Trapped at a Cross Road

I’ve hit a cross roads, and I’m turning into a huge bitch.

As I’m learning more about racism, white supremacy, and true feminism, I’m finding out that I want to be more than what I am. I don’t want to be status quo anymore. I want to be more than wife, mother, home-maker. I don’t feel like I’m actually good at any one of those, let alone all three put together.

I think what I want most of all is to be free. Free to make decisions about myself that isn’t being questioned or criticized by other people.

I blame twitter. Haha. I follow some strong women, many of whom I think are single and childless. They get to do whatever the fuck they want, and I yearn for the same.

I want to be a woman who isn’t being warned about the dangers of being outside late at night.

I want to make career choices without a “you might want to consider a fall back plan.”

I want a lot, and I will get very little of it. And that makes me anxious and angry and bitter.

I’m really feeling trapped, and I don’t know what to do about it.

Mind Dump 5: Back to Studying & Kid Sleep Issues

It’s been a while.

I was swept into the tide of following the anti-white supremacist movement on twitter. I’ve made a fool of myself in the process; not from ill will, but just from general ignorance. I think I desire to be cooler than I actually am, and now I’m just looking like a big idiot. Oh well. Gotta learn somehow.

I’ve finally got the chance to get back into the swing of studying. I’m at a starbucks right now with the intention to dedicating some time reading my textbook. I know I need to do better – dedicate more time, and be willing to get off social media (so hard right now) to devote time to what it is I want to do: become a linguist.

But I’m also feeling very humanist – I want to be a change. I don’t know how to do that, and I’m slowly learning how. I want to be able to both study and be a positive influence at the same time, but I am a terrible time manager and I can barely get myself to do the dishes and cook dinner all in the same day. Stupid, eh? Also not very promising once I get back into academia.

The girls continue to be difficult when it comes to bedtime. K just refuses to go to sleep at a reasonable time, and I think no amount of sleep training will help with that. We’re going to need to adjust how we deal with her and our expectations of her.

Life, for me, is pretty hard right now. There’s a lot more I want to say about it, but for the sake of my family, I will keep my mouth shut. I’m just not all that happy with our circumstances, and I’m not sure what to do about it.

Guess I better get started on this studying thing, since that’s what I’m here to do.

The Road to Ph.D. is Lengthening and Meandering

In other news, unsurprisingly I am mildly tabling my ambition.

I say mildly because I am still moving forward with it as my eventual goal, and I have every intention to continue the self studying as planned. However, I am extending the amount of time I am self studying for financial and familial reasons.

The biggest one is that I simply cannot afford it. I haven’t worked in over three years and while I am planning to start looking for a job soon, I also have a family I will need to support. We are struggling quite horribly this month. I really don’t know how we’ll make it, but I think a few rounds to the food bank may be one way how. Cheap meals that last a long time … lots of potatoes in our future. So, anyway, when I start my job, there won’t be much spare money. And what spare there is will be going toward paying off current debt. Then saving for a down payment on a house. Then, after that, that savings will go to my future endeavors.

It sucks big time, but this is for the best. I really wanted to be back in school as early as 2019, but it just isn’t feasible.

I am trying to look on the bright side though: I’ll have quite a bit of time for self studying. By time I am ready to apply for school again, hopefully I’ll have quite a bit of background information to rely on as I make my way through classes. I’ll be better read, have more knowledge, and be better prepared to be a student once again. Also, the girls will be much older and I won’t feel guilty taking the time to improve myself. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do. Because part of the reason of having kids is to spend time with them.

So I’ll keep on keeping on. The road to Ph.D. is getting longer, but I was a fool to ever think the path would be short or even linear. Very silly of me.

I am a White Woman, and FUCK RACISM

I am a white woman. I just now deleted several paragraphs of rambling bullshit because I realize that I was digging myself into a hole. Who am I, having never experienced racism, to talk about racism?

I am a white woman, and I know racism exists in America. I am not so foolish to think or believe that it ever went away. There have been times, a lot of times, in my life where racism wasn’t on the forefront of my mind because I am typically surrounded by people who are also white.

I am a white woman, and racism has never affected my life. I have had many friends of other ethnicities flow throughout my life. But while I was with them, we did not encounter any sort of overt racism. At least not from my white point of view, which obviously could be wrong.

