Executive Recorder and Editor of the Cardinal, OFLA
Spanish Teacher, St. Gabriel Consolidated School, Cincinnati, Ohio
“The art or craft of writing is a clumsy attempt to find symbols for the wordlessness,” said award-winning author John Steinbeck when he was asked about writing. I found this quote while writing this article for The Cardinal, with a topic of writing an article for The Cardinal. I’d like to take a moment as we start a new year to remind ourselves about The Cardinal and why we need authors and articles. This is not a shameless sales pitch. You won’t get paid, no eternal glory, but you will help other members of the world language profession. You may never hear, see, or know how you have helped another OFLA member. Your ideas, techniques, lesson plans, or anything else you may write about may affect them and their students in a very positive way—and this intangible, unknowable fact serves as my motivation for writing this article. Regardless of how much time you have taught world languages, we all have things that work well and can be shared.
Back to the Steinbeck quote, the word that got my attention is wordlessness. I will confess that I had to look it up, just of get a better idea of what he meant by it. Some of the definitions include the following: not expressed in words, unspoken, inarticulate and silent. What we do and why we do it is not easily explained. Expressing what works and why it works is not easily discernible, observable or perceptible. OK, I confess, I used a thesaurus, but I hope that my point is visible and detectible, that taking the time to share your ideas to The Cardinal benefits all OFLA members.