highways: [Super Junior's Siwon, chin in his hand.] (SUPER JUNIOR ☌ 從頭到尾)
I made another Tumblr for linguistics related things!

I also totally screwed up my first assignment this semester, which was supposed to be a short paper on any topic of phonology of any Austronesian language in any of the regions randomly assigned to me, which were the islands of Taiwan, Sumatra, and Java, basically. So when I discovered the Javanese script -- writing systems geek that I am -- I was like, booyah, I'll write about Javanese phonology and how Javanese phonological rules are expressed with it. That sort of thing is super awesome and interesting to me, especially since the writing system is derived from Indic writing and was not at all designed to work with Javanese.

... Yeah, it turns out that's not exactly the kind of paper you just bang out in a couple weeks. Hell, nearly all the literature on Javanese appears to be in Dutch and German, thanks to the colonial history of the region, and even working with the materials I was able to find in English (a couple of hand typed dissertations from the sixties, mostly) it's not exactly a simple topic. I could probably write a term paper on this. Or not, since I'm kind of starting to doubt my own competence, here.

But, yeah, sigh. You live and learn, I guess. I hope the prof respects the fact that the idea was (in my opinion) pretty damn cool, because I have no idea what I'm gonna actually be able to present in terms of hard facts this Friday.

I'm not the greatest at grad school, I'm pretty sure.
highways: [Concept art of Eric from the cartoon Dungeons & Dragons, wiping some dirt off his shoulder.] (D & D ☌ that was nothing.)
monday 9-2 substitute teaching availability

tuesday 10:30-11:45 syntax
tuesday 1-2 seminar: weekly guest speaker
tuesday 2-4:30 monitor the literature reading room

wednesday 9-2 substitute teaching availability
wednesday 3:30-6 seminar: topics in biocultural diversity

thursday 10:30-11:45 syntax
thursday 12-2 language documentation training center
thursday 3-6 seminar: introduction to documentary linguistics

friday 9-2 substitute teaching availability

unscheduled 4 hours/week coursera: introduction to sustainability
unscheduled 3 hours/week data entry for ELCat
unscheduled ~25 hours/week cashiering for office depot
So this is my schedule of hard commitments made thus far, and also some of it overlaps, like I'm planning on doing the ElCat work while I'm sitting in the reading room. The sub position is probably a blessing is disguise, because obviously I'll only need to go in when somebody else calls out, which is damn good money when they do and a nice block of study time when they don't.

Being overwhelmed is probably inevitable, especially when those seminars start expecting my presentations, but now that I've got my schedule finally hammered out I've pretty much spent the weekend on the beach. I'm going to regret this tomorrow, since I'll have to stay up tonight reading for class next week, and since I'm one of the publicity officers for LDTC I need to have some advertisements done by 10 tomorrow morning -- but I'll probably be working every weekend for the rest of my life rest of this semester, and c'mon, I live in Hawaii.
highways: [A close up image of Megan Fox, who appears to be shouting something happily.] (MEGAN ☌ smiling.)
Damn, have I really not made a real update in two months?

I live in Hawaii, now! I've lived here for about three days? I've walked an average of maybe six miles on each of those days, and not doing fun touristy stuff, more like trying to register for classes or how to get to Walmart to buy essentials. I did find a beach in Waikiki yesterday, and stood in the ocean for a minute or two (I don't actually own a bathing suit at the moment) and I walked aimlessly around the giant Ala Moana mall that I guess is a bit of an attraction. Mostly though I've been tired and somewhat miserable, which sounds super ungrateful when, hey, I live in Hawaii, but the adjustment's been pretty surprisingly rough.

Not helping is the fact that I forgot a lot of stuff in Arizona. Like, for instance, the power cord to my laptop.

I'll update more about my living arrangements later, I guess -- I live in a very crappy house in one of the more terrible sections of Honolulu, apparently, but there's some cool stuff too. Like the languages. In my neighborhood you hear a lot of Korean and Indonesian, and on the island in general there is a fuckton of Japanese, it's awesome.

