It’s the beginning of March and most of us are probably thinking, “Spring is on its way!!” But with the weather we’ve been having in Boston the last couple of days, Spring seems a bit far off…
When we think of the “holiday season” we think of November and December, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc. In reality, there are holidays throughout the year, including some crazy ones you may not have ever thought about, like Middle Name Pride Day on March 10th.
So with the major holiday season behind us and spring supposedly right around the corner, what can we look forward to in the meantime? Here’s what…
- Today is Employee Appreciation Day. Started in 1995, today is a day to say “thanks” and appreciate your employees (hence the title).
- March 4th (or, March Forth!) is Hug A GI Day. Know someone in the military? Give ‘em a hug!
- March 12th is Girl Scouts Day. If you’ve been avoiding those delicious thin mints like they’re the plague to prepare your figure for bathing suit season, today is a day you can buy and eat some of these cookies guilt free and help the gals out!
- March 14th is National Pi Day. Clever, and maybe a tad nerdy…
- March 17th is Saint Patrick’s Day. While some may know this day as “the day you drink green beer and have a terrible headache the next day” it is actually a day to celebrate Saint Patrick who brought christianity to the Emerald Isles.
- March 25th is Waffle Day. It coincides with the Feast of Annunciation, and recognized as the beginning of spring in Sweden. Check your local breakfast restaurant for specials, I’m sure there are some…
- March 29th is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Obviously not as well known as Small Business Saturday, this day has the same idea – honor the small mom and pop shops who work tirelessly to give their customers some old-fashioned, good quality service.
So before you think, “Spring – get here already!” there are still some fun, maybe not-so-traditional, events and holidays to celebrate. So appreciate your employees, grab a thin mint, hug a soldier, appreciate math, drink some green beer in honor of Irish christianity, pig out on some waffles, and take a trip to your local mom and pop store!
The United States has occasionally been criticized for its lack of promotion and dedication to foreign language education. While it is widely known that people from other parts of the world (particularly Europe) learn and speak multiple languages besides their own mother tongue, educating a country in another language is easier said than done.
In order for schools to put forth a stronger effort to include foreign language education in their curriculums, they must first find teachers who are qualified to teach those languages. It’s a “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” scenario. Which comes first – the teacher or the student?
But while we may not have superior foreign language education in this country, that’s not to say this country is without its language lovers. If you’re online, you’re just a few Google searches and clicks away from an online world of people proclaiming their love and fascination of foreign languages on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and so on…
- A Facebook page, Randomly using Spanish words in normal conversation, has zero content, yet over 280,000 people felt compelled to “like” the page.
- There are French Language Meetup Groups in several states across the country with thousands of Americans seeking to brush up on their skills.
- Twitter handle @learnkaji tells his/her followers to: “Learn Japanese vocabulary with Twitter! You will learn a new word every day. Each word will be written in Kanji, Hiragana, Romaji and English” and has over 24,000 followers. I am certain there are many American, Japanese-language-loving, followers amongst the spammers/Twitter crawlers.
- 100 Fantastic Blogs for Language Lovers includes several blogs written by American linguists who live and breathe languages.
There are indeed those who also hate foreign languages, as well as anything and everything not-American, but amongst the haters are individuals finding their own ways to embrace other languages. We may not be able to fix the foreign language education programs in our country – at least not immediately or easily – but the dotcom and social media era has allowed many Americans to find a way to say “I heart languages.”