Going Powhatan #5: Virginia Algonquian Autodidacticism

Been a while since I posted on the “Going Powhatan” subject, so I figured I’d drop a post so you don’t get the idea I’ve stopped working.

As for learning the Virginia Algonquian language  — a.k.a. “Powhatan” — it’s been rough sledding.  Mighty hard to learn a language all by your lonesome! One of the things I started doing several months ago, to teach myself the numbers, was to start counting in Powhatan during training sessions.  I journal most days and I always record the temperature.  So I started writing the temp in Powhatan also.

Then about a month ago I read this post by the immortal Mark Hatmaker concerning autodidacticism and it really set me afire.  Notice the line I put in bold:

Schliemann (Heinrich Schliemann, the German merchant who found the lost city of Troy) was an untutored auto-didact, not merely in archeology, but also in foreign languages. Despite having never attended a single foreign language class or having access to a “self-teaching” Rosetta Stone course he mastered a dozen languages.

Here’s historian Will Durant on Schliemann.

“In his travels as a merchant he had made it a practice to learn the language of each country he traded with, and to write in that language the current pages of his diary.  By this method he learned English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Polish, and Arabic. Now he went to Greece, studied the language as a living speech, and was soon able to read both ancient and modern Greek as fluently as German.” Will Durant, The Life of Greece, pp. 24-25

I realized that I was on the right track, but not aggressive enough.  Around the same time I read Mark’s article, I watched an interview of Benny Lewis in which he advocated the “sink or swim” outlook even if you’re learning solo.  He basically said, to paraphrase, ‘don’t try to speak perfectly, just force yourself to say things in the language as best you can.’

This is the language equivalent of making a rough pencil sketch on the canvas before starting your painting, or a rough draft of an article before you send it off to the editor.  It’ll get perfected later.  Just get the words out now!

So I started  writing in my journal as best I could using the Powhatan words I knew — even if I had no idea how to properly conjugate or decline a given word.  Basically my journal notes started looking like “Powhatan haiku.”  Here’s my journal entry from 4/25/21:

4/25/21 — parenskapooeksu (50), kemiw (“it is raining”) – wekontamook (rejoice!)

Lord paswappu, nenenohtawaw (The Lord is here, I understand him)

sissip awassew necehcak (bird, it flies, my soul)

I’m pretty sure there are at least a half dozen errors in there.  But I’m still doing a better job of speaking Powhatan than I was six months ago, right?  It’s like the bartender says at closing time: “I don’t know where you’re going but you can’t stay here.”

Stagnation is no option.  Onward and upward!


If you liked this post…

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Want to study Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts?  Click here to enroll in the Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts distance learning program for just $19,99/month — all learning materials, testing and certificates included (and a free hat and t-shirt when you sign up too).

Independent Catholic Holy Communion: Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 2, 2021

I am a Deacon in Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary, and the Host I am consuming in the Communion video below has been Consecrated by my Bishop for this purpose. This is the Body of Christ, and must be given the Sacred Reverence due the Son of God.

Those desiring to follow along and partake of Communion at home should first consider carefully. If you are also a Sacramental Christian, you should observe the guidance of your Bishop, as to whether, and in what manner, you may partake of Communion at home.  Other Baptized Christians should observe the guidance of their Pastor or, if unchurched, discern with the help of the Holy Spirit. Persons who have not yet been Baptized into the Christian Church should not take Communion.


If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting my work by buying one of my ebooks, shopping at Mitch’s General Store, or supporting me on Patreon.

Gauntlet: Mettle Maker #258

This week I’m throwing down the gauntlet — I’m challenging you to get more done this coming week than I did this past week.  Here’s a top-level rundown of what I’ve done in the last 7 days:

  • Had a public conversation with the Vinny Raposa of Team Raposa Martial Arts in Newark NJ and put it up on YouTube.  We talked about Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble.  Watch it here.
  • Started a new weekly online meeting called Let’s Talk Martial Arts.  Come and join us this Saturday at 2 PM.
  • Started a new weekly online chat for my Independent Catholic Meetup called God and Coffee. Come on by this Sunday a 10:00 AM, we’d love to have you!
  • This Sunday will be my fourth week presenting Holy Communion for my church, Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary.  
  • This has meant that I’ve had to write formal homilies (a.k.a. “sermons” for you protestants out there).  Here’s a link to last week’s: Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 25th 2021
  • I carved, sanded and finished a new fighting cane (it finally broke after 10+ years of use, including hitting heavy bags)
  • Almost finished my altar stone.  There are very specific requirements that have to be met before I request my Bishop bless it for use in my home chapel.
  • I finished work on the revamped Fool’s Journey for the upcoming 2nd edition of Cabal Fang: Complete Study Course from Querent to Elder.  
  • I finally read The Varieties of Religious Experience by Wm. James.  A smash hit, and still relevant after 100+ years.
  • Total training time, fitness and martial arts: 10.25 hours

This is not me bragging — this is me trying to encourage you to put down your cell phone, shut off the TV, and go get things done.  Not in a “chalking up numbers” sort of way, but in a “get engaged in the art of living” sort of way.

