I recall reading writing by the poet P.K. Page about her time in Brazil, as the wife of a Canadian ambassador. She didn’t understand Portuguese. She said she felt reduced to the state of a child, not knowing what is being said or how to express basically anything verbal. It was a time, for her, of being profoundly helpless but also rather inspired in English, poetically, and in story. Words meant something to her, not being able to communicate very well in Portuguese-speaking Brazil. She valued what she could say (in English) about the fascinating beauty of Brazil.
My head, in trying to learn ActionScript, is not immersed, in the same way, with Portuguese as Page was. I am immersed in ActionScript but it is not in the daily and outside world so much as in the world of my read and written discourse as a writer of software.
But certainly there has been a great deal of frustration and feelings of helplessness. I have four books, all the online and offline documentation of Flash Builder and Flash, the FlashCoders list, the Lynda.com video tutorials, and all the online third-party documentation to understand the Flash development platform. And my native brain.
I am very slow in being able to read and write what I need to read and write. So slow that it seems I’m barely getting anything done. Frustrating. The progress is daily, also, however. But so slow and crawling, compared to how quickly I work in Director, that it feels like I am crawling around a huge room and have very limited mobility in my crawling. WWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Learning new languages, be they computer languages or whatever, is an educational experience it’s hard to savor, at certain points. One feels too helpless, hopeless, ignorant, challenged, overwhelmed, and so on.
I have to keep telling myself that this stage will pass, and I will pass into a new literacy and ability to create new types of work I haven’t been able to. The carrot is the possib of being able to explore, after a while, the creation of types of art machines I haven’t yet been able to.