When I was in 5th grade, I lived in Kansas City, KS and was a minority in a primarily black school. There were a few times where I was mildly bullied, and maybe race played a part of it, but I never thought anyone making fun of me was doing so because I was white. It wasn’t even a thought in my mind. I figured they were making fun of me because I was new, and new is an easy target. Being 9-10 years old and never experiencing racism, I don’t think I would know what it looked or felt like even if it was happening. But I digress…

I am a white woman, but I am not shocked or surprised by what happened today. I look and hear and read the news of the bullshit that POC experience. I know it happens, and I know there is a lot more happening that isn’t being reported on. It happens every day to a lot of people.

I’m an overly empathetic white woman. I can imagine myself in other people’s shoes and feel their sorrows. I cry very easily and at everything. And while I know my imagination couldn’t possibly match the realism of those situations, it is not lost on me that I don’t know how it feels and I will probably never know how it feels.

When I see these messages, I know they are 100% correct.



It saddens me to the core to think about all the people out there who are not being treated as people. It completely baffles me that there are assholes out there who can look at a POC and think of them as subhuman. It blows my fucking mind.

I follow sociologist Dr. Tressie Mc, and I saw she wrote this, and I wanted to cry too…

Can you imagine having to defend yourself, every fucking day, that you’re worthy of being treated as an intelligent human being? I am a woman, so I kind of get it. But I know it is much, much worse for POC, especially WOC.


I replied to the first of the above tweets that I am actively teaching my children about race. Having rejoined twitter recently, I have found so many POC expressing how white people have a responsibility to stop avoiding racism as a topic of discussion. By never talking about race and race issues, we are being complicit and compounding the problem. I don’t want to be that person. I will admit that I am not at all an expert on racism. But I’m learning. I want to learn, and I want to be better, and I want to raise children who will stand up for anyone and everyone who is being bullied. My girls will speak up and stand up. And I’ll start teaching them by showing them how.

Linguistic Courses I Want to Take

Looking at courses right now. Here are the ones I’m interested in.


As far as introductory classes go, I can probably apply what I took at my other school to this one. But if not, one of the two below would be what I would take. Though I want to take both.

  • LING 400 – Survey of Linguistic Method and Theory – 5 cr.
  • JAPAN 440 – Introduction to Japanese Linguistics – 5 cr.

I need one 4XX classes and 20 credits of electives. These all sound very interesting to me.

  • LING 372 Language and Translation (5) VLPA Tarlinskaja
    Role of linguistic concepts in the process of translation from one language to another. Attention to both language universals and language particulars.
  • LING 401 The Linguistic, Philosophical, and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky (3) VLPA/I&S
    Relation of current work in Chomskyan linguistics to philosophical, psychological, political, and educational thought. Prerequisite: LING 200 or LING 400.
  • LING 402 Survey of the History of Linguistics (3) VLPA/I&S
    Main trends in linguistic theory and philosophy of linguistics from ancient times through advent of transformational-generative grammar. Includes nineteenth-century comparative and historical grammar, Prague school grammar, American structuralist grammar, major concerns of linguistics today. Prerequisite: LING 451. Instructors: Zagona
  • LING 407 Languages of the World (5) VLPA
    A survey of the world’s languages, focusing on their syntactic, phonological, and morphological properties. Prerequisite: either LING 200, LING 201, ANTH/LING 203, or LING 400
  • LING 412 Japanese Syntax and Semantics (5) VLPA T. OGIHARA
    Introduces issues in Japanese syntax and semantics. Emphasizes description generalizations, rather than theoretical proposals. Prerequisite: either LING 200 or LING 400; recommended: LING 461; at least two years of coursework in Japanese. Offered: jointly with JAPAN 442.
  • LING 441 Language Processing and Development 1 (5) I&S/NW A. OMAKI
    This course explores current research on language processing and development in adult native speakers and children, with a focus on sound and word-level representations. Topics include speech perception, word recognition, acquisition of phonology and word meanings, as well as a variety of methodologies that are used to study these mechanisms. Prerequisite: LING 200 or LING 400. Offered: A.
  • LING 476 Philosophy of Language (5) VLPA/I&S
    Current theories of meaning, reference, predication, and related concepts. Offered: jointly with PHIL 453


These are classes in other departments I could use as an elective. Can’t I just take them all?

