Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Spending time with the sisters and parents, with their spouses. Hope and Rob tried to leave this morning but had to turn back because of the blizzard (still going on here). Watching the news to track what's happening near the Indian Ocean.
Friday, December 24, 2004
In short, ask God to do selfish things for us, provided that these things don't throw a massive monkey wrench in his eternal plan for the universe.
Oh, and Merry Christmas, y'all!
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Saturday, went for a last-visit-before-Christmas trip to the SDA church where we were doing our ethnography observation. We were invited out for lunch afterwards and spent a lovely early afternoon with a couple from Kenya (Joshua) and Botswana (T.K.). Then, we came home and fell asleep until about 5:30. Starting to feel the adrenal drop, post studies.
Went to Cedar Pointe church on Sunday morning, had lunch with the Buchers and fellow GIAL folks unti mid-afternoon. Tried to do up a newsletter and Christmas cards in the evening but Rob's Mac and the printer went crazy. Gak! Some little piece inside the printer snapped and the black ink cartridge won't sit properly anymore. And Rob lost sight of his hard-drive and has been trying to get it back since Sunday evening now. All day yesterday, all day today (so far) ... he's over at the school now, trying to re-register all his software. He had to backup all his data, when he found it again, and wipe the hard-drive, reinstall OSX. [sigh] I hope he finishes up today.
We need to go buy some barber shears this evening. He's starting to look like Wolverine. Actually, he insists that he now looks more like Krusty the Klown. I am undecided at this time. Either way, the fuzz ends here, tonight. Hope (my sister) and Rob (my brother-in-law) are having Toni (my niece) baptized on Boxing Day and I want us both to look presentable.
Krusty the Klown
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
We have a short 12 minute presentation to do tomorrow in anthro class, on our visits to the SDA church. Preparation shouldn't take too long. I think we'll just come up with a list of salient events or practices and take turns talking about them.
I made cookies yesterday; chocolate chips, raisins and oatmeal.
Friday, December 10, 2004
I am now stopping for today. This has been a dense workweek, school-wise. We have a couple of things to go to tomorrow but I think we'll make it to a movie this weekend. Alexander, here we come!
Gotta arrange a taxi trip for Christmas morning. We're flying out of Dallas airport at 8:40AM and it's an international flight so we need to be there 2 hours early. I wasn't thinking about getting to the airport when I made the flight arrangements, obviously. Who would be available to give us a lift 6AM Christmas morning? Doh! Oh well, better than a month's worth of parking lot fees. We'll be coming back to Dallas in late January. Rob may be back sooner, actually. There's an ethnomusicology course that LBT may want him to pick up, a short one.
Stew for dinner. I'm boiling the beef now so it'll be falling apart and herbed. Tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onions ... yumm. And yay!
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
The remainder of this week will be consumed with preparing my chapel talk. I am going with David's many years of running from Saul pre-kingship. Am taking a break tonight to go to a Creation scientist talk on dinosaurs and the evidence that they coexisted with humans. Should be intriguing. It's sort of an unofficial class trip for Biblical Backgrounds, as in half the class (both of us) will be going.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
- 12.7, Tuesday - Ethnography; 15-25 page report on cultural themes observed at the SDA church, supported with observations taken from my data notebook, handed in with my printed out data notebook
- 12.10, Friday - 20 minute talk in chapel on some aspect of Biblical Backgrounds; I think I'm going to present something on the running away done by David (from Saul), how his experiences prepared him for kingship of Israel. I found a great website that has many maps of major Ancient Near East events.
- 12.14, Tuesday - Cultural Anthropology final exam
- 12.15, Wednesday - reports on our ethnographies; presenting our findings to the class as we would to someone new to the culture wishing to integrate appropriately
- 12.16, Thursday - Semantics & Pragmatics final exam
- 12.17, Friday - Pragmatics Analysis project (one of the 3 major projects in this course)
I have a pain in my heel. I've had this pain before, back when I was working at the daycare. At the time, I thought it had something to do with my shoes so I bought new ones, stopped wearing the others. Sure enough, the pain went away. It doesn't seem that long ago but perhaps it was. The shoes I usually wear these days are the ones I bought to replace those old shoes. They're Doc Martens so I expected them to be functional for longer than this. My last Docs lastest from 1994 until this last summer, when I finally was able to dissociate myself from them long enough to throw them away. Today, I am wearing my red Earth shoes. Have been wearing them for 2 days. No noticeable improvement yet. Must stay off my feet.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
When I got back, I had a report to prepare for presentation today on an article on Bantu object relations. I had planned on taking the article with me to go over on the plane but it was already checked out when I went to the library on Wednesday. Someone else, reporting on a different article in the same book, had already gotten to it. Sigh. So, I had to haul it together in one day, yesterday. I plugged away at it all day, giving up at about 11:30PM last night. The presentation this morning didn't go as well as I would have liked. I had a bit of a headache and my left heel hurts when I'm standing so focusing was tricky for me. I found myself losing place in my presentation, despite my lovely typed notes and example chart. Oh well. I handed in my notes so, hopefully, Les Bruce will see that I wasn't just rambling because of lack of effort on my part.
I've agreed to work for someone tonight; they'll return the favor for me next week. Double work this work, nothing next week. Hopefully the switch will free me up on a week when my head is working better.
Gotta come up with a topic for my Biblical Backgrounds chapel talk, happening the end of next week. I keep thinking I'll do something on Mosaic Law, maybe in relation to the code of Hammurapi. Maybe I'll do something on Jesus as Shima, look at his rabbinical method of teaching. Maybe I'll dig around on the shelves at the library, see what triggers for me.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
I spent Sunday studying with Lauren for our take-home Biblical Backgrounds midterm. I went from 1PM to 7:30PM, with a dinner break, and finally hit threshold study capability. She went home, I took the exam. I think it went well. I find that it's really hard to tell how well I'm doing on things here until the final grades come out. When I did the Anthro exam a week or so ago, I counted about 65% definite "corrects" on the test. I actually got a 96%. So, I counted 7 (of 15) definite "corrects" on my BB last night, 6 "halfsies" and 2 "no ideas". I'm kinda curious to see how same-day studying works out: I rarely look at material the day of the exam. Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that sleeping on studied material makes it stick better. Any scientific basis for that, anyone?