In last week’s mettle maker I suggested that the things that you think make you unique — your likes and dislikes, your favorite food, favorite movies, etc. — might actually be the things that prove you’re just like everyone else.  What might make you truly unique?

More on this topic in the mettle maker below.

Gauntlet: Mettle Maker #258

  • Before you train, warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Do some practical command and mastery with your chosen weapon.  16 min. pyramid of Air Strikes (10), Crawls (5 yards), Sprints ( 5 yards out/back = 1), and Russian Squats (2).  Start an 8:00 timer.  Do 10 Air Strikes, Crawl 5 yards, Sprint 5 yards out/back, and do 2 Russian Squats — striking the air with your blunt training weapon the entire time.  Then do 20 Air Strikes, Crawl 10 yards, Sprint 10 yards out/back, and do 4 Russian Squats.  Keep climbing until the timer beeps, then climb down.
  • Pick up something heavy.  Try a Cross-walk — a Shoulder Carry and a Farmer’s Walk at the same time.  I used a 65# Sandbag for the shoulder carry and I put #60 on my Farmer Carry rig.  Walk as far as you can, rest a minute, and then do it again switching sides.  I love this combo for practical strength.
  • Read an old book.  When was the last time you read a book at all, much less an old book?  Here’s a challenge: pick up a book that’s at least 100 years old and give it a go.  Reading Wm. James has been a real eye-opener.  This man knew more about human nature — and offers more practical advice — than many so-called modern experts.
  • Think about who and what you are.  Yesterday is gone and future is unwritten.  Neither is real.  Therefore the only thing you could possibly be is what you are doing right now.  Think about it.  No, really.  Actually think about it.  Set a time for 10 minutes or so.  Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch.  Think in a focused way about the fact that you are only what you are doing right now.  This is a form of meditation.  Get there.    


TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

A Journey Begins — and a Freebie for the Engaged

Any idea what these snapshots of my training log clipboard reveal? Any clue there as to what I’m working on?

Are you engaged in my work, or just a tourist?

First person to correctly guess what I’m working on, post in the comments and I’ll ship you a free t-shirt.



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Let’s Talk Martial Arts!

Always wanted to ask me questions about Cabal Fang, Bobcat Martial arts, Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble, etc.?  Join me this Sat. 5/1/21 at 2 PM EST for a zoom call — ask me anything!

Click here to join:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83282137038

 



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Independent Catholic Holy Communion: Fourth Sunday of Easter, Apr. 25, 2021

I am a Deacon in Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary, and the Host I am consuming in the Communion video below has been Consecrated by my Bishop for this purpose. This is the Body of Christ, and must be given the Sacred Reverence due the Son of God.

Those desiring to follow along and partake of Communion at home should first consider carefully. If you are also a Sacramental Christian, you should observe the guidance of your Bishop, as to whether, and in what manner, you may partake of Communion at home.  Other Baptized Christians should observe the guidance of their Pastor or, if unchurched, discern with the help of the Holy Spirit. Persons who have not yet been Baptized into the Christian Church should not take Communion.


If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting my work by buying one of my ebooks, shopping at Mitch’s General Store, or supporting me on Patreon.

Eighth Anniversary: Mettle Maker #257

Can you believe it?  Today is the 8th anniversary of the weekly mettle maker — time flies when you’re having fun!

Over the years the frequency has changed, the name has changed, and the format has changed.  Which format do you like?  Did you prefer the experimental formats of last week and week before?  Do you like the format below?  Or is one of the old styles more to your liking?  Please post in the comments and let me know.  

The goal of these mettle makers is to inspire you to take charge of your life — your education, your strength and fitness, your attitude, and your relationship with God.  Whatever you do, don’t live your life in service of fashion, entertainment, food, comfort, or anything like that. 

The things that you think make you unique — your likes and dislikes, your favorite food, favorite movies, etc. — might actually be the things that prove you’re just like everyone else.  What might make you truly unique?

Think about it.

