Some of those good moments have involved practising my Spanish on a language learning website called Duolingo. Yes, that’s an incredibly nerdy thing to do in my spare time, but I spent three years learning Spanish and I’d rather not lose it all. I like being sort of trilingual : English as my native tongue, fluency in French (been learning it since I was four), and passable-ish Spanish.
I heard about Duolingo on CBC radio a month or so ago, and received my invitation to their private beta the week before Christmas. It’s a lot of fun, even in it’s beta state, and the concept is incredibly cool : learn a language while translating the web! Right now they’re offering Spanish and German, but French, Chinese and other languages are in the works.
This past weekend I was at an out of town ringette tournament. Ringette, for the ignorant among you, is a sport that can be most easily described by saying it’s like hockey. But I’ve played both and can readily attest that there are a ton of very important differences. Also, the easiest way to piss off a ringette player is to call her sport “hockey for girls.” Trust me. Don’t make that mistake.
In this tournament, we played three round robin games, and had a loss, a tie and a win. In our win we smashed the other team, so we squeaked into the semi-finals on a plus-minus tie breaker with the team we had earlier tied. In that game, our third of the day, we faced off against the team that beat us in our first game. They’re a local team, both of us having travelled for the tournament, and they’ve beaten us handily every time we’ve played them. But this time, we were having none of that. With a minute and a half left in the game, we scored to break the tie and advance to the championship game.
The next morning, we were all groggy and sore, and had a hard time remembering why we had wanted to play in the finals so badly. But once on the ice, the lure of a gold medal was too great. We were behind most of the game, but it was always by just a single measly goal, and when the buzzer sounded we were tied. Sudden death overtime loomed before us. Our goalie had been playing great, but there’s no pressure like this. We started with the ring… got into their end… shot… rebounded… scored! In a grand total of thirteen overtime seconds we won the tournament. It was a great end to a great weekend.
My other fantastic accomplishment of the weekend was finishing a scarf I've been knitting for my best friend since September. She’s the one who taught me to knit originally, and I hope she likes this as her Christmas present. It’s about six feet long and took me four months to complete, and there are few things of which I’m prouder.
Next I will be tackling a project tentatively titled "anything but a scarf!" Any suggestions?