Today I have to finish my kinship chart for Anthro. Spent over an hour on the phone with Mom & Dad trying to get the names of their aunts and uncles and their children. I only have to score 5 generations and I have 2 second cousins who have children so I technically only need to go back as far as my grandparents. Which is a good thing. The chart I was making based on the info I got from the parents on Friday spanned about 8 pieces of 8.5X11 paper taped end-to-end. Messy.
Wednesday is my midterm for Semantics. Got the study guide on Friday. Haven't had time to look at it. That should be my main task on Tuesday.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
I went to the Boutique this afternoon for the Christmas "sale". The Boutique is the Wycliffe second-hand store on campus. I use the term store loosely: everything is free. And throughout the year, they save the most special items (especially jewelry and stuffed toys) for the Christmas sale. Again, everything free. Wild, eh?
Tomorrow night, Rob and I will be doing more participant observation at the SDA church; they're having a relationship seminar. We're kinda stoked. From the pastor's description, it sounds like the topics will be geared to that congregation's expressed needs so we should really gain insight into the nature of relationships of that community.
But the real biggies for this weekend are the studying for midterms in 2 classes and preparing a genealogy that goes back 5 generations for my cultural anthropology class. Pacing myself may be key in keeping my brain functioning at optimal capacity. Lavender oil will also play a role, I'm sure. Kalamata olives may also be featured.
The Hormone Hostage
The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month
when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his very life
into his own hands. This is a handy guide that should be as common as a
driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or
DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some more chocolate.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
We're having an LBT get-together at the Cowan apartments tonight. I may have a late one tonight, after the shindig: 2 Semantics projects due tomorrow. It's all about definitions. Funny, you'd think meanings would be evident but when you start really thinking about what words mean (and what they don't necessarily mean), it can make your brain go a little woogy. Spent 2 hours last night trying to decide what praise, commend and credit meant. Now, I need to write formal definitions in NSM metalanguage and give context to prove my inclusion of various definition components.
Went over the maps I've done in Biblical Backgrounds with classmates this afternoon. We've been mapping major O.T. events; drawing arrows to show paths taken by historical folks, highlighting major roads and locales, etc. Also read 1 and 2 Maccabees. Can't wait to see Alexander the Great when it comes out!
Saturday, November 13, 2004
While I was doing laundry last week, I noticed that someone had left a bunch of groceries there (they must have been moving out of the apartment complex). Among the canned goods was a tin of pumpkin. I remembered the soup recipe, which I had forgotten on our most recent trip to the grocery store, and thought I would adopt the lonely can of pumpkin. I returned to the apartment and looked up that soup recipe. Alas, I still had no green pepper, one of the ingredients. I thought I might try to remember to pick up a green pepper the next time we get groceries.
Today, I came in to work at the library. While tidying in the kitchen, I noticed a post-it note on the counter, saying "please, please help yourself". As there was nothing near the note, I figured that whoever had closed up yesterday must have put the item in the fridge, that it must be a perishable. I looked.
You got it ... peppers. 2 green, 2 red.
Monday, November 08, 2004
We tried to go to the Liberian Lutheran church. But the phone numbers that were on the board when we drove out there were no longer related to the church. The church office number got me a private residence of a lady who knew nothing about the church. The pastor's number got me the residence of the former pastor, who had left for Sierra Leone 6 months ago. Methinks they no longer meet there, if the contact info is so old. We got a location to try from Jack, one of our Cult. Anthro. profs: the SDA church in Arlington. The membership is 80% African immigrant, mostly Kenyan. We have been warmly welcomed there, having been there twice now. The pastor in particular was very pleased to have us visiting and has offered to help us in any way that he can. They meet on Saturdays, being SDA and all, which flip-flops our normal weekend structure. I feel like Saturday is Sunday and Sunday is a random free day. Which day am I resting on? Hard to say. What is rest, anyway?
Our Biblical Backgrounds class met at the Bruce's house for dinner and a movie last Friday. The video was on archaeological evidence locating the Exodus account. The freaky coral formations were the best part. The satellite pics of Nuweiba Beach were pretty compelling too.
And I do have to go to Cultural Anthropology class in 5 minutes.
We found a church to attend for our participant observation: All Nations Seventh-day Adventist in Arlington. They meet from 8:00AM to close to 2:00PM. The last part of the fellowship time takes place en masse, in the parking lot. More on our SDA adventures later.
I think I need to go over the latest posts to see what news is these days. :) I think I'll do that this afternoon.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
We had an interesting little weekend this past weekend. Rob and I were supposed to begin participant observation on Sunday at a local Nigerian church for our cultural anthropology class. However, we went to the car on Saturday afternoon to drive out to the church to check service times and one of our tires was punctured. Gak. So, we didn't get observation done this weekend. We ended up going back to Cedar Pointe, the church that meets at the school, just across the street. Good service, good band, great teaching.
Friday night, we went to Braum's ice cream parlour with a bunch of classmates and some SIL members in town for an international translation convention. We met a guy named Oliver, linguist in Mozambique, jazz guitarist. After the outing, we went to the dorm where he was staying and jammed together for a few hours. He came over Saturday morning and laid down some tracks of jazz progressions that he'd like me to put melody over. Saturday evening, we had chili and corn bread with Lee and Robin before playing Settlers of Catan. What a game! Resource management strategy game, fun stuff. Kind of like Age of Mythology/Empires without the mythology/empires and battle scenario.
We got our tires replaced yesterday, not just the one that was punctured but the other 3, being worn down quite a bit. Afterwards, we ran by the Nigerian church address but the building was empty. We need to come up with another location, perhaps the Liberian Lutheran church north of Duncanville. I have't got any response to my phone messages there though. We should probably do another drive out, make sure it still exists.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Friday: Fell asleep for a few hours in the afternoon. Went for Rob's birthday dinner at Pappadeaux seafood kitchen. I did not, of course, eat seafood; I had a hefty Greek salad. Played NWN in the evening.
