Thursday, October 29, 2009


I hate my program right now. Haaate. I hate how the politics work. Here's what's pissing me off today:
The University mandates that grad student get paid a certain dollar amount for our work as teaching assistants. Undergraduates get paid a third less. In this financial crunch, in order to get to HAVE TAs, certain professors are hiring undergrads because the department is not willing to pay for grad students.
Undergrads teaching undergrads. GREAT idea.
In REAL programs, intro classes are taught by grad students anyway, but NO, not here. So, nobody will hire grad students because we cost too much (which we don't control), so undergrads are getting the jobs which are intended for grad students. We are also not allowed to teach any classes, so there are just no jobs left for us.
Assholes. I'm mad at the department for being cheap. I'm mad at the undergrads for getting hired for our jobs. I'm mad at the professors for choosing undergrads over grads. I'm fucking pissed. They love their undergrads and the play favorites; meanwhile, the grad students don't get work, and therefore don't get necessary experience. We truly are the red-headed bastard step-children of BYU.
Undergrads get job after job after job. Meanwhile, I've been TAing 2 courses for the price of one for a whole year, getting screwed with my pants on by the department because I need work.

Grad students ought to be the offered TA jobs first. Period. We're the ones going on to pursue PhDs and eventually work as professors (probably). We need the work and we need the experience. If there are no grad students willing or qualified to TA a course, it should THEN be offered to undergrads.

I hate my department. I hate Utah. I hate BYU. HAAAATE.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recollections of a Past Life.

I am an unabashed bibliophile. For those unacquainted with the term, allow me to enlighten you with my deteriorating knowledge of Greek, which is, none the less, sufficient to parse out the meaning of this term. Biblios - book. Yes, Bible really does just mean 'book.' Phileo - to love. Bibliophile - a lover of books. That's me. I'm obsessed. I love reading more than just about anything else. I rarely enjoy going out with friends, although I often enjoy having dinner parties in my own home. I'm a homebody, I freely admit, and I'd rather spend my time reading a book than almost anything else that could present itself.

That said, I'm quite picky about my reading material. I don't like purpose-less fiction. I don't read for the purpose of escaping my life or anything like that. I rarely enjoy fiction, and when I do read it, it must be either a classical piece, such as Jane Austen or George Eliot; extremely accurate historical fiction; or something thought-provoking, such as the works of Ayn Rand, Jeffrey Eugenides, or Margaret Atwood. More than that, though, I tend to read nonfiction, in the form of specific types of biographies, including, but not limited to, A.J. Jacobs and Bill Bryson, and sociological or historical works such as Jared Diamond's books : Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; and The Third Chimpanzee. I love books that educate me or make me question my established understanding of the world. I love books!

Top Reads, in no particular order:
1. Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale
2. Margaret Atwood: The Edible Woman
3. Bill Bryson: The Mother Tongue
4. Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything
5. Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs and Steel
6. Jared Diamond: Collapse
7. Jared Diamond: The Third Chimpanzee
8. Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
9. Julia Child: My Life in France
10. A.J. Jacobs: The Know-It-All
11. A.J. Jacobs: The Year of Living Biblically
12. A.J. Jacobs: The Guinea Pig Diaries
13. Jane Austen: Persuasion
14. Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma
15. Eric Schlosser: Fast Food Nation

As is obvious from the list, I'm not much for fiction, but I am very interested in food production. I am always concerned as to where my food came from, as I don't care to poison my person with unnecessary chemicals. The details of the industrial food chain seriously gross me out. If a apple came from New Zealand, I'd rather not eat it. I love farmer's markets and I'm a big proponent for supporting the local economy. I won't eat at a restaurant unless it is locally-owned. I believe that stimulating and supporting the local economy will benefit the national economy. However, pouring money into national chains does not support the local economy. The money I spend there, for the most part, travels far away, probably to California, to stimulate and benefit the economy there. No thank-you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Regarding the Name of the Blog.

The name of my blog is "Things I overheard while talking to myself." This title has a dual purpose. Number one, it's a shout-out to one of my favorite actors, and if we ever met, I'm sure he'd be one of my favorite people, Alan Alda. It's the name of his autobiography that was published a couple of years ago. Now, while I haven't yet had time to read his book, I love the title. It made me laugh out loud. Second....I really do talk to myself. Rather a lot. When I was a kid, I would occasionally catch my father talking to himself, and when I asked him about it, he would invariably answer that talking to himself was the only way he could have an intelligent conversation. Hmmm. I'm not so sure how I feel about that.
So yeah, I talk to myself. Sometimes out loud. Often in my car or when I'm home alone. When I'm trying to get to sleep, I tell myself to shut up. Seriously. What do I talk about? I rehearse conversations I intend to have with people. I rehash conversations I've already had with people. I don't hear voices or anything, other than my own. I had a friend a few years ago who was schizophrenic. She heard some other voice - a man's voice. What I experience is nothing like that. It's my own voice and even when I'm rehearsing or rehashing conversations, I control what is said...out loud or not.
One time, when I lived in Philly, I was in my car, driving around, as I often did, and was going over something in my head. Then, I started saying "my" half of the conversation out loud, but quietly. When I looked in the rearview, I remembered that I had a kid in the car - Ben, who was looking at me like I was some kind of crazy person.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I'm as bad at blogging as I am at journalling. Still, I'm starting afresh. I've had and dropped two blogs so far: and

Yup. I'm bad at blogging. I dropped the first one because I was starting a new part of my life, and I had a blog-stalker: an ex that couldn't understand that I didn't want him reading my blog and I DEFINITELY didn't want him commenting on it. Stupid stalkers.

I seem to have dropped the second one because it was supposed to be an anonymous festering pool of guilt-free snarkiness, but everyone kept asking me if I blogged, and I kept giving out addresses, and, well, there's a lot I can't really say on it any more. So, I'm giving up on the author-free snark-blog. Back to regular blogging. Plus, I've decided that I like this website more than livejournal, and so here I am again, starting another new journal.


So, for an update:
I'm in a never-ending MA program in Linguistics at BYU. It wouldn't be so never-ending if I could get around to writing a thesis. I've done all of the coursework, and have been through three different thesis topics. Go me.
If I ever manage to finish this degree, I hope to pursue a PhD in Linguistics with an emphasis on language and the law, also called Forensic Linguistics.

I just finished organizing and running a Linguistics conference, for the Linuistic Association of the Southwest. It was busy and crazy and awesome. I love being overly busy and on the edge of going crazy...not really sure why, but I'm pretty sure the stress'll kill me one of these days.