Leisurely Me

Painting by Kat Kahny, Acrylic on panel, 2017

Beyond Syntax and Semantics

An essay by Andrew L. Svancara Jr.,

Learning a new language is a wonderful thing, but learning how to enjoy learning it is even better. Enjoying the culture is a major part of understanding and appreciating the language. Integrating a language like Japanese into your daily life is paramount. Also, you must study but be sure to reward yourself for it afterwards. Over the years, I have found a few studying techniques that make it pleasurable for me to learn Japanese.

Enjoying the culture of Japan is an important part of learning it, as it is with any language. I enjoy all aspects of the Japanese language, including its cultural background. For me to enjoy learning Japanese, I must thoroughly research the history behind the language. I achieve this by reading Japanese folklore, reading about Shintoism, acknowledging their norms and values. Continue reading


a poem by Joshua Sponaugle


a little black dog crossed the lake

he paddled hard for his own sake

But birds above they’d come and go

Til’ he felt the weight of a sullen Crow

he knew he mustn’t ask what caused

the fall

before too long, he hadn’t mind at all

the crow flew off and circled round

he Wondered who’d be next to drown


 a poem by Joshua Sponaugle


Till our ticktocker tocks last–

Our grass is spotted.

Carelessly blue, unimaginative

Stands tall above you

Til shapes may come to view

Some mostly emerald–

Others not-so-new.

No matter how lovely–

There, stained soil

Sits quietly true