Saturday: Cleaned like mad. In the afternoon, hiked on the trail behind campus. Watched movie in the evening; Adaptation
Sunday: Nearly fell asleep in church in the morning. Realized we had more relaxing to do before being ready for classes. Played some more NWN in the afternoon, watched movie in evening; A Beautiful Mind.
Monday: Worked on getting papers in order, financial crap and the like, in the morning. Went to Fort Worth botanical gardens in the afternoon with a group of friends from school. Played more in the evening while laundry was doing.
Tuesday: Grocery shopping in the morning, followed by internet research-curiosity-satisfaction for an hour before lunch. Afternoon of registering for Rob's next classes and gaming, interspersed with cooking chicken curry for dinner this evening at Dave and Ginny's place. We had a good time; curry, salad, firey mango pickles, ice cream, coffee and several hands of Rook. Dave and I trounced Rob and Ginny. Me, gloat? [teehee] Twas mucho fun.
The new session begins tomorrow. Sigh. I have hope for our readiness for this. Rob is taking Field Methods & Linguistic Analysis, Field Data Management and Cultural Anthropology. I am also taking the Cultural Anthro (finally ... a shared course!) as well as Biblical Backgrounds and Semantics & Pragmatics. Our in-class time is from 8:00 - 10:00 AM and 11:00 - 11:55 AM, Monday through Friday, plus whatever cultural observation and language learning sessions we'll have in the afternoons.
Must sleep now ... first early morning in days tomorrow.
This year's flu vaccine doesn't even contain the Fujian strain which is responsible for most deaths.
It doesn't look like the flu shot has had a meaningful impact on flu deaths over the last 4 years, according to the Center for Disease Control's statistics. One document states that the flu death rates have increased from about 20,000 per year in the 1970's and 1980's to 36,000 per year in the 1990's.
Compare them with mortality statistics from an earlier period:
Note the side effects of the flu shot:
What are the side effects that could occur?
Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
Fever (low grade)
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last one to two days.
Hmm ... sounds suspiciously flu-esque.
Can severe problems occur?
Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. Signs of serious allergic reaction can include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If they do occur, it is within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. These reactions are more likely to occur among persons with a severe allergy to eggs, because the viruses used in the influenza vaccine are grown in hens' eggs. People who have had a severe reaction to eggs or to a flu shot in the past should not get a flu shot before seeing a physician.
Guillain-Barré syndrome: Normally, about one person per 100,000 people per year will develop Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an illness characterized by fever, nerve damage, and muscle weakness. In 1976, vaccination with the swine flu vaccine was associated with getting GBS. Several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines since 1976 were associated with GBS. Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.
According to the World Health Organization's mortality statistics, 1665 people died of influenza in 1999 out of a population of 272,691,000. That means that 6 people per million dies of influenza. One is 6 times more likely to develop Guillain-Barré syndrome than they are to die from influenza. In 1995, 606 people died of influenza in the U.S.
Check out the side effects for the LAIV (live attentuated influenza vaccine):
• Symptoms are reported more often in healthy recipients of LAIV than in healthy recipients of placebo. These include:
o Nasal congestion/runny nose
o Sore throat
Side effects in children
o Nasal congestion/runny nose
o Abdominal pain
o One unpublished study in 12- to 59- month-olds suggested an association of influenza vaccination with asthma or reactive airways disease. Further analyses and studies are pending on this issue.
I find this last potential side effect to be the most concerning.And here's a quote from the CDC website:
Preliminary Assessment of the Effectiveness of the 2003--04 Inactivated Influenza Vaccine --- Colorado, December 2003
Influenza activity started earlier than usual in the United States this season, with widespread influenza activity* reported in 10 states by November 22, 2003 (1). The predominant influenza viruses (A/Fujian/411/2002 [H3N2]-like viruses) circulating this season differ antigenically from the 2003--04 influenza A (H3N2) vaccine strain (2). A retrospective cohort study was conducted among workers at a Colorado hospital to provide preliminary data on the effectiveness of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) against influenza-like illness (ILI). This report summarizes the results of that study, which indicated that TIV had no or low effectiveness against ILI. However, additional studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the 2003--04 vaccine against laboratory-confirmed influenza and influenza-related complications, including hospitalization and death. Influenza vaccine continues to be recommended, particularly for persons at increased risk for influenza-related complications, their household contacts, and health-care personnel.Argh. I don't care what people do with their own bodies. I don't care what crap they buy into. I do care about media incited hysteria that leads to people dying in the process of buying into crap.
- his seeking refugee status in Europe in 1959
- his divorce from Alicia; and her subsequent taking him in as a boarder a decade after the divorce
- despite the speech given in the movie, Nash gave no speech at the Nobel Prize ceremony
- the giving of the pens was a script writers invention, not a Princeton math department tradition
Thursday, October 14, 2004
I'm at work right now; just shelved all the books, vacuumed the whole floor and stamped some books to go in the book depository for loan to missionaries on furlough. Rob is in the office here, spread out across the big table. The final grammar project. He's doing well so far with it. Seeing a lot of stuff, organizing on his computer screen as only a graphic designer can. We go home in an hour. Tomorrow, we celebrate both his birthday and the end of term.
He's working on Swahili.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
After I get off work, I'll rush home to bed and try to get to sleep so I can wake up in the morning and hurry to class to hand in my paper.
Like Christmas, only bizarre.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Friday: Took the afternoon as my weekend, gaming with Rob, had Jess (from down the hall) as dinner guest.
Saturday: With lunch break at Chick-fil-a, grocery shopping afterwards, spent the day working on term paper with an evening break; Rob's grammar class had an end-of-term party. I made Northwest garden salad: spinach, dried cherries, slivered almonds, bleu cheese, lime-marinated green apples with a balsamic vinaigrette. Returned home to work until 11:45PM on term paper.
