Today I traded the purple iPod Nano my brother bought me for my birthday and got a 32 gb iPod Touch. It was not an easy decision, as my older brother thought I should wait til the fall when the fourth generation will be out, and my twin bro offered me the option of buying a used Touch for half the price (from some guy he doesn't really know). But in the end I bought what I wanted, so I'm happy.
I like it lots. :)
So today was humorously disastrous.
We were down the hill in our backyard (we have about 2 acres) trying to burn the remnants of our burn pile that didn't disappear yesterday. My mom had just gotten the dixie chopper lawnmower back from some questionable mechanics this morning (they said they'd changed the oil, but when we checked it was on low. Hmmmmmmmmm.) and she was going to mow while my sister and I watched the pile.
So me and my younger sister were tending to the burn pile and mom was mowing down by the fence. She came back up the hill to where we were to put more oil in it. However, some sort of pissed off insect, a hornet or a wasp, I dunno, came after my mom's head while she was doing this. She ran over and stuck her head under the waterhose to get it away from her. My sister and I kinda laughed at this, though we pointed out that last year she got stung in the face when she tried to mow down by that tree, so maybe it would be best left alone. She got back on the mower and went back down there to continue mowing.
However, she came back up cause the mower wasn't acting right and she got too close to the quilt we had laying out (though she swears she didn't) and it got sucked up in the blades. Awesomeness. On the quilt were all three of our cellphones, which fortunately were not chopped up, though my mom's bluetooth headset was trashed. We were just looking this over when the insane bug came back after her. She ran halfway up the hill getting away from it. Again, a little amusing.
But then the damned insect came after me! I took off into my neighbor's yard, flailing my arms and shaking my head, hoping the insect wouldn't be able to land on me long enough to sting me. Somehow I lost my flip-flopped footing and faceplanted onto the ground. Major ouchies. I hit cheekbone-first and I may end up with a black eye tomorrow. I also scraped my shoulder and knees. Woo.
Anyways, I popped up fine, and my mom was momentarily relieved, but then the damned bug went after her again, so she ran back to the water hose and stuck her head underneath it.
My sister had been laughing throughout all of this, but then the bug came after her (ha), and she ran screaming into our neighbor's yard. I was just getting my breath back when the goddamned thing came after me, again, and I ran all the way up the hill and to the front of the house before it left me alone (I could hear it buzzing in my ear the whole way).
By the time I (cautiously) came back down, the bug had disappeared and mom had gotten the quilt out of the mower, but the belt had somehow snapped in half. My sister refused to go anywhere near that part of the yard, and with the burn pile mostly embers, we packed it up and called it a day. Mom made me hold ice on my face for half an hour, so it is no longer swollen, but still tender and scratched up. So I have a sore face and a headache and our mower is, once again, useless.
What an awesome day.
I'm back in Norman for the Breath of Life Workshop! It's a week-long workshop for language groups that don't have any fluent native speakers, and thus are going to have to rely heavily on linguistic documentation materials and archives in order to revitalize/reclaim their language. I'm a mentor, we're here to help the participants decipher the materials and archives that they have/we find this week. I'm working with the Natchez group. It's pretty exhausting at the end of the day, but really fun and I'm just happy to be of any help that I can. I'm also learning a lot myself.
However, I forgot to pack underwear/shampoo/conditioner (I know, I suck, but most of my stuff was still packed up from moving), so I need to make a Wal-mart trip sometime tonight so I can shower. But first, I believe a group is going out to dinner somewhere, so yay for making friends. My roommate is a PhD student at UT Arlington, she's very quiet, but seems to be very sweet. The director of their program is here, too, I met her in Tahlequah, she's really nice, she started talking up their PhD program to me today. If only Arlington weren't part of the Dallas metroplex (I really don't like big cities...), as I kinda like the idea of getting a PhD in Linguistics (as opposed to Anthropology, as it is here) and also not being in tornado alley, but being close enough to Oklahoma that I could still do work here. *sigh*
I've heard two amusing jokes here. One about Oklahoma, the other about Arkansas.
The first: Why is it so windy in Oklahoma? Cause Texas sucks, and Kansas blows.
The second: How do you know that the toothbrush was invented in Arkansas? Cause otherwise it'd have been called a "teethbrush".