  • JAPAN 441 The Acquisition of Japanese as a Second or Foreign Language
  • ENGL 369 Research Methods in Language and Rhetoric
  • ENGL 373 History of the English Language
  • ENGL 575 Pedagogy and Grammar in Teaching ESL
  • PSYCH 447 Psychology of Language
  • SPHSC 425 Speech, Language, and the Brain


I’m pretty sure if I won the lottery, I would survey every class there is. Ever. Eternal student.


Don’t you hate when you send off an email that illuminates your ignorance, only to find the answer not too long after the email is sent?

I wrote to the linguistics department yesterday saying “I’m not sure how this works”, then later that night I found out exactly how it works. Ughhhhh. Now I just feel stupid and foolish because this is a prestigious school and I just look like a dummy dum dum.

I discovered that you can apply as a post-baccalaureate to seek a second undergraduate degree. This is exactly what I need/want to do in order to prepare for the Ph.D. program. Now the question is how the hell will I pay for it. I’m trying not to let that very important detail deter me. At least for the moment.

So let’s look this over…

The linguistics undergraduate degree requires the following classes:


The Linguistics Major

The following is an outline of the required courses for the Linguistics major:

Introductory course in linguistics. (5 credits)

Core courses (25 credits):
  • Introduction to Linguistic Phonetics, Phonology I (LING 450, 451)
  • Syntax I, II (LING 461, 462)
  • One LING 4XX (Excludes LING 400, 419, 430, 480, 490, 499)
Language courses (30 credits):
  • One year each (or the equivalent) of two languages, one of which must belong to a family of languages different from the student’s own native language. For native English speakers, this means one year of study of a non-Indo-European language. Non-native speakers of English may count English as one of their languages. A student may test out of one language, but not both. For full details, see the Language Requirement page.
Elective courses (20 credits):
  • Additional credits in linguistics or related fields. For full details, see the Elective Requirement section below.
Total credits: 50, in addition to required language courses



I have the introductory class covered from my previous unversity experience, though truth be told I wouldn’t mind retaking it (or, as I had initially planned, self study) to reacquaint myself with basic knowledge.

As far as the language course requirements go, I have one of those languages covered (Japanese), which I plan to review between now and prior to entering school. I also want to take Spanish – I have Rosetta Stone for Latin American Spanish. It would be the most immediately useful language to learn. Plus I wanna teach my children it.

The elective courses are going to be hard to narrow down. I was reviewing their list last night and there are about a million classes I want to take. All the Japanese linguistic classes. Rhetoric courses. Sociolinguistic courses. TAKE ALL THE CLASSES.

The tricky part will be the timing and cost. I don’t know if I could take more than one class at a time mostly due to being unable to afford more than that, both in terms of time and money. I would love to be a full time student, taking three courses at a time to complete the major within two years. Then step right into the Ph.D. program.

Guess we’ll see what happens. I’ll probably make another post later to talk about the elective courses I’m interested in.

Tarot Reading about the Road to Ph.D.

Last night my friend/acquaintance/former university roommate (Sorry Jen, I’m not sure how to label our relationship) did a tarot reading for me via twitter. I had tremendous amount of fun with it. Plus it was pretty reconfirming.

I was going to post the whole interaction here, but I am lazy. I asked whether I would be successful on my journey to obtain my Ph.D. in Linguistics. Here’s my spread after a few additional cards were pulled for further analysis.


Her overall analysis (prior to additional cards being pulled).



Although science doesn’t support the metaphysical, I still have my superstitions and beliefs that are not based in science. I consider myself agnostic deist as far as spirituality goes, but I also tend to have some leanings towards paganism. Tarot I’m a bit on the fence about as far as its ability to tell the future, yet I also believe in Jen’s ability to connect to the metaphysical plane (she’s a practicing witch), so I give her reading credibility. That might also be because this reading pretty much reconfirms what I had hoped to hear: The journey will be rough and full of anxiety and obstacles, but overall I will overcome.