Sunday: visited church on campus, worked on term paper for the rest of the day until 8:45PM. Was able to haul together a beef stew for dinner. Sent Rob to clip fresh rosemary for the stew from the massive rosemary bushes that can be found next to the sidewalk on our way to school.
Today: continuing to work on the paper this afternoon and evening ...
Thursday, October 07, 2004
End of session coming up, term paper due, material getting more complicated. Here are the highlights of our latest days.
Sunday: went to drive to church, car wouldn't start (made a clicking noise)
Monday: Class as usual, heavy homework day for Rob; I spent more than 2 hours trying to do his grammar homework and couldn't get a handle on it. Every theory I came up had a single piece of data that 'broke' it. Got discouraged.
Tuesday: Rob discovered in afternoon grammar class that no-one else could get the homework either; I breathe sigh of relief. That's the problem with homework that accurately reflects all the complexities of actual language. Sure, you get the benefits of working with real data. But when the data selected is too complex to be done in a few hours, that's demoralizing. Part of me says, "Hey, the guy who collected this data probably took weeks to figure this out: I shouldn't be discouraged that I'm not getting in in a few hours." But there is another part of me that says, "Hey, this wouldn't be your daily assignment if it weren't doable in a day." Sometimes I have to shut down that second voice so that I don't develop negative self-image. I know I have aptitude for this stuff. Language is not rocket science; it's more human and complicated. You don't truly analyze or deduce from a language; you come to knowledge of through relationship with a language. Who does that in a day?
These courses are like speed-dating in preparation for a marriage. Imagine for a moment that you are a language and your potential spouse is a linguist. Now imagine that there are people determining whether or not people are good potential spouses for you on the basis of observing how they interact with you for a few hours. Sure, they may get a fast connection with you, sparks might fly. But are they capable of really achieving true emotional intimacy with you in the long haul? And how could an outsider judge their innate capability for intimacy based on a short interaction or a series of short interactions with a number of people? You'd end up for sure with an aggressive extrovert. Similarly, one-night-study linguists may have the capacity for understanding the question and picking out the answer but who will have longevity and intimate comprehension in the long haul?
Rob finishes homework earlier than usual; we do dishes and play Neverwinter Nights together. [sigh of joy].
Wednesday: We watch a National Geographic video in R&W class in the morning, challenging stuff. Look at land-diving in Vanuatu, fire-walking in Greece and voluntary crucifixion in the Philippines. I get help with term paper in the afternoon, get some guidelines for paragraph charting. In the evening, breakthrough! I finish a chart that works for the data! Now, I can start drawing conclusions.
Thursday: Still haven't called the mechanic; keeps slipping my mind. Must do that today.
Friday, October 01, 2004
I think we'll have leftover mac-and-cheese for lunch and I'll make something nice/fresh for dinner. Apple crumble at some point as well. Today is overcast so it's a nice time to bake.
I'm planning on not doing any homework for the rest of the day. Rob is doing a term paper this weekend so I want to be scholastically occupied around him so he doesn't get jealous. I think it helps when I do housework in front of him as well, makes him feel like he's not the only one busting his butt here.
(c) 2004 Neopets, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used With Permission
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Curious person: "How long does it take to learn and analyze a language?"
Linguist: "Oh, anywhere from 7 to 46 years."
Anyway, the exam is finished. I whipped up smoothies for dinner as Rob and I both wanted to keep working through. We both had freaky dreams last night. I dreamed that Eminem was my discourse analysis teacher. Rob dreamed that his computer was stolen by a mechanic who had tried to rip him off on a repair bill the day before. Actually, the mechanic didn't succeed in getting the computer. Rob tied him up with duct tape and tried to figure out what the culturally appropriate thing to do with him would be (he was living crossculturally at the time). There must have been MSG in the boneless wings we had for lunch yesterday.
In other news, just noticed that Vioxx is being pulled from the market for causing a variety of cardiovascular conditions. Mind you, there has been some evidence that this was the case since August of 2001! As I have some people who are dear to me that have taken Vioxx and have developed cardiovascular conditions, that gets my back up. I've always had a bad feeling about Vioxx, mostly because I remember the week it was introduced to the market in my hometown.
Dad and Mom were in Jamaica and Dad had hired someone to be pharmacist at our pharmacy while he was out of town. As I often did when Dad was gone, I was helping out in the dispensary, counting pills, helping customers and other assistant type things. One afternoon, a pretty woman in her 20's (and a short skirt) stopped by the dispensary to speak with Dad. I explained that he was out of town. She gave me a bundle of promotional material to give him when he returned. I glanced through the stack of glossy pages; promotional material for a new arthritis pain-med called Vioxx. In the next week and a half, we filled more prescriptions for Vioxx than just about any other medication. I remember thinking that it was pretty freaky how something that wasn't available just the week before was suddenly something that the doctors felt everybody needed.
After throwing dozens of little white Vioxx bottles with blue caps away, having transferred their contents to standard prescription vials, I decided to find a use for them. It just seemed insanely wasteful; the bottles were pretty cute. I peeled off the Vioxx label, washed the bottles clean of Vioxx residue, got out a blue Sharpie and began to label the small bottles; cinnamon, cumin, dill, cloves, parsley ... to this day, my spices are kept in those little bottles.
Let's put a face on these Merck people, shall we?
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Navajo: tsenii - 'rock face'
Crow: kohkoseni - 'granite rock'
Kickapoo: atheny - 'rock'
Cree: asiniy - 'stone'
Blackfoot: asin - 'rock'
: asiniiwan - 'to be of rock'
Fun stuff, eh? It's great to have scads of language resources at my disposal when a linguistic curiousity strikes.
