Jurnalul de Samantha

The title of this article is “The Diary of Samantha” in Romanian. If you are either learning or maintaining language proficiency than keeping a diary is a great way of producing the language and finding out new concepts and words that may be uncommon. In addition you will get ample opportunity to use the simple past tense and the imperfect tense depending on the entry.

How to do it

Depending on both your proficiency in understanding the past tense and vocabulary around what happened in your day in many cases it will involve a mixture of using your own abilities to think up sentences and using translation tools. Be aware that a certain level of knowledge of the fact that internet translators are flawed can come in handy. If using these write each sentence one by one and try different ways of saying the same thing if you need to.

Why do it

You will get to review your memories to a detail where you can go back and mentally re-live the past in all its glory. This would include failures, successes, happy times and everything in between. The act of maintaining a diary in you target language not only helps with initial learning but also is great for those who have passed the learner phase but need to keep the language active. This method forces you to write and (preferably) think in the language of your choice and in order to relive your past you will be forced to read it. This provides a means where you have to “use it” in order to keep it active and useable in your brain. As I have never kept a diary before it has been a welcome addition to have a diary written in 100% Romanian. I have in very as short time got acquainted with the simple past tense such as

Am văzut (I have seen)

Ai întrebat pentru mine (you asked for me) (inf)

How to improve your diary keeping

When you feel as though you’ve covered all the basics with regards to the past tense and the imperfect then adding sentences about what you would do better next time into your diary will open up a new sphere in the language and also serve as mental reminders as to how to improve and learn from the events of life itself. Don’t forget to add what you thought you did well, of course.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

La ce te gândește Samantha?

The title means “what are you thinking Samantha” in Romanian. This article is about recording your thoughts as a means of gaining a greater understanding of your target language. I will tell you both why its great to consider and how to do it reasonably well.

You want a not only a greater understanding of the language you are learning but also wish to be able to have a fair understanding of how to say the things you would need to say in your everyday life. The regularly used vocabulary of each person will differ according to their hobbies, job, social life etc. No two people are alike and this method will tailor itself to each persons needs.

To record phrases you use in your daily life that you would like to know how to say in the language you are learning. For this I recommend keeping a pen and paper close by so you can capture such phrases as you go throughout the day for later translation. I personally aim for about 5 new sentences a day. A record book for keeping the translated sentences is required for not only keeping a vast record over the coming weeks and months but also to provide a neatly kept means of storing these sentences thoughts and to track your progress to allow you to see how far you have come. I’d highly recommend that these books contain no English in order to aid in remembering
what these phrases mean without having to constantly keep referring back to it.

If you’ve had anything you wanted to say to a language exchange partner, look it up. Whether big or small any form of the language can be recorded from “I really admire Roy Valen in Dark Avengers” to interjections like “oh my word”, anything you are likely to want to say regularly is great for this. Putting yourself in the perspective of someone you are taking to could also provide more phrases should you ever run short of ideas.

If you are using internet translators then its best to not only try one sentence at a time but also be prepared to be corrected by a native speaker at a later point or discover flaws in that translation as your proficiency grows and you get the feeling something isn’t right. At this stage you can analyse this and even correct the internet translations.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Why is Adoptee anger legitimate?

Have you ever met an adoptee who somehow struggles to agree that adoption is a thoroughly positive win – win scenario? Have you ever met an adoptee who expresses negative emotions and even an anger you simply cannot understand? If this concept appears perplexing to you then look no further.

While there are many factors to adoption that could be seen as redeeming factors and some even are redeeming factors such as financial prosperity that should not be overlooked there are varying losses suffered by the adoptee that likely are not readily seen by some who do no know the adoption experience the same way as we do.

There are a key number of things that could be lost and will take some work to regain (if possible). The main ones are our biological families, our sense of belonging (and parts of identity relating to this), our nations*, our national culture both historic and contemporary with all the idiosyncrasies that go with it* amongst others.

*international adoptees only

Adoption itself is complex mentally on all parts of the traid** but it can be quite a mental process for the adoptees themselves. Different adoptees come to process their feelings surrounding their adoption at different times and the time spent processing each aspect mentally can differ greatly. It’s therefore possible for the adoptee to be in a stage where they are angry at the situation itself. It’s possible to feel a myriad of feelings and some can overlap.

