Mayka tiki wawa Chinuk Wawa? Mayka tuʔan computer? Nawitka, mayka tuʔan computer.

(You want to speak Chinuk Wawa? Do you have a computer? Yes, you have a computer (obviously).

Itka ukuk? Where Are Your Keys ukuk! (Well, Where Are Your Keys video ukuk).

(What’s this? It’s Where Are Your Keys! (Well, a Where Are Your Keys video, [anyway]).

I’ve been learning Chinuk Wawa via google hangouts for about a month now using “Where Are Your Keys.” Here’s the latest video. It was interesting trying to figure out where the negation goes. Example: 
Alda wik nakya tiki mayka uskan (Now no I want your cup)

aba (or)

wik alda nayka tiki mayka uskan (No now I want your cup).

It turns out that the negation goes at the beginning of the sentence. YAY LINGUISTICS.

One afternoon, as all linguists do, I was sitting on my couch making weird noises, trying to figure out the non-English IPA symbols. I stumbled on the shaded parts of the graph, supposedly outlining impossible articulations. A velar trill is supposed to be impossible. Yet I’m fairly sure I managed it. It just involves nearly unhinging your lower jaw and make my tongue do some crazy backwards bending-folding thing.

FYI, whatever I discovered, it’s the Chewbacca noise. 


Phonetic transcription of the chorus of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers.


Phonetic transcription of the chorus of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers.

This is what the English Honors Society talks about on facebook
deep shit

This is what the English Honors Society talks about on facebook

deep shit

Why I don’t want to “feed the world”

With all the talk about organic farming, permaculture, and sustainable growing, there’s a question you encounter a lot: “Well all that’s fine and dandy, but how’re you gonna feed the world?” You see, I fundamentally dislike this question.

Never mind the fact that we produce more than enough calories to feed the entirety of the world population; despite this fact, one billion people will go hungry today. It isn’t that we’re not growing ENOUGH; what we’re growing isn’t going to hungry people, due to inequality in distribution.

In order to pursue this faulty model of “grow more food, feed more people,” we have sacrificed the quality of our soil, our air, our oceans, and our health. 

That’s why I dislike that question, and here’s my answer to it: I don’t want to feed the world. I don’t want the world to be dependent on me, lording over them as their first-world savior, to sprinkle food on the huddled masses. I want to empower local communities worldwide so that they can develop the tools to feed themselves.

An article from the Northern Star Newspaper of Northern Illinois University, and my response to it. First, the badly-written article: 

Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 10:46 am | Updated: 1:28 pm, Tue Sep 3, 2013.

Fast food workers around the nation decided to strike, asking for $15 an hour, on Thursday.

Robert B. Reich, former secretary of labor, said in petition that McDonald’s and Walmart “can easily afford to pay them $15 an hour without causing layoffs or requiring price hikes,” citing the companies’ profits in recent years despite the recession.

Let’s think about this: If we double the hourly wage, then I would say it’s safe to assume the price of the product would go up as well. Can you imagine the outrage if our precious Big Mac was $10?

A company will only survive if it can make a profit, and it’s reasonable to assume either prices will go up or the amount of jobs will go down in order to make that profit.

The fundamental issue, among all other problems, is people have become dependent.

Junior communications major Steven O’Donnell said while $15 is too much, “[workers] really could use more than $8.25 because that is not enough to survive.”

This may be true, but there’s a problem.

It isn’t McDonald’s or Taco Bell’s job to support their workers’ families. The purpose of these jobs is not to support workers or to help them make a living.

Restaurants are in the business to make a profit. They, like everyone else, are looking to make money.

“$8.25 isn’t enough for someone to support themselves,” said junior technology major Mike Thielen.

True, but that’s not what these jobs are for. Minimum wage jobs act as a stepping stone to higher employment. It’s merely meant for someone to get experience under his or her belt; it’s true everyone has to start somewhere. These jobs, however, are menial and have high turnover rates.

They don’t require much skill or training: They’re so easy, a 16-year-old could do it. Striking is futile, because there will always be someone willing to work for less.

A good example of this is how businesses so easily hire unauthorized migrants, despite it being illegal, because they are low-wage employees.

This conversation points to a larger problem. Americans in general have become too accustomed to receiving assistance. Instead of being grateful for employment, people are expecting their employers to take care of them.

Americans have lost their drive to make a living and are expecting others to do it for them.

The economy is bad and jobs are hard to come by, but the reality is it’s nobody’s job to take care of you but yourself.

Americans must wake up and smell the burgers.

As Mitt Romney once said, “Dependency is death to initiative, to risk-taking and opportunity.”

Being dependent on the government is a slippery slope, and one that is unsupportable. We’ve lost our way and our desire to make it with hard work and determination. Raising wages isn’t the answer; instead, it is independence and hard work.

Now: my response: 

I was troubled and disturbed my an article run on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, titled ”Raising minimum wage: troubles for businesses, workers.”

First off, Ms. New begins by quoting a very reliable source, Robert B. Reich, former secretary of labor, as saying that a hike in wages will not cause a rise in the price of goods. Then she counters by saying “I would say it’s safe to assume the price of the product would go up as well,” without offering any evidence as to why Mr. Reich is wrong and she is right.
Economics does not work the way it is portrayed in this article. It is a very complicated system, and just because the hourly wage goes up does not mean that the price will necessarily go up as well. For instance: since 2000, the price of gasoline has more then doubled; it would be “safe to assume” that, because food needs to be moved on planes, trains and automobiles that use gasoline, that the price would have doubled. This is simply not the case.
Also troubling to me is the portrayal as all people working in the fast-food industry as being in “starter positions”; numerous people work in fast food for more then five years without ever seeing a raise. Also ignored is the fact that a whopping 60% of people working in fast food are not teenagers, but mature adults, many of whom are supporting a family.
Ms. New mentions that these positions should be starting points for people to better themselves. Yet how can they better themselves when they make so little and cannot afford an education, either in time or money? These men and women must work two jobs in order to feed their families, because they make so little; they simply cannot take time off to go to college, and they cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars of debt that go with higher education.
The fact that these multibilllion dollar industries pay their workers poverty wages is not just a problem for said workers; most WalMarts actually rely heavily on their local tax base to support their workers. WalMart pays their employees so little that most rely on food stamps and Medicaid. When WalMart has huge profit margins, and can afford to pay its workers more, why should we taxpayers shoulder the burden?
There were once many white-collar manufacturing jobs in America from which people could afford to feed their families. Those jobs were not initially good. They were horrible and time-consuming and extremely dangerous. Yet unions rose up and gave us an eight-hour work-day and a weekend. Yet those jobs have been shipped overseas, where cheap labor is plentiful. Fast Food is the new manufacturing industry. Without people to rise up and improve conditions and wages, the gap between the impoverished and the rich will continue to rise.