After practice, went home and made macaroni with cheese & tomato for dinner. Looking at the pot after dinner reminded me of why I may have given up making it in the first place. It certainly wasn't the flavor ... yum! I found that scrubbing with my fingertips under hot water was actually the most effective method of getting the cooked-on cheese off. Involving a dishcloth seems to just provide you with a very cheesy dishcloth that is then unusable for any other dishes. We watched an episode of 'Friends' while we ate dinner. The plotline involved Joey auditioning for a part in a TV series called 'Mac & C.H.E.E.S.E.'; hmmmm ... coincidence? Or providence?
Rob had the first half of a phonology midterm as a take-home last night. I finished my analysis of a dialogue paragraph from the 3 little pigs and started to do the same with Jude. I had gotten stuck on my term paper at the charting level and wasn't feeling confident in my chart results, at least not enough to make any grand statements about macrosegmentation, given my lack of knowledge of Greek. However, the tree-diagram I'm making of the paragraphs, working with the sentences as a whole, is showing a lot of paired embedded paragraphs that I hadn't noticed before. I'm thinking that this section of the analysis process may give me the comprehension boost I need for me to go back and reassess my charts. We'll see.
*Most people have heard me explain that my name is Montagnais so you may wonder why I am now using the term 'Innu'. Well, upon visiting the website that bears my name, I discovered that the Innu people do not call themselves Montagnais, that was an external tag. Makes sense; it's French.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Am about to work on a design for the class T-shirt, due by this afternoon. Will post the design when it's finished.
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Thursday, September 23, 2004
I found out that they've sprayed twice in the last week for mosquitos in Duncanville because they found a West Nile carrying mosquito. I guess I should check the Dallas mosquito spraying updates periodically to make sure I'm not basking in the toxins unwittingly. Gak. As if the air pollution wasn't bad enough. Part of me doesn't even want to know the ingredients and effects of those sprays.
I read a disturbing history of U.S. involvement in Haitian government in a New African periodical. In the same, I came cross an interview with Nujoma, of Namibia.
Quote of the day:
'There are many ways to kill a cat, by giving it whatever it likes.' - Nujoma
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
I spent the better part of the afternoon doing my discourse analysis homework and made chili for dinner. I'm currently tossing through a load of laundry while Rob continues with his homework. Wishing that we could be spending a little more time doing things together. I got up with him at 6AM to sit by the pool and read about verb chaining and switch-reference while he swam (rules about not swimming alone) but somehow I don't think that counts as "together time". Weekend ... hasten thee to my environs!
In other news; National Geographic August 2004, which I just found in the laundry room and have flipped through has a fascinating article on the placebo effect being on par with the medication/procedure being tested.
So, 'America's Next Top Model' premieres tonight and we don't get UPN11 here without cable. Not that I would ever get cable just to watch ANTM. That seems excessive. But I caught all of the last 2 seasons. Perhaps by the time we end up based back in Seattle for our support-raising time (where UPN11 is available without cable), they'll be rerunning it. Then, I'll have more time to enjoy it and it'll all be fresh to me. Still, it's hard to imagine Tyra doing a season without my faithful viewerness.
Laundry done ... blog over.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Having a pretty good day today. I attended an academic talk on the difference between hortatory and persuasive discourse types, presented by my D.A. teacher, Dr. Hwang. I made curried lentils for lunch and ate it hastily before going to the talk. I just got back from the library where I discovered that someone has already done a discourse analysis of Jude. However, it looks like Osborn isn't referencing any of the terminology used by Longacre's method so I'm wondering if it's even related to discourse analysis as I have come to know it. Longacre isn't cited in the biblio for this article, nor seems there to be any other discourse analysis texts. Must give the article a better read tonight to be sure I don't replicate someone else's work. I finished charting Jude yesterday so I should be able to draw some conclusions by doing my colorcoding today or tomorrow. It is possible that I will come to an entirely different conclusion than Carroll D. Osborn as to what the macrosegmentation of the text should be and what the macrostructure of the text is, based on surface structures.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
- a portrait of true fear
- when a baby in and of itself isn't cute enough
- gorgeous, yet oddly disturbing
- bizarre treat for squirrel afficianados
- a debate on the national betrayal involved in choosing Starbucks over Tim Horton's; frankly, I'm torn ...
- an answer to the urban legend about nicotine being added to Tim Horton's coffee
- Jimi Hendrix lauds Phil Keaggy?
This is hilarious. "In me own words: the autobiography of Bigfoot". Written by a Canadian, Graham Roumieu ... oh yeah!
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Revlon Colorsilk: #60 - Dark Ash Blonde
Revlon Colorsilk: #50 - Light Ash Brown
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
I've really been getting into something that looks like it will be worthwhile but challenging and time consuming. In my discourse class, I have the option of doing either a term paper or a final exam. I originally thought that I might just do the final exam, for simplicity's sake. The term paper is more an option for those who are currently working with a language project and have immediate need for the discourse analysis skills that we're learning. I don't actually have a project that I'm working on but I do have something that I've been curious about for a while: The Message paraphrase of the Bible.
Here's how The Message promo describes it:
But more than that, it was meant to be understood. It was first written in the language of the people—of fishermen, shopkeepers, and carpenters. The Message gets back to that: You can read it and understand it. In The Message Remix, there are new verse-numbered paragraphs that will help you study and find favorite passages. Or, you can just read it like a book and let the narrative impact you. After all, it is God’s story, with its heroes and villains, conflicts and resolutions. Either way, it’s God’s Word—the Truth—in a user-friendly form.
The promo states that it is useful for 2 things: studying favorite passages and being impacted through narrative reading. I have had bad vibes about relying on passages in The Message as accurate representations of the source text, in terms of either notional or surface. However, my vibes have been largely unsubstantiated. Suddenly, after reading Longacre's analysis of 1 John, I see a method for discerning whether this is actually the case. If it is a narrative, then it has peaks. The peaks, whether they are action or didactic, should correspond to those in the source text (Greek) but represented in the peak structures of the language of translation (English).
Finally, I may put to rest my itching suspicions, one way or another. Is it the conspiracy theorist in me that responds to this paraphrase or the global observationist? As long as the quest doesn't become overwhelming in its scope, this may be my season to answer that question.