** the triad is A) biological family B) adoptee C) adoptive family

In many cases the anger is an emotion that will pass after the adoptee has processed their feelings and done what is they need to do to personally find closure and move on. However some can be in this stage for extended periods and some may never leave it entirely. This is OK and a valid way to feel..

If you are not an adoptee and are a bystander then its highly inconsiderate to call an adoptee and angry adoptee, even if on the surface that’s how the situation appears to be. This person will likely have a mental struggle or even a few of them in their head and they may be processing it as best they can but are noticeably experiencing emotional discomfort. This can be true even when steps are being taken to “rectify the situation as best as possible” by the adoptee.

Many of us feel as though on some level held back by the “adoption is all flowers and rainbows” narrative offered by society at large. While most of us would admit to there being positives included in the experience most feel that should not take away our legitimate right to feel upset (or even angry) and even voice our feelings in order to let them out. This narrative can overbear us and some can grow immensely tired of “soothing other people” when we ourselves quite rightly have concerns to tend to of our own.

In adoptees depression as not uncommon and the adoptee suicide rate is higher than that of non adopted persons. There can be vast gaps in one’s sense of self and belonging which can evoke strong feelings including depression. Extended periods of depression can ultimately turn into suicidal ideation. Please think about telling us “how to feel” before you do so as these issues are very real for a lot of us and you could potentially cause more damage, even if you are unaware you are.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

A grand community spirit against terroism

In the later hours of Monday the 22nd of May the Manchester Arena was the latest in a long list of terror attacks that have become noticeably more commonplace since 9/11. For many the fact that this was at a time when many children and teenagers were in attendance makes the situation harder to accept. While I’m looking to propose way in which the communities can act to prevent this as best as possible I do not wish to take away from the many who lost a loved one or those who are injured as a result of Mondays incident, I wish those who are passed rest in peace and send my wishes to the families.

While I do not believe anyone should be subject to the atrocities of terrorist actions I do believe there are ways where society at large could play a better role in preventing future incidents.

Politics and political figures Many countries have politicians, political figures who fan the flames of divisionism. One that is the most obvious example at the moment is America’s Donald Trump. He has said things that has likely alienated Mexicans and Muslims in and amongst other groups. Some political figures equate “tough talking” with divisionism and this can incite those who might be unstable and slip into the terrorist mindset.

Extreme Far Right groups There are a lot of far right groups out there who openly act divisively while trying to claim they do not. Key examples are Britain First, the English Defence League and the Ku Klux Klan which is still active in the States and never ceased to exist. These groups have been known to storm into restaurants and Mosques and some countries still have groups that promote “racial purity”.

The wars Anyone concerned with terrorism and stopping it becoming commonplace should be campaigning to stop the military conflicts in the Middle East. Many who are nothing to do with terrorism can wake up to find their accommodation blown up or their family members dead after an air raid has occurred overnight. This anger can create new terrorists. The military conflicts therefore must preferably cease.

Report anyone you know who has ideations of committing terrorist acts. Dont think it’s nothing. It may sound like nothing at the time but what might have sounded “slightly strange, but nothing to worry about” might actually be the first steps to committing an act. If you have even the slightest suspicion then get in contact with your local police of security service.

Get (enter nationality here) or get out Something that deserves a mention is the notion of forcing those who are not from the culture of your nation to assimilate or effectively feel unwelcome. This concept crosses borders but can easily create divisionism. A similar saying is you are in our country, speak our language. Both of these phrases seek to divide unnecessarily.

We are all human and while we all have and should celebrate our differences, divisionist policies can hurt us and the fabric of society itself if allowed to flourish unchecked. The way to take a stand against terrorism is to act united with your fellow citizens to stamp out divisionism and create a true unity.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Discover a new world with Books

I never used to read a lot but have slowly come round to enjoying reading books. In my 20’s as I constantly evaluate what happiness is and how to not only be but find peace and happiness I’ve later found  reading to be more pleasurable than I once used to.

I’m in no minority and here is why people like books both fictional and factual.

Pleasure of escaping reality No matter what our individual preferences are many of us need to escape reality in the modern world. Often times reality is hectic and areas of it or our individual realities can be un-appealing. Reading provides an ability to relax and enter a world that is not our own and at times one that differs from everyday life itself.

