I am originally from Calgary, Alberta, but have been in Kelowna, BC for the past 6 years completing two degrees. I very recently (as in the week before I left for Alaska) defended my Master’s thesis in linguistic anthropology and am currently enjoying my newfound freedom as a non-student for the first time ever. My thesis was based on a project documenting the Nabit language, spoken in Ghana, and helping the community to develop a writing system for the language. I spent 6 weeks in Ghana last summer and am looking forward to a return trip in the near future.
Although my life for the past two years has been consumed by thesis work I do still have a few hobbies that help to keep me sane. I’m an avid line dancer and two-stepper, and as you can probably guess I love country music. I spend the rest of my time watching movies, mostly from the rom-com genre, and reading everything from fantasy to historical fiction. Currently I’m enjoying the Outlander book series and the new TV show. I especially enjoy books like this because as a self-proclaimed non-adventurer I can live vicariously through other peoples travels.
So how did I, a country-music loving, unintentionally adventurous, anthropologist end up living on St. Paul Island with the WAYK team this summer? Well I was first introduced to WAYK two years ago when my research supervisor began using WAYK with a community she works with in BC and after seeing how effective WAYK can be I became very interested in learning more. I applied for the internship because I wanted more experience working with language communities and learning other languages. I am also very interested in learning more about language teaching and language learning practices. And although I’ve only been an intern for two and a half weeks I’ve already learned so much about how to teach/learn languages and how to develop language curriculum.
One of my favorite things about living on St. Paul so far is that there are 18 hours of daylight, hello midnight sun that makes it difficult to want to go to bed! Also, getting to visit the seal rookeries and see all of the gigantic, but still very cute and loveable, northern fur seals has been awesome. Evan and Susanna have also found a way into my heart with their excellent use of color-coding for everything from the WAYK daily schedule to our individualized dish sets. And of course despite my serious struggle at producing some of the “throaty” sounds, I’m really enjoying learning Unangam Tunuu and being a part of lesson development and testing.