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.

highways: [David Jacobs and Jack Kelly from Newsies. David is lecturing, Jack ignoring.] (NEWSIES ☌ you're gonna go far kid)
This article explains a lot of what is going on in Arizona right now, pretty accurately as far as I can tell. It does it way better than I could, anyway, because honestly it's hard to get past the rage and despair when I try to articulate stuff.
"For sheer temerity, the Grand Canyon State remains unparalleled in its monumental ruination. Following the international debacle that was SB 1070 and the national tragedy of the Tucson massacre, the state legislature has been hard at work to eliminate the vestiges of the public healthcare system, deny organ transplants to dying patients, cut educational spending to the bone, and pass titanic corporate tax cuts at the same time. ... As if to reinforce the audacity of hopelessness that has become the state's nouveau calling card, Arizona's right-wing supermajority is poised to pass Senate Bill 1433, which essentially allows the state legislature to choose which federal laws it will follow."
It also covers the half-serious attempt Southern Arizona is making to secede from Arizona itself, which I know will be reported in conservative media as evidence of what those crazy liberals are up to, but the politician who submitted the amendment had a point, man. If the Arizona legislature can just excuse itself from having to obey the federal government, why can't some of us Arizonans just ignore them?

I am actually scared, guys. You might think that's overdramatic when it comes to politics, but I don't know what else to say, man. I've lived in Arizona since I was eleven. And I'm pretty positive that once I get a chance to pick where I live, if I even still decide to live in the States, I'm going back to LA. Dude, I never thought I'd say that.
highways: [Dante from Devil May Cry looks down in the dark, his eyes are hidden.] (汪東城 ☌ 就算世界 與我為敵)
I have been absent from Dreamwidth lately, partially because I was crazy busy with schoolwork, presentations, and exams, and partially because I was having too hard a time with culture shock and its related complications to really be able to write a, hmm, fair and balanced view of how I was doing in Taiwan. I am mostly better now; exams are over, I actually got a 90 on a paper I was sure I failed, and I've picked up another part time English tutoring job I'm woefully unqualified for. I did end up failing my German midterm, but that's less to do with the language having it in for me than it has to do with how I was completely unprepared for basically nothing but English to German translation. Well, and unprepared generally, but still, this is how they test you on language abilities here? Translation and rote memorization and vocabulary? A rant for another time.

I still love Fahrenheit more than is healthy for me, though I'm pretty sure they've literally taught me hundreds of words by this point. Otherwise Mandarin is kicking my ass.

I'm going to 高雄 this weekend! The English for that is technically Kaohsiang but seriously, the longer I'm here, the more I hate Wade-Giles romanization. You know how you say that word? Gāoxióng. Is that even close? No it is not. Anyhow, it's the second largest city in Taiwan, after Taipei—I live in city number three, Taichung—it's on the southwest corner of the island, right on the coast, and is apparently super nice and pretty. We'll see!

Also of note: a few days ago the island was hit with a small but not insignificant earthquake, and since our room is on the 9th floor we felt that for a hell of a long time, like a minute at least. Also, due to this taekwondo controversy, Taiwanese people are like burning Korean flags and refusing to buy Korean food and shit, Korean bands like SNSD and Taiwanese bands like FRH are canceling trips to each other's countries, it's totally serious. It's basically completely overshadowing the fact that North Korea like totally attacked South Korea the other day. Taekwondo is serious business.


highways: [Dante from Devil May Cry looks down in the dark, his eyes are hidden.] (Default)

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