There was a section of the reading that I really couldn’t figure out, and it had to do with recent events or a particular person who created hostile conflict. I just don’t know really.

I think the most interesting is Death being in my hopes/fears spot. She analyzed it as being worried about an ending. The secondary card, she says, “talks about new plans and perseverance, but with tones of running away and ‘I can do it all on my own.'” Could be construed as confidence or lacking support. Pondering it further last night, I feel Death is the perfect card for this particular spot. I hope to reach the end – to complete the Ph.D.; on the other hand, I’m fearful that I will not make it, that it will be a dream that will eventually die.

While I shouldn’t give a lot of credence to the reading, I am using it as a motivator to push forward. I emailed the linguistic advising office today. I’m hoping to perhaps set up a meeting to talk to someone in person about my hopes and desires. As I was starting the email, I could feel my heart racing, as if they’re already telling me “no”. Anxiety-ridden already. Haha.

Tonight I plan to make more flashcards. My time with the GRE book is coming to an end (library book), so I want to get as much information out of it as possible before I need to return it. Tomorrow I hope to find the time to escape and do some reading out of my linguistics textbook. Oh, and I should probably clean my house at some point.

One thing at a time.

Mind Dump 5: A little bit of everything

Typing on my phone so forgive any stupid typos.
I was dumb and reinstalled Facebook on my phone. Unsurprisingly I have been spending too much time on there. Twitter as well. I uninstalled them again in hopes I will use my time more wisely.
I’ve come to terms with my setback. Overall I think it’s a good thing to find out additional work will be needed. It’ll give me a chance to ease back into academia before I take the plunge into the Ph.D. program. 

I find myself outrageously envious of those who are already in the program or have obtained it. It’s a stupid jealousy, for they had to start somewhere too. I didn’t discover my passion into nearing the end of my bachelors. It was too late to pursue it even if I did want to make the switch. Also there wasn’t even a minor being offered at the time. 

I don’t know why I’m getting so defensive. I think I still feel silly about how eager I was to jump right in when I didn’t even have the right gear on. Oh well. Knowledge is power, and I now have the knowledge of where I need to begin this endeavor: with a university advisor.
While I try to figure out the arrangements on who to contact and when to meet them, I will continue my self study. The studying will receive less emphasis as I put more time into the purge.
I started the purge today. I picked out toys that the girls don’t need or use and packed it up. Hoping to get together more kiddo items that are no longer needed (clothes and the like) so I can hand it all off to someone in my community. Next will be purging everything in the dining area. There’s a tremendous amount of shit there, but I think it’ll be a fairly quick task. It’s been long overdue and it’s about damn time I get started. It’ll make studying a lot easier to do when our home is clutter free. 
I feel this was a good decluttering of the mind. Good night.

Feeling Defeated

The Road to Ph.D. is going to need a detour.

Tonight, while listening to the wails of a crying 16 month old, I padded haphazardly through UW’s Linguistics department’s website. I came to the realization that my current path forward will not be a straight line. Even with self study of the textbooks I plan to read, I will be missing some key components that are required for entry into the Ph.D. program.

For one, I need TWO foreign languages under my belt. I have one, kind of. My undergraduate degree is in Japanese Language, which is hilarious because I do not know it at all. Sure I can kind of read things here and there, but I lack the grammar knowledge to feel even mildly proficient at it.

And while I have both Japanese and Spanish on Rosetta Stone, I will probably still need Spanish courses on a transcript before I’d be considered.

Also, I think I would greatly benefit if I actually took more advanced Linguistics courses. I took an intro classes and a socio-linguistics class during undergrad. Hardly enough to really get into graduate level courses.


The reality is weighing me down. If I want to continue down this path, there is a tremendous amount of work I will need to do just to get prepared for applying to the program. Then there is the possibility I wouldn’t get in.

I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I lost my life raft and I am drowning, except my feet are still firmly grounded on land. I just don’t know how I’ll be able to pull it all together while raising young children. I know people do it all the time, but I feel like those people have super powers and I am but a mere muggle mortal. Also, financially we can barely cover basic needs. I would need to work, while going to school, while raising kids. Super powers.


For now, I just wish my kid would stop screaming and go to sleep. It would help me cope with this new unfortunate epiphany.