So my apartment is kicking me out on the 14th, which is the last day of finals here. I have no idea who the hell thought that was a good idea, but they're being pretty dang strict on it. I didn't sign up in time to get a slot on Thursday or Friday, and there's no way in hell I could get out of here by the 12th (a week from now), so I had to practically beg them to check me out at 3 on Friday, the time slot my roommate was able to get.
Anyways. I just got an e-mail from my professor asking if I could be a student mentor at the Breath of Life workshop here May 23-28. These workshops began in California with Leanne Hinton (I think?) and they're for languages that have no speakers left. The workshop is to give individuals interested in working with the documentation on their language some background in linguistics and phonetics, so that they have some idea how to decipher the materials. I'm super excited about it.
The only problem is I wouldn't have anywhere to stay. I sent my professor an e-mail back and tried to neutrally mention this fact. I don't want to be a burden or seem like I"m begging and offend anyone, but I just wanted to put it out there just in case. Though I could definitely afford a room, I have the money. I just know me staying in a hotel room by myself would give my mom reason to freak out even more about this. She's already not happy about me having to turn back around after being home for only a week. But oh well.
I think this is pretty awesome. I love loving what I do. I just wish I had some sense of security that I could keep doing this.
In other news, I still have not started my 15-20 pager paper due Monday. My take home final is now due Monday as well, but I am going to get it done tonight and start the research paper tomorrow. Yes. I will. Hopefully.
I read this passage in an article for class today. I found it rather amusing.
“Supposed you and I are walking on the road,” said Swamiji, the holy man whose storytelling I was researching in 1985. “You’ve gone to University. I haven’t studied anything. We’re walking. Some child has shit on the road. We both step in it. ‘That’s shit!’ I say. I scrape my foot; it’s gone. But educated people have doubts about everything. You say, ‘What’s this?!’ and rub your foot against the other.” Swamiji shot up from his prone position in the deck chair, and placing his feet on the linoleum, stared at them with intensity. He rubbed the right sole against the left ankle. “Then you reach down to feel what it could be,” his fingers now explored the ankle. A grin was breaking over his face. “Something sticky! You lift some up and sniff it. Then you say, ‘Oh! This is shit.’” The hand that had vigorously rubbed his nose was flung out in a gesture of disgust.”
“See how many places it touched in the meantime,” Swaimiji continued. “Educated people always doubt everything. They lie awake at night thinking, ‘What was that? Why did it happen? What is the meaning and the cause of it?’ Uneducated people pass judgment and walk on. They get a good night’s sleep.”
Narayan, Kirin. (1993). How Native is a “Native” Anthropologist? American Anthropologist, 95(3), 671-686.
Moral of the story: sometimes, we think too much about random shit. :)
I GOT OFFERED AN ASSISTANTSHIP!!!!!
It's from the department, though, and they said I'll get the details of my position at a later date. So I'm somewhat afraid I'll end up TAing for an archaeology class or something. Not that I'm meaning to complain, I'm totally happy to be receiving funding. I hope that I'll be the TA to the Native American Languages Program (which would involve making copies for all the instructors and such). I know that is a department position that they usually give to us linguists (the two second-years in my program have each had that position), but they may have already given it to one of them or they may no longer be offering it, what with all the budget cuts.
Also, the position is only for one semester, which means I'll be going through the same stress come Spring. Not fun. :( Stupid economical problems had to hit right when I got here.
More good news: Stephen is coming to visit me tomorrow!! I have to finish my evaluation of a French textbook for my night class tonight, but then I'll get two lovely days with him. I'm excited.
I'm not so excited to go home today. My roommate and I are going to try to get back into the Insanity program. Neither of us kept it up over Spring Break, so it's going to suck majorly today.
I met with a professor on Thursday about certification.
He was very...confusing. I spoke with him for almost two hours, and I still walked out confused about it all. But it seems I have three options:
1. Alternative Certification: take a few courses and then take exams and stuff at the state department.
AltCert is not really what I want, as from what I understand, it would be pretty much worthless outside of Oklahoma and I'm not really all that positive I'll be in the OK for the rest of my life. So I'd really like standard certification, please.
