WORD OF THE YEAR: VOICE
My resolutions this year all revolve around voice, both mine and others.
I resolve to learn French…again. A few summers ago, I spent five weeks immersing myself in French while living in a small Quebec town. In the mornings, I took French classes at the local high school. In the afternoons, I went to workshops and learned more about Québécois culture. In the evenings, I hung out with my homestay family and watched TV and movies en français. And I got pretty good by the end of the summer! But I've basically dropped it since then. I have several French-speaking coworkers that I sometimes speak in broken French with, but I've really neglected to keep up with my lessons. Not this year! I've already taken a placement test and registered for French classes here in Vancouver. I look forward to attempting more bilingual blog posts this year.
I resolve to listen to other voices in the news and the arts. I think that one of the causes of 2016 (what a year!) was that we tend to listen to those who have similar opinions and disregard others' opinions automatically. One of my goals for 2017 is to broaden my scope a bit. To do so, I am following Twitter accounts with alternative viewpoints so I'll have different stories showing up on my news feed. In addition to my regular Maclean's subscription (which sadly has gone monthly) for Canadian news, I'm subscribing to New Internationalist and Le Monde diplomatique magazines for independent international news. And, though I delayed it for as long as I could, I finally subscribed to Apple Music. I've been exploring its radio stations for some variety, including its "world" stations. So far this has meant a whole lot of reggae (one of my faves!), but, you know, I will branch out eventually.
I resolve to read around the world. (This one is closely related to my second resolution, but will be time-consuming enough that it warrants its own mention.) My goal for 2017 is to read one book from a different country of the world each month, for a total of 12 international titles. For this, I look to the A Year of Reading the World blog for major inspiration. (I would love to read more—Ann Morgan of AYORTW read 196 books in one year!—but I'm already in a real-life book club with my Vancouver girlfriends, plus my list of books I have on hold at Vancouver Public Library is already a year's worth, and 196 is simply crazy.) First up, I'm interested in titles related to Russia and Mongolia, as those are two places I will be travelling to this year. I'll report on what I've read each month.
What are your travel resolutions for 2017? Do you have any magazine, music, or book recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments below! Merci!