Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Last Speakers

Just listened to this fascinating article (which appears on on NPR) about the extinction of language, "In The Search For 'Last Speakers,' A Great Discovery." In the article, linguist David Harrison is quoted as saying:

"People really do value their languages," he says. "And ... the decision to give up one language or to abandon a language is not usually a free decision. It's often coerced by politics, by market forces, by the educational system in a country, by a larger, more dominant group telling them that their language is backwards and obsolete and worthless."

This sounds very much like what's happened in Taiwan when the Kuomintang prohibited Taiwanese people from speaking their native Aborigine, Holo Taiwanese and Hakka languages.

Harrison also has some interesting, though not surprising things to say about how to save a language.

To read the entire article, click here.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

What's great about New York is all of the resources and possibilities that this city has to offer, but I've been thinking that it is also so true that "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." New York can be a tough place if you don't have the means- the dough, the dinero, the moolah- you know, you get the picture. I have been feeling a lot like this lately as I hear people talking about rent increases, the cost of living, their job searches and struggles to make their dreams come true. Being on the job search again myself, I'm feeling the crunch.

Since I have a bit more time on my hands these days, it was very timely when I learned that there was an opportunity for me to volunteer at the Social Ad Summit on Friday, and so I did. I've been wanting to attend a mediabistro event, and this was a golden opportunity to help out and to attend an event for free. Volunteering is such a great way to learn more about an organization and to attend conferences for free. It's a great way to network with people and there's always something to be learned and to "take away from the experience." This leads me to this little bit of unexpected wisdom that I came across and wanted to share. My job as a volunteer at the Social Ad Summit was to work with the event's photographer. After he snapped photos of people, my job was to ask them their name, company and title, which I recorded for the photo captions. After the last picture of the day was snapped, one of the men in the photo handed me his business card before dashing off. It had his blog on it: 10MinutesofBrilliance.com. When I checked out his blog today, I came across this little bit of wisdom written by Cherie Carter-Scott from her book If Life is a Game, These are the Rules:

The 10 Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body.

You may like it or hate it, but it’s the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life. So take care of it. You’re not getting another.

2. You will learn lessons.

You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “Life.” Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.

Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work.

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.

Lessons will be repeated by you in various forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them, you can go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end.

There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. “There” is no better than “here”.

When your “there” has become “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better to you than “here.”

7. Others are only mirrors of you.

You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.

You have all the tools and resources you need to succeed. What you do with them is up to you.

9. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to Life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

10. You will forget all this.
You can remember any time you wish.


Definitely rules to live by, and ones I can truly identify with. To me life is all about lessons and constant improvement. I don't necessarily believe that "everything happens for a reason" but rather that we can find lessons in the things that happen to us or in life, and hopefully grow from what we've been through for the better.
Believe in your dreams. If you don't who, who will?