The personal blog of an applied linguist, writer, & educator

Category: Journal Entries

  • Is Parenting Futile?

    If you want to vet someone’s commitment to empirical evidence, the topic of parenting will rile people like little else. More specifically, the argument that parenting has limited influence over the character of children — a proposition that possesses a unique potential to offend people to the left and right of the political divide (which…

  • End of Hiatus

    I haven’t posted on this blog since 2020, shortly before the pandemic came. Nothing I wanted to talk about occurred for the year and a half of house arrest the Earth imposed on humanity. But the pandemic’s punctuated shift to my rearview mirror has rekindled my urge to communicate and share ideas.

  • Wherefore Converse?

    Wherefore Converse?

    Preface I started this post a couple of months ago–before Covid-19 foisted itself upon the world. The point remains relevant, nonetheless–perhaps more so. On vacation last winter, I booked a tour from Sedona to Antelope Canyon. It was my first time traveling with a group of strangers in a small rental van, and I ended…

  • Sun shower in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor

    Monday culminated in some shopping in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, where I got locked down by a torrential downpour. The intensity of the sunlight doesn’t show up so well in this video, but the green dot moving around the screen is where the sun was hitting the lens of my phone’s camara.

  • Hace mucho tiempo no nos escribimos

    Hace mucho tiempo no nos escribimos

    Blog updates succumbed to summer ennui this year, but there’s nothing like refreshing time away from the U.S. to get the words flowing again. It’s remarkable what a reliable metro system with occupants who know how to act in public will do for my overall humor. I’m writing this from the patio of my hotel…

  • Duolingo Announces its French Podcast

    I love the Spanish language podcast, so this should be a welcome addition for French students.

  • Week 8 – Summer 2019

    Looks like I’ll be adding some additions to my Mexican handicraft collection after all this year.

  • Summer 2019 – Week 7

    Summer 2019 – Week 7

    Some people have bad hair days; I have bad technology days. This morning, the OneNote app on my phone stopped syncing with my work account (most likely due to the hyper-vigilant Internet security protocols at my workplace–a problem our IT department perennialy insists on deflecting to faculty). Otherwise, I’m still recuperating from TESOL proposals, which…

  • An informal introduction to American allophonic variation

    An informal introduction to American allophonic variation

    This makes for a narrative introduction to the North American pronunciation of the intervocalic /ɾ/. she also touches on the difference between the Spanish and English varieties. As I began hearing Beto’s name said by a variety of acquaintances and the national media, I noticed that often the pronunciation sounded just slightly off. Read more:…

  • There’s a reason the English call it a “full stop”

    There’s a reason the English call it a “full stop”

    I made this observation at a writing-group session a couple of years ago, so I was happy to find my linguistic intuition supported with research. I used to have friends I texted several times a day, and I noticed that subtle changes such as this communicate even more with someone you text on a daily…