Right, where do I start... there are very many things I'd like to say, and questions I'd like to ask, and so it's difficult to decide what should come first. I hope that you will excuse me if this first blog gets a bit chaotic :)
Of course, I'd like to say hello to my new English teacher - Hi Sophie :) I've read your first post with great interest, and some of it with my jaw dropped - in a positive sense, of course! - where you give etymologies from French, German or Latin. I'm happy to have such a well-read teacher to help me, and I'm sure that blogging with you will 'broaden my horizons'. I myself speak only a little German and French, but even so I often realise how helpful it is to know the origins of a word to be able to use it in the right context.
It is also surprising (again, in a positive way) that you know my country, personally that is. A year spent in Poland must have given you a lot of insight into what Polish people are like? Please do tell me more about your job here, and what impressions you have of Poland - it doesn't necessarily have to be complimentary, you know :)
Then, I'd like to say hello to everyone else who might join in this fun way of learning. Please feel free to comment on anything you like, and ask any questions you like - I am rather a direct person! Farha, thank you for your comment, you were the first to write! Yes, I will try to write a lot about my country, so by the end of the month the name Poland should sound more familiar :-)
Now, a few lines of introduction shouldn't be out of place.
My name is £ukasz - the first letter is an L with a dash, I wonder if it will show correctly when I post it. Anyway, that funny L is pronounced like "w" in English, that's why some of the more ignorant friends of mine spell my name "Woocash" - which looks funny but sounds in English more or less as it should.
I was born in November 1973, so I am 34 and born under Scorpio :)
My family originally lived in Warsaw, the capital, and I was born there. I never really liked that place - huge blocks of flats, huge schools, everything made of concrete, grim and overwhelming. I didn't like my school either - I was a shy kid, with not many friends around. Gosh, now I look back on it I feel happy that that stage of my life is over :)
When I was 16, so somewhere in the middle of my secondary education, my father got a job in the Netherlands and we all moved there - both my parents, my brother (he's 6 years younger than me) and my sister, who at that time inhabited my mother's womb :) Yes, she's about 16 years younger, will turn 18 this December.
Holland was where my adventure with the English language really started. When I went there I could only speak a few basic lines, and then all of a sudden was placed in an "IB" type of college, where all subjects were taught in English (the lesser evil, still, comparing to a Dutch college where I would not be able to understand a word!). I can remember my first class there - a Geography lesson, where the teacher got amazed at me not following some very basic ideas... All I could do was to sit there in all the classes, pretending to understand what was going on, and then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening, going through all the notes and textbooks, looking up word after word after word... Day in, day out. Very strenuous two years these were, but worth it: when I was 18 I passed all the final examinations in English, and with good results too.
At that stage my parents had to move back to Poland, so I decided to go with them: Poland was not part of EU then, and it would have been very difficult, if at all possible, for me to stay and study there, or in the UK. We settled down in Poznan, and I spent 5 years studying marketing and management (not very interesting, it turned out), and then got a job with a British software company - mainly because I could communicate with them, not because I knew much about software.
I worked with them for some 7 years, and these were fine 7 years: I travelled around Poland, making presentations of the program, and I occasionally had a chance to visit UK, as the head office was in Surbiton near London. I then thought I need to "develop" and decided to change my employer in favour of a large IT corporation - a Microsoft partner. A complete mistake - I became a cog in the machine, I hated it and quit it after 6 months. Ever since then, that is for the last two years, I've been doing all sorts of odd freelance jobs, giving myself time to think what I want to do, what I am able to do and what will turn out right in the long term.
Phew, this first post is indeed more chaotic, or rambling, than it should be... and I feel sort of guilty writing about myself all the time! I'd better finish it here and now.
I will just add, to answer your questions Sophie, that I never studied English as such, but I did those two years of secondary school in English; I never did any English exams either (I have been thinking about them, but they are quite expensive, so unless I have a clear purpose for passing one, I don't want to spend the money...). And of course I have friends living in the UK now, but I'll write more next time. Oh, and please do point out every mistake you spot, as long as you have the energy to do so - it is very valuable to me.
OK, it is nearly 3 a.m. now, time to say good-bye!
Talk to you soon,
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