Day: February 27, 2012

A Chance to Get Involved

Limbo. The space between graduating undergrad and being accepted into a graduate school. During the time up until my acceptance, I didn’t know what part of the country I would be in. Whether I would be on the west coast, east coast, or close to home. It was quite nerve racking to leave my jobs that I love, to leave my hometown where I knew everyone and move to a place where I could barely get to campus from my apartment. It was scary not knowing anyone, so I decided to either find a job or volunteer. As it turned out, with my acceptance to graduate school at Eastern Michigan, I also decided to volunteer at the LINGUIST List.

My first day was full of reading, learning, and socializing. It was difficult to learn everything that I needed to know to start on my first projects (LL-MAP and Public Relations), but somehow I managed. I am proud to feel part of a community here working on projects that are much bigger than myself and have pushed me to my limits when it comes to doing problem-solving in new computer programs. It’s weird to think that my knowledge of linguistics finally matters beyond affecting my GPA– my work assignments aren’t just homework assignments any more. If I mess up, I won’t just get a lower grade on the assignment; I will mess up a part of a collective knowledge base for the linguistic community. The pressure to remain accurate can be stressful, but I feel it has allowed me to become more confident in my abilities. I know I know the material inside and out. I will find the right answer.

Perhaps getting involved would have been easier if I had taken a different road; a different path that was already planned. I could have worked at a restaurant, I could have worked anywhere, but I chose to work somewhere where my abilities as an aspiring linguist would be tested. I am even more grateful that LINGUIST List thought that I was worth it and hired me to become a part of the team.

In the end, applying to graduate school was quite stressful, but I feel that it has opened doors for me. Without being in a graduate program, I would not have even dreamed about doing work of the caliber I do now. The work to get here was difficult, but I believe that it was worth every bit. Robert Frost said it best with his poem The Road Not Taken:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

My advice to you is this: get involved. Find something that you want to do as a career and just go for it. Don’t let your fears of being in a completely new environment stop you. Take it. Run with it. Take the plunge and go.

Fund Drive 2012: LINGQUEST Begins!

Dear friends, subscribers, and supporters,

The LINGUIST homepage has been overtaken by a mystical tome emblazoned with mysterious golden lettering: LINGQUEST.  Welcome to Fund Drive 2012, a thrilling journey through the Lands of Linguistics.  Each week, the valiant heroes of the Illocutionary Force will face off against a new threat to the linguistic world; each week, you’ll be able to vote with your donations to determine the next chapter in their epic struggle.

But the forces of darkness, alas, are not confined to the fictional Lands of Linguistics.  The evil Wizard of Funding Cuts, and his sidekick the Imp of Apathy, take their toll on LINGUIST List’s meager treasury every day.  We need you, our stalwart subscribers and users, to rally with us and fight the good fight– we rely on your donations to keep providing the information and services you depend on.  Dauntless readers, join the battle to keep LINGUIST alive and well! Join the vaunted heroes of yore, reap the rewards of valor, and ensure that LINGUIST List will be able to serve you for years to come.

With sincerest gratitude,

The LINGUIST List Crew