Intercultural requirements Those who are in the process of learning (or maintaining) another language might find reading international books a fantastic means of facilitating this process while acquiring or keeping in tune with some of the more cultured aspects. Members of the Diasporas of other nations will prefer to read in their own language to mentally re-enter the world of their home nation. As an international adoptee I prefer reading foreign material for a number of these reasons.

Quiet time For those who like some peace and quiet reading offers a space to “be in your own company” away from others needs for a while. Reading in a park on a summer’s day is a nice a peaceful way to zone out should your own company be what you need a bit of

Expanded Imagination Due to the fact that a book is more detailed than a movie the ability to imagine is heightened. With a film its visually obvious as to what the director intends for you to interpret. With a book a lot of the key details are open to your interpretation of the individual part of that story, in many cases two people will interpret two ever so slightly different scenarios.

An ability to disconnect In today’s world there are a lot of things that can be done at the touch of a button from internet shopping to share dealing. Lots of people are connecting to the internet for longer durations and doing more while connected such as social media to filling out tax returns. While all this connectivity brings us together in a lot of ways its nice to disconnect and take time away from the notifications. Reading feels a touch archaic compared to the newest spec technology, but I like that!

See other points of view In and amongst all the relaxing qualities reading also provides a means to see how others might (and do) see things. An understanding of other people’s insights will help to create a more rounded character.

Education and learning As much as reading is a nice way to relax and escape the world, books also provide a means of learning new concepts (and vocabulary) in a non obvious way. While some books are overtly informational there is still much wisdom and vocabulary to be gained from a novel in ways that don’t feel like learning “at the time”

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Not everyone desires all forms of technological advancement

Technology, it has made our modern world what it is today. From the days when we no longer needed the horse and cart to the earliest mobile phone, Technology has shaped our modern world to a point where it would be very hard to live without any form of technological enhancement. However as more advanced technological advancements come into the public sphere not everyone is keen to use all kinds, and surprisingly not only the older generations.

Banking In a day and age when banks are focussing more heavily on internet banking and even closing branches there is a bank that has succeeded in the opposite. Metro Bank in the USA and Southern England has been opening branches and focusses on a customer experience. They also have longer opening hours then most bank branches and free money counting machines offering prizes for children.

E-Readers It was once believed that these readers and E-Reader software for tablets and phones would overtake hard copy books. For a number of years this was believed and for some time there was some level of a trend. Now in 2017 the sales figures for physical books is on the rise and has surpassed the number of downloads of E-books.

Transport Over the course of course of the last few years there have been a handful of strikes in the U.K regarding removal of the guards on train services. In many cases the public actually prefer a guard to operate the doors and maintain a safe environment. The opposite is to have the driver responsible for all safety functions on board the train which does not sit well with most of the public. For a similar reason I cannot envision driverless cars seeing wide use among the public and its the same reason why the only pilotless aircraft are military drones.

Self Service checkouts While these are seen by many supermarkets as a quick and easy way to pack and pay for your shopping they have not overtaken human operated tills or increased in number to an ultra large degree. Having someone at the till to ask how your day is still is appealing to a sizeable number of the general public.

Voting Not every country has or wished to use electronic voting machines. The friendly face at the polling station appears to be the preferred option for many countries and their voting public.

Smart watches are something that never really took off to their predicted levels. Many major players in the cellphone industry marketed their own smart watch products. They were even promoted by the cellular game Pokémon Go. To this day the “calling” for smart watches is lower than forecast.

This will be an interesting time where some forms of technology will be used en-masse by the public and others may have a rise and fall, while some might not even “take off” in the first place.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Non assimilation adoptee lifestyle

Some international and intercultural adoptees can feel a profound loss of their original nation or culture of birth (usually in addition to desires to connect with their birth family or members within it). The reason why some international adoptees feel this way and others do not is not entirely known. This lifestyle or any variation of it can bridge the gap between the disconnect felt.

In a basic understanding the non assimilation lifestyle is a means to live by the values and culture of your original nation in a day-to-day sense, it’s incorporating elements of culture into ones life as much as humanly possible.

There are of course many ways of incorporating elements of your original culture into day to day life in your host country.