Today I have to take a final exam I haven't studied for -- it's in phonetics, so I technically got an A on a similar test before ... like, a year and a half ago. Aha. If I can get a B or better I get to take something cool in addition to all my introductory courses, and if not, well, introductions are fine, too.
highways: [Lady from Devil May Cry, her expression serious, her eyes shielded by sunglasses.] (DEVIL MAY CRY ☌ to burn the eye)
Today's the first day in forever I don't have to either be at my internship or the job site in Chandler -- my dad actually wanted me to go home to Flagstaff this weekend, but I seriously didn't want to add another eight hour round trip on top of everything else. My folks want me to find a job in Flagstaff, which'll require me to commute between the two cities twice a week (they're more than 250 miles apart). Insane as that sounds, I'm actually considering it, FTR. I'm only in Tucson for four more months, and I'm not sure I'll be able to find anything that'll keep me on for that short a time. Applications for anything are always online these days anyway, so I'l do some applying I guess over the weekend.

It wouldn't be that different, in all honesty. I haven't really lived anywhere since 2008. It's actually why I picked this username. The subtitle should be, MY LIFE: IN TRANSIT.

The internship is going pretty great, I'm all kinds of competent! Well, not really. I prefer answering the phones to any kind of data entry, but I do a lot of both. I'm shit at offering a sympathetic ear but nobody's complained so far. I did 21 hours over three days there, which isn't usually going to be happening. I hate the formal clothes I have to wear. (I wear heels! Every day!) But I really feel like I'm helping people with what I'm doing, even if all I'm doing is connecting people with the other people who will actually do the helping.

[personal profile] unicorn got me this book called Internet Linguistics for Christmas, [livejournal.com profile] immelmanturn had pizza sent to our apartment last night in honor of my graduation. This means -- YES, YOU GUESSED IT -- pizza and reading all day, that is my plan. And maybe some laundry and completely thoughtless video games.
highways: [Concept art of Eric from the cartoon Dungeons & Dragons, wiping some dirt off his shoulder.] (D & D ☌ that was nothing.)
Oh god this morning I feel so much better it's honestly a relief—like, I didn't feel like I was walking on air or anything. In fact I hit my snooze button twice and then dragged myself out of bed in order to be ten minutes late to my morning Chinese class, where I passed out on my desk during break. But! That's actually very normal. I was totally normally tired and irritable for most of the day and I made it to all of my classes, my biweekly language exchange and I even squeezed in watching Thor: Tales of Asgard again with [livejournal.com profile] asgardianing. It's still just as terrible, and man if I was still into fandom I'd totally app that Loki somewhere. He is so adorable. He'd find an MCU!Thor and make this face at him and LOLs would be had by all.

On the more serious side of the news, I'm unwitting carrying out what I have decided to call the Headphone Massacre. Three pairs in the last two weeks have been destroyed by me somehow, and two of those were brand fucking new. Well I know how, I sat on one and bit through the wires of another and I stepped on the cord of the last ones while I was standing up, ripping the headphone jack out completely. Now I have no headphones and I want to replace them so I can actually listen to my iPod, but would I be buying a replacement, really? Or would I be buying another victim.

Someday I am going to do a longass anal THE MORE YOU KNOW: LINGUISTICS post on why "I could care less" and "I couldn't care less" mean exactly the same thing and linguistic prescriptivism in general, but I have an exam tomorrow so today is not that day.
highways: [Dante from Devil May Cry looks down in the dark, his eyes are hidden.] (MARVEL ☌ poli sci is so a science)
I find the linguistic situation in my dorm room fascinating. We're from the United States, Thailand, and Japan, and everybody in the room speaks English and Mandarin to varying levels of ability. So basically, there's an informal sort of language that we speak that's a mix of Mandarin and English vocabulary, and with a grammar that doesn't really resemble either. One sentence that totally blows my mind is, "I'm no garbage now!" because I'm the one that said it. (In context, it meant that I'd taken out all of my garbage finally and I didn't have anymore.) I'm a native speaker of English! And it's just linguistically interesting. How'd I even generate that? I think what it really means is, "I'm in the state of having no garbage." That just doesn't come from English, that is not how we construct that thought. So where'd I learn it? I have no idea.