Eighth Anniversary: Mettle Maker #257

  • Loosen up your shackles. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • wp-1619107852901.jpg

    MBF dice available at http://www.mitch.store

    Seize hold of your fitness.  If you do MBF every day (or close to it) you can afford to dial back the intensity as compared to training martial fitness once or twice-per-week.  If you’re not using the MBF program several times a week, you have to a little harder.  Try a 15-minute half-pyramid of Rope Climbs, Sit-outs, Bag Lifts, and Leg Triangles.  Do 1 of each, then 2 of each, then 3, 4, etc. until the timer beeps.    
  • Break free of the ordinary.  Go for a P.O.W. run.  Interlace your fingers behind your head and run 1 mile as fast as you can.  This arm position (a) makes it impossible to fully fill your lungs and (b) wrecks pelvic rotation, eliminates arm lift energy, and removes your arms’ ability to counterbalance the legs.  1 mile will feel like 3.
  • Tackle the tough questions.  Take the self-defense quiz below and see how you do.
  • Liberate your taste buds with some maple seeds.  Maple seeds are an edible, high protein food — great for a fun snack or as a survival food.  Catch some maple keys or “helicopters” before they get too dry.  Split the casing at the spine to liberate a smallish green seed (technically a fruit I think).  Eat them raw or toast them at 350F for 10 minutes as a snack, salad addition, topping for cereal or granola, etc.  When toasted they remind me of a cross between a sunflower seed and a soybean (complete with the bitter finish of the latter).  Pics below.  Charge up your batteries.  Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples on a pond and your mind to approach a state of calm and relaxed awareness.  Do not think at all, but especially not in words — do not evaluate, judge, make lists, fixate on emotions, let your mind wander, or any of that.  Just breathe and be.  This is called “contemplation” and practicing it regularly is associated with improved emotional resilience, increased patience reserves, and more.  Add prayer and it works even better.   

Self-Defense Quiz 

Question

Column 1              

Column 2

1. Can you safely change a flat tire on your car?

 

Yes

No

 

2. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  How many friends do you have in your circle who have been involved in violent altercations?

 

None

1 or more

3. Do you wear earbuds or headphones in public places – while shopping, running, walking, at the gym, etc.? 

Yes

No

4. How do you pass the time while waiting – in a supermarket line, in a waiting room for a doctor’s appointment, etc.

 

People watching, chatting w/ a friend, flipping through a magazine

 

Watching videos, engrossed in your phone, reading a book

5. Can you picture at least two exits from your place of employment – one front and one rear?

No

Yes

6. When you park, do you pull in or back in?

Pull in

Back in

7. By what criteria do you choose your seat in a restaurant?

Noise, view of entrance, proximity to exit

 

Proximity to kitchen, décor, comfort of seating, or at random

8. When was the last time you had the oil changed in your car?

More than 6 months ago

Less than 6 months ago

9. What’s the last thing you do before you leave on a trip?

Go the bathroom

Inform 2 or more people where you’re going and when to expect you home

10. How many of the following do you have in your pockets or purse right now?  Lighter, flashlight, knife, $20 cash

2 or less

3 or 4

11. How much gas in your car’s gas tank right now?

More than a 1/4 tank

1/4 tank or less

12. How many of these do you have in your car right now? Blanket, stocking cap, water, snacks, lighter, tow rope or chain, first aid kit

4 or less

5 or more

13. How much food do you have in your home pantry (dry goods, such as rice, cereal,

<1 month

1 month or more

Answers:  Preferred answers to questions 1, 2, 4, 7, and 11 are in Column A.  The rest are in Column B.  

 



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

GIVE TO ME a Poem

20180609_163025.jpg

I’ve found that you’ve given me
Give to me, give to me
Much more than I meant to give
Give to me, give to me
You came from the killing tree
And I from the bull and bee
But I gave and you gave to me
I called and you came to me
Hear my plea, hear my plea

If I lost what you gave to me
Give to me, give to me
Four locks and trilling three
Hear my plea, hear my plea
I’d hunt for the world to see
I’d run to the rocks and sea
I’d dig for the golden key
I’d wait in the broken lee
Hear my plea, hear my plea

One source and it’s you for me
One thing and it’s meant to be
One step and it’s meant to be
Give to me, hear my plea


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

DIY Double End Ball for Boxing and Martial Arts

I’ve talked about this thing before, but it’s so cool and practical, I had to bring it up again.  Make one.  Get dirty.

 



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

In Lieu of Holy Communion: Jesus the Revolutionary

I have to fill in for my bishop online today so, in lieu of the usual Holy Communion video, I’m just providing a rough draft of my homily.  I should be back to the usual routine soon.  Thanks and God Bless!


If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting my work by buying one of my ebooks, shopping at Mitch’s General Store, or supporting me on Patreon.