”. Even if we’re lucky to reach the point of fluency in a second language, it takes hard work to keep it.

On the other hand, there are short-term and long-term goals in language learning which do have a “finish” — final drafts, presentations, interviews, tests.

Here are some quotes and things to think, talk, and write about, regarding language learning or other things you’re working hard on:

“But work takes time: a day, an hour, a month, 40 years. Things can get in the way: an artist’s attention wanders, some niggle keeps the piece from coalescing, a better idea appears or the money just runs out. Sometimes history intervenes. The enemy is at the door and the work must be abandoned.”

Q: What things get in the way of your long and short-term language learning goals?

Q: This article introduces an art exhibit filled with unfinished pieces. The author says, “We prefer things finished.” In some classes earlier in the semester, we talked about the concept of 三日坊主 (someone who starts things but doesn’t continue or finish). Have you become more or less of a 三日坊主 this year? Do you agree with the author and prefer things that are finished?

Q: When people are perfectionists, it’s hard to get that “finished” feeling when you’re working on something. Does this happen to you? Are you a perfectionist?

Q: She mentions Henri Matisse’s “Woman in a kimono” (1906). What do you like about this painting? Does it feel finished to you?

This photo of The Courtauld Gallery is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Q: This semester is now finishing. Do you feel a sense of accomplishment? Are there things you would like to go back and “edit” or change? And what are your goals for the summer? What things would you like to finish before the next semester begins?


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