Boston's header

Things I Learned in July

Posted by bostonki on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

Duolingo sent me a notification today that said, “These [daily] reminders don’t seem to be working.  We’ll stop sending them for now”, and I think that’s a perfect embodiment for how my July is going.  Boston’s brain doesn’t seem to be working right now, try again later.

Things I Learned in July:

  1. Don’t try to rustle up renters insurance and utilities the week before you move out.
  2. Cleaning an apartment from floor to ceiling is not fun.
  3. High schoolers are tough and exhausting, but rewarding.
  4. I can take daily naps and go without dinner until 9 PM if need be.
  5. I’ve developed an unfortunate dependence on a morning cup of joe.
  6. Not all parents embarrass you on your 21st birthday.
  7. Dancing Chopsticks on campus sells better bubble tea for cheaper.
  8. Walmart is a godsend for apartment-shopping on an $11.00/hr budget.
  9. Buffalo is a pretty cool city.  (Comes to the realization of this after I’ve been here for 21 years)
  10. It is possible to read 150 pages of a book per day.  Just not when it’s a textbook 😉

If you want to know what humuhumunukunukuapua’a means you should read this post

Posted by bostonki on July 10, 2018 in Uncategorized


Yo deseo que todo el mundo disfruitan este verano.

I hope everybody is enjoying this summer so far.  It has a been quite a busy one for me!  I took a well-deserved break, but my life the past few weeks has been work, a scholarship application, and apartment hunting.  Oh, and clearly, practicing my Spanish.

The more I’ve been thinking, the more I realize that I really should be adding a second language to my repertoire.  Not only does it boost your brain with cognitive benefits, but since I am planning to enter the field of international education, it would be a nice asset when job-hunting time rolls around.  I took Spanish for six years in middle and high school, so I might as well attempt to increase my proficiency in a language I pretty deeply studied the first time around!  I’ve been using Duolingo, which is a website that you can learn over a dozen languages on for free – everything from Spanish and French to Arabic to Hungarian to Chinese and even Klingon if you’re into that.  It’s completely free to join and they have a mixture of speaking, writing, listening, and vocabulary exercises.  Most importantly, it’s kind of fun.  They have little caricatures that speak to you through speech bubbles, and oddly enough I’ve been getting some help from the legend herself, Terri Irwin.  (Steve was also helping me but alas, I deleted the screenshot)

I’ve even gotten Mike involved on the app/website, too.  He’s been talking about how he wanted to learn Japanese and now he can say sentences like “My friend Maria is Chinese.”  Or something along those lines.  Languages in Japan are actually quite interesting.  They’re considered language isolates, meaning they don’t have that much evidence of being related to any other language in the world.  Linguists are debating about whether Japanese is related to dialects of Chinese or Korean, but they’re just unsure at this point.  It can’t be a coincidence that Japanese, Chinese, and Korean all have some form of “characters”, although they may be called something different, like in the case of kanji.  In either instance, they’re both classified as some of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers because of the structure, but also because of the “character”-sound relationship.  They don’t use Latin letters and we as English speakers really aren’t sure what any given character or shape is supposed to sound like.

Thanks to Professor Hoeing of LIN 108: Languages of the World for the prior knowledge that allowed to write the entire previous paragraph with the exception of how to spell kanji.

Another fun language fact: Hungarian is not related to any of the languages in its surrounding countries.  Not Cezch, not Romanian, not Polish, not Ukranian.  It’s actually related to Estonian and Finnish in a group called the Uralic Languages.  How Hungarian managed to isolate itself is still somewhat a mystery, but I think we’ve come to the conclusion that the folks in Hungary have been able to fight off people and thus, language influence, for a long time.

Another language fun fact:  humuhumunukunukuapua’a is the word for fish in Hawaiian.  High School Musical 2 all of the sudden makes so much sense.

To take away from today:  Take LIN 108 if you enjoyed reading this blog post.  Join Duolingo.  Learn a second language.  Watch High School Musical 2.

That is all.