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43. Memorize a poem in Spanish.

This is like learning a song. The words are beautiful and you can review it in your mind if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep.

At the suggestion of my friend Marîa Elena, who taught high school Spanish, I considered the poems of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. “Rima 53” is the one I memorized. It tells a standard love story: I loved you so much and you were rotten to me and don’t you ever expect to be loved that much again in your whole life by anyone else. The words and rhymes in Spanish roll delightfully off your tongue when you say it.

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53. Take heart from other mediocre linguists.

It's fun to read about other people's struggles with a second language. Fun, and somehow comforting. I just read Monsieur Mediocre, by John von Sothen, an American married to a French woman, living in

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