Thursday July 10, 2008
Much Ado About Flashcards
After two years of French I finally got off my ass yesterday to search for flashcards. Not the prefabricated flashcards you find in a bookstore’s foreign language section but the kind I used studying Chinese 20 years ago. I carried them around for years. They were white, blank and about the size of the Chance and Community Chest cards you get in a Monopoly game. Made from similar stock, too, so you could write in black magic marker on both sides and not have it leak through. They came in sets of 50 or 100, maybe more, and packaged in a clear plastic container to prevent damage. They were perfect. But of course they were bought in Taiwan, probably made there, too, and subsequent attempts to find similar blank flashcards in the states have gotten nowhere. Yesterday, in lower Queen Anne, after visiting a stationary store that had closed without my notice, and a Kinko’s surprisingly devoid of paper, I tried the local chain drugstore, and, after being misdirected to children’s pre-fab flashcards (numbers, alphabet), went with Mead’s half-sized index cards, in pastel colors, with lines on one side. They were a bit plumper, or more squarish, than I would have liked, and the stock, once the plastic wrap was removed, wasn’t particularly sturdy, but they’ll do. But if anyone knows of a good place to buy white, blank flashcards, let me know. It’s an increasingly familiar story. The thing I want to buy is not only not available but considered somewhat anachronistic.