2. Standard Certification: take about 19 hours of course work (I think)? and then do all the stuff at the state department.
Apparently, Standard Certification means the university has to be able to recommend me to the state department for certification. I'd have to take certain classes and then also do some sort of student internship with a school. I think.
3. Standard Certification + Masters Degree: take 30 something hours of course work, do the state department stuff, and do another thesis.
The guy I spoke with was real big on this one. He didn't think Option #2 would be good, but then it was also his program that he was so keen on me taking. They don't offer any kind of education degree in foreign languages at the masters level- only in English, which is his program. But he thought they could make it work for me and that I would be better off getting the degree. At least, he was definitely of that opinion in the beginning, but I think later he changed his mind. I think.
He was just a strange guy all around. In our e-mails, he never said where to meet, so I figured his office, which online said was in a different building than it actually was. So I arrived 10 minutes late to the meeting because I went to his old office first, and then had to find someone who could tell me where his new office was, and then, of course, I had to run across campus to get to it. When I told him that, he pulled out a folder containing all of our e-mails and looked over them to make sure he hadn't told me his office location. I was like...srsly? You didn't believe what I said, so, what, do you think I'm lying or just stupid?
Anyways, it was a wonky start, but like I said, I was there for awhile, and he didn't seem like a bad guy he was just really...muddled about everything. No real definite answers. And when I tried to clarify, I got more muddled up answers and a feeling he was getting annoyed that I wasn't getting it. It was actually really frustrating. I wish there was someone else to talk to. Hopefully I'll get the chance to talk to my professor (for the teaching methods class) about it on Wednesday.
In the end, it seemed he thought Option #2 was good, though he kept saying I needed to contact the local high school and "work out a deal with them." I really had no idea what this meant. He talked about getting paid, and about selling myself to them (he said I had a lot to offer with Spanish, French, and Native American interests). I think what he meant was I needed to talk to them about internship stuff? But...I really don't know why I would talk to just that high school, when I know the university works with other high schools as well for the internships, and it didn't make sense to me to talk to the high school about certification stuff, since they have no control over it, only the state department does... ??? He also said I should look into working as a substitute teacher right now.
I dunno. I'm going to talk to some other professors before I go anywhere near that guy again.
Am feeling better about my financial situation since the last post. I spoke to Dr. O on Monday and he seemed surprised when I said I wasn't getting an assistantship (which surprised me...he was there) and he said he'd try to find some more money for his project to keep me around, but he wasn't making any promises. So...not great, but hopeful, at least.
Also discussed the morphology project I'm going to do on Plains Apache. One reason I really like Dr. O: he gets so excited about linguistics stuff and treats students as pretty much equals. He's just overall super encouraging.
Tomorrow I am meeting with someone to discuss teaching certification at the masters level. I'm also going to mention the financials and see if he has any pointers. Maybe I could get something from another department. We'll see.
I got an e-mail saying I am officially presenting at the OWNAL conference in April. Am getting a bit nervous about it already. I've never presented at a conference before. My morphology professor is presenting as well.
For the teaching methods course, I observed three native language classes today: Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw. It was really fun, though it made for a really long day. I was running around between classes from 9:30-4:30, I caught the 5 o'clock bus home, which didn't leave the station until 5:15 (it is supposed to get me home by 5:09), and then broke down four times only to die on the fifth about a block away from my apartment. I got home at 5:35, and my roommate and I quickly did our Insanity workout*, which ended just in time for me to then run to class, which lasted from 6:30-9:10. Yuck.
I got an e-mail yesterday about a study abroad program in Mexico this summer. The classes are taught in Spanish and you learn either Mixtec or Zapotec, two indigenous languages that have about .5 million speakers each (sounds like a lot but...really not). There is also a scholarship application that would cover all expenses. I e-mailed Dr. O and he said I should go for it, sooo...I'm gonna try for the scholarship. Dr. O said he'd write me a letter, but I'm not sure if I should also ask Dr. L or an old Spanish professor. Hrmm. Need to decide soon.
I got an e-mail today from Dr. L asking if I still wanted to do data entry for the upcoming language fair. I'd do it next week and the week after spring break and get PAID for my time. Yaaay, money.
*I haven't mentioned this here, but my roommate is all about getting in shape right now. She's running a marathon next month. I think this is motivated by her upcoming cruise in two weeks and her upcoming wedding in the summer. In any case, she got the Insanity program and I am doing it with her. We haven't missed a day yet, we're in the middle of week two. I like it so far. But it's a bitch fitting it in with our schedules and not doing it during quiet hours, as our downstairs neighbors apparently keep complaining about all the noise we make while we do it (but as long as we're not doing it during quiet hours, they can't make us stop). In any case, with two night classes, this often involves me arriving home just in time to jump into athletic clothes, do the work out, change back into nice clothes, and run to class. Not fun.
Met with my possible thesis chair today, Dr. L (as she had to sign a form saying she is currently my thesis chair, though this could change). She wants me to present the final paper I wrote in her class at an upcoming conference (yay feeling accomplished!!). Abstracts are due in a week and a half, so I need to get working on that. This is exciting, yet a bit nerve-wracking as well. The conference is in a town three hours away, and I'm not sure how accommodations are going to work...she didn't mention it, I didn't think to ask, so we'll just see how that goes. I'm pretty sure there are things I can apply for to help get this covered, if need be. But first I have to get accepted...
She also asked if I had any spare time (haha)/needed some extra income (ohyesplease), as the Native American Youth Language Fair is coming up and they could use some extra help entering in the information from the registration forms into the computer system. This would be around spring break, she said. If she means before/after, then yes I can. If she means during, then I probably won't be able to. We shall see.
Earlier in the week, I had to have Dr. O (the professor whose grant I am on) sign the form, and I think he was a bit put-off that I didn't have him down as my chair. I had it turned to the page he needed to sign on when I handed it to him. He flipped it back, scanned the whole thing with a frown, asked me where he was supposed to sign (the chair signs in a different place than the others), and I pointed it out (where the non-chairs sign) and he was like "Well who's your chair?" and I told him Dr. L. And he was like, oh, well, that could change if you do something with Plains Apache, and I said yes, it could, and then felt bad as I left. I suppose because I am on his grant (which I am very thankful to be on) he perhaps thought I'd end up being his student but...I dunno. If I do my thesis over what I did the aforementioned paper over, Dr. L would most definitely be my chair. If I work with Plains Apache, then it would be him. I'd love to do both, but I'm pretty sure that's not an option.
Also, I am just wondering what the hell I did all (extended) weekend (Stephen wasn't able to come, but he will be here this weekend, unless another freak ice storm this way comes). I have to read an article and do a critique over it, finish paperwork for SB funding, turn in said paperwork, go home, eat, de-ice my car, and drive back up to campus for my night class. And the coffee shop is all out of chaaaiiii. :(
Today has been spent stressing about money stuffs.
Soo my assistantship pays my tuition (with a limit of 9 hours I think) and then I have to pay student fees.
Last semester I think I owed about $2,000 or $2500 in student fees. Not great, but I could handle it (I put it on my credit card and have paid over half of it off).
I checked yesterday and it said I owe FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! I was like AHHHHHH. Since I'm new at all this stuff because I didn't deal with it at undergrad, I went to the office and questioned them about how it all works.
Turns out student fees are based on the number of hours you're taking, so since last semester I only had 11 hours (two 3 hour grad classes and the 5 hour Cherokee class), they were less. But this semester I have three 3 hour grad classes plus the 5 hour Cherokee class, so I think I'm paying for the Cherokee class tuition in full on top of all my fees, which are more now because of the extra hours.
I dunno, I used the tuition calculator thing and just Cherokee by itself comes out to around $3,000 (tuition and fees included). So if that class alone is costing me that much, I am definitely just gonna have to drop it. Which sucks. Hopefully I'll continue to sit in on it, but meh. I feel bad dropping it. I don't need it for my degree or anything, but it looks good on my transcript and it's a really awesome class... and I hate quitting things. :(
So today I realized once again how much I HATE MONEY!!!
The only highlight today was my Cherokee professor saying this EXACT phrase (not kidding):
"Last year I did most of the oral but now it is my turn to receive."
Our class slowly cracked up laughing, after about a minute he realized what was so funny, the he blushed and cried out "CHEESE and RICE, ya'll are awful!"