Along those lines, I have done an initial clause-charting of Jude, in The Message form. I am stymied in my participant referent color-coding by verses 22-23: are the "they" in these verses the same "they" referred to in the entirety of the preceding text? Jude gives pretty scathing descriptions of the "some people" (v4) throughout the letter. He describes what their plan is (v4). He gives the historical examples of that type of person which precede this current type; the fallen angels (v6) and Sodom and Gomorrah (v7). He outlines their sin-systems (v8, 10, 12, 16, 18-19). He even paints a sad metaphorical picture of them (end of v12). Can it be that, at the end, Jude reorients the reader to these "some people" by instructing us in a Christian approach to "them", despite their aforementioned sins and character flaws? At this, my first look at Jude in The Message from a discourse perspective, it appears that the ba-dam-ching (it's a technical term, really) occurs after the phrase "but not soft on sin" (v23). All preceding text provides supporting evidence for that conclusion. Just a theory. I'm working on it.
I'd love to hear any perspectives on this.
Monday, September 13, 2004
We've started a new section in discourse analysis, one involving predication relations. It looks like stuff from the logic class (I think this is the one ... long time ago) I took in 1993 but with attention to grammatical constituents (noun phrase, adjuncts, verbs) as well as the logical thrust of the sentence as a whole.
I couldn't find a picture online of Robert E. Longacre (the guy who wrote our main text and put discourse analysis on the linguistic map) but I did find a picture of one of his books:
Sunday, September 12, 2004
After the service, we went to Grace's home (along with many church members) for Korean food. Korean BBQ and kim chi ... yum! And we ate it with rice, rolled in sesame leaves. I didn't even know you could eat sesame leaves!
Friday, September 10, 2004
Woohoo! The Discourse Analysis mid-term that I had this morning went great! There was only one question that I absolutely did not know the answer for (I couldn't remember what was mitigated in hortatory discourse - I filled in the blank with an "argh!"; that may be the answer, actually). There was also one that I was unsure of the answer (why knowledge of peak is useful in discourse analysis) but, upon discussing answers with fellow students after class, I think I got the general idea. A few of the questions asked for just 3 or 4 aspects of something for which I knew most or all of them so, as time allowed, I threw them in at the end of the space allowed for answering questions. Hopefully that will pad any holes in my basic answers of the questions. For example, Dr. Hwang asked about features of language that are not adequately addressed by basic grammatical analysis but need to be explained in relation to discourse features. She was looking for 3 or 4 areas but I know them all. So, I gave the few and wrote a bunch more.
I have secret tricks for studying that I used extensively in preparation for this exam.
- Reduce as much information as possible to list form.
- In red, underline the key trigger words in each list item.
- Develop a mnemonic device (e.g. a poem, acronym, substituted sentence based on the acronym) for the really big lists.
Here are some of my lists and devices, to illustrate my method:
Question: What are some areas in which discourse analysis is necessary?
- The List
- articles and deictics
- pronoun use
- verb morphology: tense-aspect-mood
- deviation from standard word order
- adjuncts: optional? location and time give motion and flow
- adverbial clauses: discourse cohesion
- sequence signals and conjunctions
- nominalization and topicalization
- variation in reported speech forms
- length of syntactic units
- mystery particles and affixes
- The Red
articles and deictics
verb morphology: tense-aspect-mood
deviation from standard word order
adjuncts: optional? location and time give motion and flow
adverbial clauses: discourse cohesion
sequence signals and conjunctions
nominalization and topicalization
variation in reported speech forms
length of syntactic units
mystery particles and affixes
"When the talking and walking but being quiet has ended, he stands as Billy stood; in fancy pants, against the wall." Said she, "Oh, for true, eh?"
My mnemonic for Discourse types is a sentence: To Narrate someone's Behavior is the Procedure to Expose them.
Another mnemonic that I used was a poem which referenced all the possible features that might mark a Peak Episode:
- Blaow! Faster, bigger, crowded, eh?
- Yesterday becomes today
You to I, they to she
- I look like you, it was seen by me
- and this, but that, asyndeton comma
- narra - pseudo - dia - drama
- Less repeating but more repetition?
- An episode in Peak Condition.
This, of course, makes sense to nobody but me. It doesn't need to. Rob wouldn't even let me use my mnemonics out loud when I was studying because he had a final exam in Phonetics this morning. He was afraid he'd be asked to write the technical name for a phonetic sound and the only thing that would come to his mind in that time of crisis would be "fancy pants".
Thursday, September 09, 2004
presentation on Robert E. Longacre's discourse analysis of 1 John in the
morning. I spent the afternoon preparing a reading report for Discourse
Analysis. The evening was spent on household tasks (dinner prep,
compiling receipts for LBT) and giving Rob a hand with his lesson plan
preparation. We tried to get an early bedtime but still managed to fall
in after 11PM. Energy low this week; everything seems to take longer
than I expect.
Today's task is preparation for my midterm tomorrow. I have my notes compiled and I'm going to check them against the study questions we were given, make sure I can match knowledge base to questions asked. I'm working tonight so I need to have everything set and printed before I leave home at 3:45PM to get to worship team practice. I won't get home until 10PM after that.
I cooked enough chili last night to last us for a few days. There are a
few days of pinto beans as well. Bulk cooking; the grad student's
Quote of the day:
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. Then, if he gets mad, you're a mile away and you've got his shoes.
Monday, September 06, 2004
After church, we hurried back to the apartment to change out of our
'Sunday best' for the All Africa Diaspora Market being held across the street at
the International Museum of Cultures. I was thinking we could grab food
there that would not only be nourishing but interesting. Rob got a
smoked brisket sandwich (Texan) and I got some meat-on-a-stick with a
side of boiled corn-and-greens-in-a-lump (African). I was surprised when
I tasted Rob's sandwich: it was smoked salt beef! Good grief ... all the
sodium and all the smoky carcinogens a person could ever want, rolled up
in a white bread wrapper, soaked in barbecue sauce. Need I say more? I
enjoyed my sticked meat but had to put a bunch of hot sauce on the
corn/greens combo. I don't know what those greens were but they didn't
taste like any greens I'd had before. Not spinach, cabbage, turnip,
collard ... maybe kelp. I have very little experience with kelp.