MY MAJOR IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING IN THE WORLD.
highways: (D & D ☌ oh no.)
monday 9:10-12 Intensive Chinese
monday 13:10-15 籃球 Basketball
tuesday 9:10-12 Intensive Chinese
tuesday 13:10-16實用華語三 Practical Chinese 3
wednesday 10:10-12 游泳 Swimming
wednesday 15:10-17 展演臺灣:劇場與電影中的臺灣意象 Taiwan Performance: Theater and Taiwanese Imagery
thursday 9:10-12 Intensive Chinese
thursday15:10-17 幫派電影與暴力美學 Gangster Movie and Violence Aesthetics
friday 9:10-12 Intensive Chinese
friday 6:20-9 德文二 German II

Finally, I have a schedule for this semester. It is halfway through March yes and nobody even knows if the night school thing is happening. I suspect no. Intensive Chinese gets an underline because it is important, I have to pay extra for it, and also because it appears it will be terrifying, since the lady taking my forms arbitrarily decided to put me in the second highest level because I don't know why I told her not to. Also, by the way, knowing that my German class was second year German, not second semester German, might've made a difference, but I guess I'm caught up now!

I know about what I'm taking next semester back in Arizona, if not precisely what time I'm taking them. Basically I am going to try to get LING 300: Syntax, LING 315: Phonology, LING 421: Language Maintenance, Preservation, and Revitalization, SPAN 330: Conversation, SPAN 352: Politics and Culture in the Hispanic World, and CHIN 300+: Some Arbitrary Upper Division Mandarin Class.

Plus possibly something else, I don't know, nobody at my school feels I need to know if there's a senior capstone requirement or something like it. For most of my college career my graduation requirements have been left for me to divine alone, by magic or Google or some other arcane tool, apparently, and if I've missed something then man, I don't even know. Just give me my useless degree and let me fucking leave already. Look at the courses I take. Do you think I'm ever getting a job, degree or no degree? Come on, you know I'm not.
highways: (D & D ☌ literally angry with rage.)
My sister [personal profile] thor requested I crosspost this rant to a website she actually uses, even though I usually save my incoherent capslock rambling raging for my LiveJournal, and try to be somewhat calm and mature and thoughtful here. But whatever, okay.
Man, nothing, nothing makes me rage as irrationally as accent prejudice, man. I say irrationally because like, even though accent biases are undoubtably based on racist, classist, and xenophobic bullshit, and therefore good reason to rage, it's still probably not worth the incredible keyboard smashing fury they cause me. FYI if you ever tell me, "Oh, god, I can't stand the way Brazilians sound like when they speak English." all I fucking hear is, "Hey did you know I am a racist fuckhead I think you should RECONSIDER OUR FRIENDSHIP."

And I don't even understand most people's standards here man. I mean, like, this guy speaks bad English? And these guys? Seriously have you ever fucking talked to anybody edit: I initially intended to continue this sentence with "non-native speakers" or something and then I got distracted but I like it how it is. HAVE YOU EVER TALKED TO ANYBODY. EVER.

Oh and I love this comment: "I have to say that I have never found a FOB accent as attractive as Arrons. Actually, Arron's accent is the only asian accent I find attractive."

fjkalsfjkdaslfau9fds9

And I don't just encounter this crap over the Internet, it's like part of my daily life, and man. (Note: even though my Mandarin accent is horrendous as fuck, as far as I can tell none of this prejudice is actually directed at me, because I am white and I natively speak American English, which is possibly the most prestigious dialect of the most prestigious language on the planet right now. MY SOUTHEAST ASIAN FRIENDS THOUGH? Ugh.)

HELP ME NUKE THE WORLD


Oh related rant, it sort of bugs me when adult Mandarin learners are all, reading Chinese is so impossible, I have been studying for eight years and I have never read even one book in Chinese, it was too hard. Okay. I know that learning the hanzis is a formidable task but here's the thing, Chinese people are not born reading Chinese. OBVIOUS, I KNOW, BUT! The only reason Chinese people effortlessly read Chinese is because they have STUDIED and LEARNED and PRACTICED and read DAILY FOR ALMOST ALL OF THEIR LIFE. It's fucking stupid to admit you have never even read one book and then denounce the whole fucking character system as impossible. READ THAT BOOK. READ THE NEXT ONE! THAT ONE WILL BE EASIER goddamn. Like reading Chinese in pinyin wouldn't be a goddamn nightmare anyway.

