2009/10 – aBsolutelY nUthing

Well, I was going to post something here…  I guess I’ll put it back on my other journal after all.  I’ve posted the link on the left of this page.
 
Yesterday I got to my 2nd-year linguistics class and was reminded that something was due… one of the three papers for the term, along with a short presentation on our papers.  I’d forgotten all about it; I thought it was due on Thursday.  I sat through the half-Hong-Kongese girl’s very questionable claims in her presentation on Singaporean Chinglish, then ran to the library and rigged up a passable PowerPoint show; but right as I came back the class was dismissing.  I tried to finish up the paper that day (well, start it up and then finish it; I’d just been sort of researching it till then), but couldn’t quite manage it.
 
I finally finished it and e-mailed it in today.  I think I did well enough on it.
 
Yesterday was a devotional; a man named Greg Mortenson came, an author and school-builder in Afghanistan.  I’d checked out his website on Monday; he had an interesting cause, but there were a few kind of fakely posed pictures that made me wonder if he was slimy.  Instead, I found him very forthright at the devotional.  He repeated a lot of things from his website, but added several engaging tidbits.
 
I wonder if I’ll ever get to Afghanistan…  It doesn’t seem likely yet.
 
There’s a test for that same class tomorrow morning.  I haven’t had hardly any time to study for it, and expect that it won’t be my absolute best performance ever.
 
Tomorrow, I’ll register for next semester’s classes.  I intend to try to jimmy my way into more audited language classes.
 
I do have a topic I’ve been saving up to eventually post here…
 
-Steve
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7 Responses to 2009/10 – aBsolutelY nUthing

  1. Hannah says:

    kakaka singarporean chinglish.. aiyayathis space is not bad .. do you really need to move to anotheryou have posted many many.. entries here ….already

  2. Thankful says:

    My wise, elderly Tibitian uncle in law once removed, whilst meditating upon the highest mountain peak in his imaginative mind, gave me this tidbit of advice, (in a very accentuated dialect of something betwist, aramanglospanjapencantolish), "if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well," and then he (almost as an after-thought) added, "doing your best is always best, and leaves no room for regret". P.S. This comment is deletable, without recourse 😉

  3. Steve says:

    You should\’ve seen my old entries here. I had twice as many… Deleted them all. 😮 (Of course I saved them first.)By the way, that girl\’s strange, repeated theories were that Singlish particles such as "leh, ma, hah" were derived from ENGLISH. How ridiculous. This girl herself\’s mother was from Hong Kong, and she should\’ve known all about them already.So, I demolished the test (that is, "bombed" it). His tests are kind of easy compared with his study guides… but my mind was in a whirl. I tried to study last night till I got sleepy, and I hurried and mashed in a few minutes at home, and right before entering the classroom. I guess it wasn\’t my worst test, anyway.About this "doing your best" stuff…I\’m not at a point now where I really see any possible difference in "doing my best" or "doing less than my best". Maybe in a few contexts, there are choices… with a few parts of my schedule or with interacting with people… but otherwise I just "do". I\’m there at any particular place at any given time for a reason, and I pursue that reason, and move on to the next place and time… and so on… and suddenly life is finished. However the "results" seem to turn out compared with other people\’s unrelated efforts are really no factor.For example… I sign up for a class. I get the textbook for the class, and, if there is time, I sit there and try to learn from it. I go to the class. Maybe I miss the class on some days because there is some kind of conflict. I take the tests, and score however much I deserve. I get assignments and complete them; or, the time is all spoken for, and the assignment is late. When things are busy, I hurry to try to get them all finished. When they\’re not, I slow down and have more time to allocate to everything. Finally I finish the class with a higher or less-high grade, and move on to the next semester, and so on. Then I leave this school and go wherever and do the same tasks ahead of me. There\’s no real question of struggle or frustration with it, or succeeding or failing. I guess the success has already been made, by entering this life, by growing up, by staying alive, and by reaching this point. I can picture some kids getting in here and trying their very hardest to excel in order to reach some personal standard or external requirement, or to beat other people, or to continue with their studies; or other kids coming and trying their very hardest to do and learn as little as possible and still get full credit for it, so they can continue that way throughout life. Me, I\’m just here, a student, in classes, studying linguistics and so on, moving toward graduation. The question of what to do and how to do it was settled before ever getting here.

  4. Steve says:

    aramanglospanjapencantolishara – ? …Korean with dropped initial K?manglo – Mongolian :ospan – Spanish…?japen – Japanese!canto – Cantonese!lish – language suffix!Wow… you\’ve got language on the brain…(P.S. You\’ve never yet left a deletable comment.)

  5. Steve says:

    I will add here that I talked with the short Korean girl in that class, mentioned on my other page. I\’d asked her last week if she would be ready for the due dates of this week, and she went on in Korean about how difficult it was, or something. I could barely follow along. Realizing that she thought I was a missionary, I admitted that my Korean was poor.She nodded in greeting today as I left after my lame showing in the examination; only three or four of us were still there. I exited the building and went to the library, but came back to ask the teacher (whose office was across the hall from the small classroom) if he\’d gotten my paper. On my way back, I saw her come out of the classroom. She came over and talked… which was nice… I asked how she did, and what her paper was on; she\’d presented the loss of a certain Korean "n" in front of such words as "ilgop", seven (once "nilgop"). That sounded fascinating… I\’d done mine, in fact, on the mutation of Chinese "t" to Korean "l" in Chinese loan words ("dung mat" -> "dong mul", animal).Anyway, nevermind any of it.

  6. Thankful says:

    Doesn\’t all language evolving or regressing from Aramic? Or is it simply or complexly a matter of speakers not doing their "best"? Ha ha.Speaking of "best"…I like to think, in my child-like naiveness, that we all do our "best" at any given time, which "best" is quite variable and easily swayed by any of a multitude of circumstances.

  7. Steve says:

    Well, I\’d agree with that.But… did you mean Aramaic or Arabic?Actually, you\’re right with your first point, too. I think it\’s a terrible tragedy that languages change so fast, and that people throw out so much of what\’s good and useful, entombing their own history in the process with bricks of ignorance — and then turn around and call the good "obsolete", and re-translate their Bibles and everything, just because they and their fathers before them were too lazy and stupid to learn how to spell and talk right. It only takes a few generations of bad spellers, non-gifted students, and air-brained, slangy teenagers before we end up with strangeness like "silent letters" and vowels with half a dozen different pronunciations. No letter was silent originally in English, and they all had their own sound. The fact that we\’ve corrupted our tongue is a shame, although every trained "linguist" I come across, even teachers here, seem to celebrate it and criticize anybody who ever tries to lay down a rule. Just because some rules are indeed made-up doesn\’t mean we should all start rolling in the mud of lawlessness. They\’re the linguistic version of anarchists, apostates, pagans. And this is their holiday.

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