One Year Down, Many(?) More to Go

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, it’s working or procrastinating. Last week was the week of finals, and for me that meant two big essays that have been driving me crazy. One was on the symbolic power of a dictionary: if your language has one, your language is legit. It’s real. If your language has one, but you want to assert your own group identity, you make one. If you have to work with a group of people to make a dictionary, how do you determine which words are the most right? And even if you make a dictionary for fun, who’s to say that the words in that dictionary aren’t real?

The other article was about Calunga, a language variety of Brazilian Portuguese spoken in Minas Gerais. It’s mostly used by black men, and it comes from a history of mixing African languages with Portuguese so that enslaved Africans could speak among themselves out of earshot of Portuguese slavemasters. It’s so secretive, it’s barely been studied. This one took me the longest, because I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to say. I’m still not sure, honestly, but I wrote what I could and submitted it.

This year, man, this year! My social media accounts have reminded me recently about “This time last year” events, and I keep forgetting how far I’ve come and how crazy this year has been. I came back from nearly a year abroad, I started a PhD program, I moved into my first solo apartment, and I even adopted a dog. In between all of these moments were super highs of realizing what I was capable of and all the things I could achieve (Things I did – THAT!), and super lows of realizing the limits of my will (you can’t make him love you like you deserve to be loved, girl!) or the moments of figuring out how exactly to tap into my potential. It’s been a crazy road, and now that the semester is over, I’m stuck trying to figure out how to rest, relax, and come back harder next semester.

This summer I’m going to try a new method to “level up,” so be on the lookout for this plan soon. In the meantime, Snooky and I are gonna take a quick nap.

Best,

Kris'tina

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