It seemed like the festival was mostly composed of vendors of touristy
items and 3 food stalls so we didn't stick around long. The schedule
reported a concert later so I thought, "Hey ... African music! Let's
come back!" We returned at/around 4PM and went inside the museum. We
were directed to a back room which looked primarily like it was used for
storage but was occasionally repurposed for other events with rows of
chairs, a TV/VCR combo and a podium with an attached microphone.
Scattered about were pieces of old exhibits, some nailed on the wall,
others stacked horizontally near the rafters. As it turns out, the
concert was Norman Fisher, a soprano saxophonist, performing jazz to an
accompaniment track. Rob and I sat with maybe 6 other people for the
first few songs. Norman asked at one point if there were other jazz
musicians in the crowd. I didn't respond until he asked about jazz
singers. He offered me the opportunity to join him. I explained that I
had been coughing all week. He responded that he had as well. I said I
didn't know the words to the songs. He said that he was about to do
"Satin Doll". Well. I could hardly say no to that.
I went to the podium. Norman switched on the mike. I realized as the
backing track began that it was a little low for my range, that I hadn't
warmed up, that I couldn't remember all the lyrics as clearly as I
thought I might have been able to. But I began when my time came
nonetheless. It was a good time. Surreal (singing about a pickup
scenario as the male protagonist on the grounds of Wycliffe property
from behind a podium under fluorescent lighting) but good.
Friday, September 03, 2004
Here's my freaky story for today: During chapel, I was heavily using the essential oils I was carrying around to help my breathing and the little sinus headache that was developing. I alternated between several blends, including peppermint, rosemary, lemon, clary sage, rose, eucalyptus and pine oils. At the end of chapel, while the back door was propped open, a hummingbird flew into the chapel and headed for the front, where I had been sitting. It went straight to the ceiling above where I had been sitting and bounced around against the ceiling above my chair in an area roughly 4 feet in diameter. As I am (as you well know) the ultimate source of the woes of the world, I assumed that my use of oils was to blame, that I had unwittingly lured this poor flower-essence seeker inside and trapped it against the oil-coated ceiling tiles between 2 oil-coated fluorescent lights. I took out my oils and attempted to lead the bird outside, all to no avail. As I left, those in charge of chapel activities and grounds were trying to whisk it away from the ceiling with a broom. I left before anything unseemly occurred. I'll have to check with them next week and find out what became of the wee thing. Most likely, it'll fatigue and come down from the ceiling. I tell myself that so I don't have to imagine it expiring from its efforts to escape.
My voice was a little better for singing this morning but I didn't use a mike, kept more to the backup. I focused on drumming instead.
Looking forward to sleep and regeneration this weekend. I have scads of reading to do and another Totonac charting project to tackle but I have to select a day off as well. Balance, as they say.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
I'm preparing songs for tomorrow morning's chapel. We rotate song selection opportunity among our worship team members and it's my turn this week. I have them selected and tabbed already, just need to get the photocopy access code for the chapel budget before I can be totally ready.
Tonight, I work at the library. Not really looking forward to vacuuming, as weak as I'm feeling. Maybe I can finagle Rob into helping; he's a good vaccuumer.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Totonac story. This will be my first discourse chart of a language other
than English. However, I didn't exactly find having English as a first
language to be entirely helpful in the last chart. I felt like I was my
own language resource person, fluent in the language but only able to
use the structures, not necessarily explain why I was using them.
Knowing the intended meaning of a clause sometimes got in the way of
simply stepping back and charting the surface structure. Somehow, the
Totonac story is more manageable to me, walking up to it with my clean
comprehension slate and a morpheme inventory. It will be interesting to
see tomorrow if I charted it correctly.
In Religion & Worldview, we read various articles as a group and tried
to glean information on the local worldview of the participants in the
articles based on their cited perspective on their situation. I related
best to the article on the rounding up of stray dogs in Greece prior to
the Olympic Games this year. This was the first I'd heard of it,
actually. They got them all off the streets, took care of any medical
needs they had, fed and housed them, with the intention of releasing
them back into the streets a happier, healthy bunch of strays than they
were before the games. Oh, and they neutered/spayed them too. Animal
rightists world-wide cried out when they heard of the rounding up of the
stray dogs, for fear that they would be "put to sleep" (sounds lovely,
when you say it like that). But authorities reassured them that this was
not the case, that they were being well cared for. I noticed that there
was no mention of further action on the part of animal rightists due to
the fact that, while the dogs were retaining their right to life, they
were being denied reproductive rights. What constitutes life? Who/what
has rights? Which rights? On what basis?
Wouldn't I love a telling peek at the foundations of some worldviews.
In the area of research, I checked the Intox toxic chemical database for reference to the salve's main ingredient, zinc chloride. On the FDA website, I found reference to use of zinc chloride in canned asparagus but in minute proportions. It is generally recognized as safe for human consumption, when used properly. There is an archived mention of a Mohis cancer paste, dated October 21, 1947 but here's all that the reference on this page says:
40 I 21-Oct-47 WISC ALUMNI RES FDTN MOHIS CANCER PASTE; ZINC CHLORIDE FIXATIVE
A related page lists this compound as inactive, but it doesn't say why it would be inactive.
The National Institute of Health site lists zinc chloride as a hazardous substance.
The quackwatch website has a section on alternative cancer treatment methods which makes mention of alternative uses of escharotic paste.
One alternative site is dedicated to the use of salves in external cancer treatment and refers to historical success rates.
