I wish I spoke Greek so I could talk to my landlord about all kinds of things in depth. She speaks English well enough that we can confer about basic things like the rent and the pipes in the basement, but I would like to be able to speak to her in detail her thoughts on marriage and what she thinks of American culture compared with her upbringing. Since these kinds of substantial conversations seem to elude us, we've learned to communicate through what I'm guessing is the oldest and most universal language.
I like getting a pedicure now and then, and I enjoy cooking. But I generally prefer to keep those things as separate activities. It's not that I'm not open to creative combinations or dabbling in different areas (take a look at my bio), but I generally don't want to be thinking about preparing tomato sauce when my cuticles are being pruned.
Recently I had the unexpected privilege of sitting in on an annual orientation event for incoming students in the Master of Public Policy program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. I watched 250 students walk up to a podium one at a time for their “15 seconds of fame”, during which they were free to introduce themselves to their new classmates in any way they chose until a bell rang.
This summer I worked with a young woman who wanted to improve her writing skills before starting college. Though we got along well, I got the sense she had a lot of other things going on that took her attention away from writing. Going to college is a huge thing, and there are plenty of things to think about in preparation for the big move away from home.
As much as I love words, nothing communicates quite as powerfully as a good piece of music. One of the most impressive musical communicators I've witnessed is Pat Metheny, whose "Orchestrion" has taken sound and experience to levels I cannot quite describe. I wish that you could experience it in person as I did. If you can get there, go.