Language If your homeland/motherland has a different language to the one you’ve grown up into then it’s a fair idea to learn the language of your motherland and to a fair degree as well. While this is not mandatory not having the language limits your ability to access the culture on an equal level as those who have grown up into that language. However some options are still available should you choose not to.

Singing in the language is good for all both extrovert and introvert personalities and will help garner a greater linguistic understanding. Keeping up to date with the local charts will keep you up to date with what’s new in your motherland

Speak the language at home if at all possible. Not only will you gain some basic everyday vocabulary but you will also be using the same language as your people do and hopefully this will help you gain love for the language of your original culture. This could even become your preferred language in due time.

Make friends with people where you are from One way of gaining a sense of belonging in the real world is to seek out friendships with those from where you come from. Depending on how diverse your local area is there may be some local to you and some may speak the language you grew up into. If not then the internet is an option.

Watching television related to your culture Can typically be done in either the language of your homeland or the one that you grew up into. Typically the amount of TV is going to be far more diverse in the language of the country itself as there will be multiple channels and films made in that country. National Geographic and similar channels may air the occasional programme focusing on your homeland.

Cooking To cook and savour the culinary delights of your original culture is one of the few and accessible means of accessing culture without worrying about languages at all. All that’s required is knowledge of what ingredients to get with some basic to medium cooking ability and voilá. Cookbooks can be obtained for many countries from Albania to Lebanon. Also many recipes can be found on the internet.

Obtain any items that may make you feel happier and more connected Any item that will make you feel happier will do. For some its flags and pennants. For others its cultural dress and items related to special cultural days. I’ve even heard of someone collecting display knives from their origin nation.

Learn the dance styles connected with your culture While this is often a more traditional thing it can appeal to some who already have a liking for dancing and traditional dance styles.

I personally live the non assimilation adoptee life as best as I can and feel more comfortable living this lifestyle then trying to assimilate and be someone who I ultimately feel I am not. I believe this lifestyle or variations of it can truly aid some adoptees in feeling more themselves and for this reason I advocate for awareness the differences of international adoptees so that the world understands where some of us are coming from

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

How to think less about Politics

Many of us have gone over the top when it comes to politics, on a myriad if issues on both the left, right and centre of the spectrum. It’s understandable on an evolutionary standpoint as in the early days it’s rumoured that politics could have meant life or death for some people or living in squalor. Luckily in the 20th century things have moved on immensely from those times but it’s still possible to get entirely carried away with politics.

There are a number of reasons why you might get carried away with political issues and ways to prevent it should you desire not to

Stick to the issues most important to you Sure, you have a ton of issues you care about. However maybe sticking to a small handful (or less if you can manage) is a means to keep your political vent time on the down low.

Stop hiding from your demons or figure out what they are so you then have a chance of understanding the problem. I have sounded off over political issues when they touched a nerve too close to home more than once. An ability to understand what it is in your life that’s triggering these feelings will be of greater assistance to you then “sounding off” in many cases.

Realise you can’t change everything both directly and indirectly. There are a whole ton of political issues out there and yes its possible that you can change some of them by protesting, petitioning and showing populist support on social media. However there really are some you stand little to no chance of making any changes to. Knowing when to quit and save your energy will mean your more relaxed for what you wish to do and those issues that are closer to your heart.

Have some hobbies take up what you’ve always been wishing to do or discover something new. Many of us use politics as a cover for when were entirely bored and have nothing better to do with life. Often times it covers social media and the news so there is an almost endless stream of it for those who crave it. If you find yourself caught in this trap and don’t wish to be then it’s the time to take up old hobbies, or discover something new that you never would have thought you’d like.

I do think in some situations it’s advisable to take a hard stance politically and to walk away from every issue politically is not the greatest action if you wish for your voice to be heard, however I also think that endless political debates that can turn into full-blown arguments can turn counterproductive pretty quickly and gain you a bad reputation.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Is the Sunday Assembly the next step in Athiesm?

20160430_170010While I admit to not having been before I’m openly curious about the Sunday Assembly. It’s new take on organised services that are open to people of any religion or none (including spiritualists and agnostics) and focusses on celebration of life and positive feelings over preaching about organised religion.