YOU GUYS MIGHT NOT KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT BUT TAKE MY FUCKING WORD FOR IT, THIS SHIT'S OBNOXIOUS
Normally I'm much more articulate. Uh, honest.
highways: [A black and white image of a figure slumped forward on their knees, their hair falling forward to obscure their face.] (STOCK ☌ until it sleeps.)
This afternoon I was IMing [personal profile] unicorn and [personal profile] thor and I put my head down on my keyboard, and when I picked it up again it was an hour and a half later and after I worked out the what the fuck happened? where the hell am I? I had to go to German. Which is, by the way, Taiwan's one opportunity for me to feel superior, since as much as its grammar might kick my ass on a regular basis, in my class I am the only person who's a native speaker of a Germanic language—except, maybe, the professor, I don't know where she's from—plus English has a vocabulary overlap with German of like, sixty percent. Basically I know more than everyone else in the classroom by doing nothing, studying nothing, just by existing. This makes me feel super smart even though I did nothing to earn it.

In all other circumstances I am an illiterate idiot. One who can segment Chinese, though. Even if I can't understand it any better than I could when I got here three weeks ago, which is frustrating, I know my subconscious is up to something because word boundaries are super obvious to me now, I can recognize other non-native Chinese speakers by their accent, and really the whole language sounds a lot different than it did before.

And writing in English gets harder all the time. This entry? It took me forever, and I know the wording in places is awkward as hell. It's probably because I haven't had an actual face-to-face conversation with another native English speaker in days, but goddamnit, I have been here for three weeks. THREE WEEKS. It's like my brain is all, fuck this, DIVERT RESOURCES, SHE DOESN'T EVEN USE ENGLISH ANYMORE ANYWAY.

Edit: BEHOLD, A FANDOM LINK, "Hey, Inception Fandom. Let's talk about Yusuf for a minute." by [personal profile] effex. Yes, lets. Includes a bunch of fic recs I'll probably check out tomorrow, because tbh he's one of the few characters in that movie with a distinct voice at all. So far I've only really read fic about him actually.
highways: [A bright, gold-colored sunrise over a winding road.] (STOCK ☌ on a long and lonesome highway.)
I just subscribed to a whole mess o' people. If you're wondering who the fuck [personal profile] highways is, that is me!

Obviously.

Here is a completely boring linguistics related anecdote: last night I was surfing this website about grad schools when an ad in the corner caught my eye. "...El QS World Grad School Tour y las más prestigiosas universidades te ofrecen casi 400.000$ en becas para que cumplas tu sueños académicos." There's really nothing about the ad that's important, except how when I saw it I had a split second of that stupid really? my dreams~? feeling that throwaway characters in television commercials articulate. Since I am a geek, after I closed the window I continued to ponder this, and I finally decided that since I was reading in my second language, I totally took the "your academic dreams" phrasing and in fact the entire guarantee literally for a second, there. It's like I can process Spanish quickly enough to not think really hard about what I'm reading or listening to, but not well enough for a lot of complex judgments and analysis to happen automatically, under the surface. I'm actually dumber in Spanish, is what I'm saying.

I should probably subject you all to my terrible Spanish at some point, before I start forgetting it. Come to think of it, is there a Spanish community on Dreamwidth? Searching by keywords turns up nothing active.
highways: [Dante from Devil May Cry looks down in the dark, his eyes are hidden.] (STOCK - until it sleeps.)

[personal profile] thor is back in Flagstaff. [personal profile] reign is a douchebag doing his best to destroy my credit history. All is normal in the world, if not quite right.

Actually the Powers-That-Be seem determined to force me into a very early bankruptcy, but still I soldier onward. In between feeling rather helpless, frustrated, and certain that my life is inexorably fucked, I'm mostly pretty satisfied, mostly because at least I'm busy. It's like that even though there will be no end to the things I fuck up—because there totally won't—but so long as I have something to move on towards, I at least won't have time to dwell on them.

In somewhat related news, I have yet to apply for my visa, and I'm also sucking at school.

I've spent the last couple days researching Middle English and Old English. Mostly I'm focusing on Old English, because I find it pretty fascinating, but mostly I'm bitter that we lost our case system and now I'm completely unable to do declinations in any other language at all. Here's what Old English looks like: "Swæ feawa hiora wæron ðæt ic furðum anne anlepne ne mæg geðencean be suðan Temese ða ða ic to rice feng. Gode ælmihtegum sie ðonc ðætte we nu ænigne onstal habbað lareowa. Ond for ðon ic ðe bebiode ðæt ðu do swæ ic geliefe ðæt ðu wille, ðæt ðu ðe ðissa woruldðinga to ðæm geæmetige swæ ðu oftost mæge, ðæt ðu ðone wisdom ðe ðe God sealde ðær ðær ðu hiene befæstan mæge, befæste." That is gnarly, to use some more outdated vernacular, there.

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