Monday, August 30, 2004
by Sara, who lives down the hall from us. She is originally from
Mauritius but has been living in France in recent years. Man, what a
great time! Most attendees were Congolese and the service was a mixture
of French (usually translated into English) and some other language
which neither I nor Sara recognized. I was pleased to discover how much
French I've actually retained from all those years in the Canadian
school system. My comprehension during the preaching was very high and
production was adequate during my conversations with French-speakers
following the service. The singing part of the worship service was
ultra-loud choral worship, often in call/response style, punctuated with
translated exhortations on worship offered by a man who I presume to be
the worship pastor. He didn't actually lead the singing, he just came up
onto the altar and gave mini-exhortations between songs and, sometimes,
during songs. Among the believers in the seating area, there was much
dancing, syncopated clapping, supplementary percussion (a rattle, a
tambourine) and ululating cries. Those peeps knew how to rejoice!
The service went for a couple of hours and the hanging out in the foyer
and chatting with people lasted another hour or so. We all had a long
lunch at Cici's Pizza and went to our respective homes. I came in the
door, sat on the couch and attempted to have a conversation with Rob but
he sent me off to bed as I had been nodding off during one of his
sentences. I was out for about 2 1/2 hours. I was so groggy when I got
up that we starting suspecting that I was dehydrated ... again. So, we
had smoothies for dinner. Smoothies are the best food. Throw together
pineapple, mango, ice cubes, blueberry juice, black cherry juice,
psyllium ... instant dinner. I felt much better after finishing the
Friday, August 27, 2004
- a story that I was glad to hear has actually been verified in its origin
- a website called Truth Miners that calls for truth in Christian web communication
- a Christianity Today online article that addresses the urban legend as it manifests in Christian culture
- the urbanlegend.about.com site's section devoted to religious urban legend
- yet another site with links to urban legend debunking
Because if the truth sets you free, what does a load of hype and fluff do?
By the way ... if you don't visit any of the above links but you're into George W. Bush stories, check this website out.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Rob & Eshinee, after our second class of the day.
Rob & I got one of my classmates to take a picture of us after my class so hopefully I can get that posted in the next couple of days. Not that we will look all that different to folks who saw us within the last year. The bags under our eyes are bigger, that's all.
I'm going to try to get my homework done this morning so I can work on household paperwork this afternoon. I want to throw away as much as I can, hopefully at least 2 file-boxes worth. We'll see how that goes.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
You can't go back but you can flog the dead horse of sentimentality until you feel like you must be getting close.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
I debated giving the example that was given in class and am currently deciding against it. While the situation seemed morally cut and dried enough from my perspective to make a personal judgement on the matter, I don't really want to be assessing this particular culture without any personal experience with the individuals involved. Therefore, I will invent a scenario and ask for the input of anyone who would like to respond, in hopes that my views in this area will be helpfully sharpened before this theoretical issue becomes a practical one.
NOTE: Read the following only if you are interested in engaging in this exercise and will not be bothered by imagining an unpleasant circumstance.
Imagine that you are involved with a people group in some far corner of the world where you have been living and attempting to comprehend their culture. One night, you are wakened by cries in the center of the community living area. It seems that the village has gathered to perform what you would consider to be a torturous act on the physical person of a young man, who is perceived to have brought illness on a community member by allowing the shadow of a woman to touch him as he sat in the marketplace.
1) Do you intervene in some way? Why or why not?
2) What would you do or say? What wouldn't you do or say?
Using the comment link to the bottom right of this posting will enable you to post a response. If you prefer, you can email me directly.
Monday, August 23, 2004
I got much course reading done on Saturday. I keep relating course work to North American culture, to an extent which would probably fry my profs' brains should they hear of my pondered application of the skills which they so lovingly entrust to me. The Non-Western Music Analysis course led me to muse upon the songsmithing abilities of Eminem and his potential usefulness as an ideal rap genre subject of analysis due to his pervasive and amplified use of rap rhythms and syllable rhyme patterns. My study in Religion and Worldview keeps connecting in my head to my perceptions of the North American Christian Church, making me wonder if the growth issues we face might be due to the lack of High Religion and the preponderance of Folk Religion both masquerading as High Religion and attempting to replicate large-scale Folk systems in small-scale societies/congregations. Discourse Analysis has led me to critically assess Reader's Digest as a form of cultural propaganda, skewing notionally hortatory material to a variety of surface forms to disguise the true intent of the publication, which is to inform the sense of humor, moral values, economic patterns and political actions of the general populace in communally beneficial behaviour.
And I get to use more big words than ever before.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
I have a bowl of nectarines on the dining room table. On Wednesday, this bowl contained 4 nectarines that we had purchased at the Cox Family Farms market in Duncanville. I have eaten a nectarine on Thursday and Friday of this week. They have been barely ripe each time. I smell and prod them each day. This morning, I prodded the 2 that were left, wistfully. I want to eat them every time I see them, they are so bright and shiny. But they are not ready to be eaten. I will not be fully contented or discontented until that bowl is empty.
Friday, August 20, 2004
Nepali Missionary Abducted by Maoists!
GFA Nepali missionary Besh’s life is in danger as radical insurgency group Maoists forcibly abducted him a week ago for their purposes. This morning we received the urgent news. Though we do not know the details of the kidnapping or where he has been taken, we know our brother’s life is on the line. He is well known in the community as a Christian pastor and evangelist, and authorities in an area where he was ministering a year ago noticed his activity and asked him to leave. In the past, more than 200 people—teachers, students, village officials and commoners—have been abducted by the Maoists and killed without mercy. Some 9,000 lives have been claimed since the insurgency began in 1996. Missionaries are even more at risk as they travel to share the Good News. This has hindered our missionaries in their travels to reach needy villages for Christ. Elsewhere in Nepal, authorities have ordered two of our brothers, Pastor Basu and native missionary Imansingh, to vacate their area of ministry within a week.
Please pray earnestly with us for our missionary Besh’s protection and safe return.
Pray for courage for Besh and other Nepali believers in the face of persecution.
Lift up the persecutors in prayer, that they may come to know the Lord.
Pray also for the 200-plus pastors and their churches, and our 356 native missionaries in Nepal. Pray especially for the congregations that must continue on without their pastors.
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