From what I have gathered I support the concept and welcome the fact that its gaining momentum and here is why.

I have seen critiques of atheism by atheists that say that organised religion gives people community and actually strives to help people and listen to their concerns and that in many cases atheism of the past rarely did anything like this (at least not en masse). This sort of idea and concept could bridge this gap that many atheists are rightly concerned about.

Celebration of happiness Most people whether religious or not would prefer to be happy and embrace positive feelings both with friends and wider community and sometimes on their own. This concept makes a lovely excuse (not that one’s needed) to partake in happier feelings in a communal sense. It’s not about non-belief but what can be achieved together as why should organised religion hold the monopoly on gatherings to share in happiness and good feelings.

Would like to see a community support function if it doe’s not already exist.* Projects like helping the homeless and aiming to better the lives of impoverished children as examples. Such projects could take place after the Assembly services for those who bear a keen interest in service to others.

*may exist already in some locations.

More calm and collected the Skeptics Society I have never attended a Skeptic’s Society meeting but have seen their forums. There is a lot of debating about belief/or lack of but very little else from what I’ve seen. This provides atheists and others who have either grown tired of Skeptic’s Societies or were never interested at all a viable alternative with a whole lot less need for debates.

Great for those seeking community If you are seeking new circles and new friends this might be a relatively quick way to find a new sense of community and even some new friends. It’s not entirely uncommon for people to move cities or countries and it’s likely to be something that many can get involved with quickly. The necessity to not be religious in order to share in church/congregation related community is a bonus either. I’ve known people who are not religious but have pretended to be in order to feel a belonging with somewhere, this requirement isn’t truly necessary anymore.

Due to its generic nature it’s fantastic for those who struggle socially There are a fair number of reasons why some of us struggle socially. Because this is fairly generic while also being an organised activity it provides an easy backdrop for these people to find community easier.

Multi-generational I am told that many generations attend the Sunday Assemblies and this is fantastic as young and old can learn from each other and share with each other i a gentle environment. There is also an increased likelihood of other diversity.

I admit that the Assembly is in its relative infancy and is building an entire culture from scratch because of this. I would also like to see it expand further into the non english speaking world within time.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Alternate Indoor Activities – Drawing

20160703_170857Something I admit to having done fairly rarely recently but admit there are a lot of benefits to. Drawing is an artistic hobby that is fairly popular with many lovers of arts and craft related hobbies. There are many reasons why people like to draw and many positives to drawing also.

To communicate with the outside world in an art form Lot of people use drawings and paintings to communicate their thoughts and abstract ideas through these art forms.

To express your feelings and let them out We all experience a lot of feelings from euphoria to depression and many varying emotions in between. Many choose to draw to express both feelings of happiness and feelings of sadness as a way of bringing those events to life. With feelings of sadness this can bring about a release of these feelings.

Meditation and searching for peace and serenity for many drawing is a way of connecting with an inner sense of peace “after a long days work and tending to the kids”. It’s a way of entering a relaxed state where many or all life worries are put on hold for a short period while drawing.

A means to have fun while being practical If your like me and you only watch television in the winter or bad weather days you’ll still want to have things to replace it with. Drawing is another means to enjoy yourself while getting those practical juices flowing. You might even be able to draw with the TV or Radio on in the background if that helps you reach that place of relaxation ready to get into the mood to draw. This is a hobby that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike and is one of the few avenues where an adult can tap into their sense of imagination!

Improved self-esteem From the most advanced works to the most basic works, there is a self-esteem element involved in the drawing hobby. A child will naturally feel better about themselves having created a drawing of a flower and a greater sense of self esteem can be gained no matter the skill level or theme of drawing. Colouring books exist and are excellent for those with no desire to start from scratch or have motor function problems. These books have multiple pictures to colour and many include the ability to remove the completed picture from the book for display around the house.

Greater clarity of mind As well as relaxing the mind it can be a good way to think of ways to resolve issues in life should this be what you wish to use it for. Drawing will often de-stress you allowing for the ability to think clearly about a life problem. Drawing may help some people feel as though they are getting their issues out of thier head and into the world (via the paper) and this can be a release of the stronger emotions allowing for greater scope of how to deal with the issues one might be facing.

Well its time to get out the drawing books

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable