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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

TIE Renewal DONE!

Yay! I did it!!!!!!

It makes me feel like celebrating....I feel like dancing!

"Jump on It" dance from "Apache" song (The Sugar Hill Gang),  from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (posted  here originally)
I was an avid Fresh Prince fan, but I forgot ever seeing this dance. One night, they played the music at a Pacer's game. While the lyrics are...questionable, the dance is hilarious. It's even more hilarious to see lots of Indy bball fans imitating it, as I am right now! Celebrate with me, I finished applying for the renewal of my TIE!!!!! Yes!!!

Kip Dynamite understands (posted here originally)

Here's to waiting one week from Thursday to see if I was approved (fingers crossed!).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Want You...In My Language Lair!

You have just entered The Language Lair! (you know, like a Batcave...only for this dorky linguist)

Right now, the song on endless loop in my head is "Help" by The Beatles. Of course, Silverstein did a cover, which you can check out on my Guilty Pleasures blog entry about cover songs.

Anyway, you can listen to The Beatles version to get you in the mood to read the rest of this entry if you'd like below!

You have not entered The Language Lair (a.k.a. El Laberinto de la Lingüista Loca) by accident.  'Twas fate that brought you here...or curiosity, or perhaps you thought this was a site to look at funny animal pictures or a hateful cat.

Happy now?

Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way...I need your help! You can help if you speak English, Catalan, Spanish, or any mix of these. (Easy, huh?)


Simple. Think of words with suffixes that you know in any of these languages. 
  • Example: "Nation" becomes "Nación" in Spanish and "Nació" in Catalan

I'm working on a paper about learners using their knowledge of word derivations and suffixes to guess what a word they need to use might be in the language they are trying to speak. 
  • Example: I need to say "priority" in Spanish. I know that many words in English that end in "-ity" and in "-idad" in Spanish, so I would hypothesize that "prioridad" is the word that I need. (Correct)

Now...what I am looking for are words that don't fit these general patterns.
  • Example: "rarity" in English --> "rareza" (Spanish) --> "raresa" (Catalan)
  • Example: "scarcity" in English --> "escasez" (Spanish) --> "escassetat" (Catalan)

Can you think of more words that don't fit the patterns (any suffix)? More words that are like those right above? Let me know in the comments below!

Running a Praat Script
If you like linguistics type things like this, check out What Should We Call Linguistics?

Okay, one more for good measure!

When I Figure Out the Difference Between Presupposition and Entailment
What Should We Call Linguistics?
Don't forget! Leave your comments about your own linguistic observations below. :)

To clarify:
There seem to be a lot of cases where people can generalize endings/suffixes in English to Spanish or nacionalidad/nacionalitat/nationality, same with words that end in -ogy/-ology, -gist, -omy, -ity, -ence, ent.....(or many of them). I want to see if people end up coming up with many instances where these patterns of the endings being the same across languages do not exist (happiness..the -ness ending here correlates with -idad(Sp) and -itat (Cat), but for sadness, the -ness ending correlates with -eza/-esa endings. I'm suggesting a strategy for students of these languages to make educated guesses on what words they don't know might be, based on the ending of the word in their L1....however, I want to find the exceptions in order to see if those follow a pattern too (like word origins maybe). I did lot of Google searches but apparently didn't use the right keywords to find many results.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Proof of Entitlement to Graduate Studies

I'm entitled, and you probably are too!

Entitled: Gus thinks he is entitled to steal the blanket and the recliner. Jerk!

In order to apply to grad school in Spain, it was necessary for me to show some kind of letter to "certify" my degree and show that I was "entitled" to pursue graduate studies. 

It sounds simple enough, but it was difficult to explain to my alma mater. 

Apparently, I am not alone in this! Some incoming students have voiced questions about what this letter needs to contain, so I am posting mine here (with personal information blurred out). This way, you may be able to show your university an example for them to work from. 

Note: My letter was for Universitat Pompeu Fabra, so I can't guarantee this letter would work for every university that requests one of this nature.

Student Residence Card Renewal 1: Proof of Financial Means

AKA, the NIE/TIE (a misnomer of sorts)

The NIE is the "Número de Identificación de Extranjeros". It's a number you get for tax and legal purposes.

The TIE is the "Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros". This card card has your pic, personal information, fingerprint, and NIE number. It will expire. 

People often refer to the card as the NIE or TIE, or student residence card, but whatever you call it, you will have to renew it if you plan to stay more than a year. As a non-EU citizen studying in Spain, I will have to renew mine in order to continue finish my degree.

Yay!d....I can't wait to deal with all this paperwork and jump through these hoops like a circus animal (not!). If you are reading this, I bet you will have to do the same too. So, as I did with the post about getting your empadronamiento and making your appointment for the empadronamiento, I would like to tell you how this process goes for me as I do it. 

Maybe I can even save you some headaches...maybe.

I made Oreo Puppy Chow to prepare myself for what I assumed would be a terrible experience...

So, the Proof of Financial Means... 

Because it is possible for this information to change, and because some requirements are different depending on how long your program is or if you have family with you, I won't state exactly how much money you need to show proof of. However, I will tell you that a cute letter signed by your parents stating they will help you and give you money each month (like what I needed for my visa) will not cut it!  A single person could have to show a current statement of more than 6k euros, students applying with a family member (or members) more. You also have other options, like showing a certain amount of money deposited monthly (around 500 euros) for the last six months with a balance maintained above a certain number.

Let's just say, many of us were shocked and immediately began thinking about how we were studying and didn't have jobs to help keep that much in the bank, let alone some fairy godmother who graciously sends us 500 euros of allowance per month.

What to do:
  1. After you find some way to meet the requirements (and way before the card expires, please. UPC just posted a notice that you can be fined 500 euros for turning in documents late! See this link.), go to your bank with your current TIE and your passport. A copy of the passport worked for me, but I wouldn't push it.
  2. If you go to Sabadell Bank in Pedralbes (ESADE students...) you can walk up to the guy who sits next to the caixa workers (you know...the guy who doesn't bother to look busy) and tell him you need to renew your student card. He will contact the appropriate person to help you.
  3. A nice lady (who spoke English) brought us to her office, and we explained to her what we needed. She was very nice and said there is a charge of 6 euros to make the stamped certificates. She took down information from our documents and told me to return to her office on Monday (it was a Thursday I think, not bad! Maybe I got extra points for speaking Catalan).
  4. I returned the following Tuesday directly to her office (I'm sure the not-busy guy was happy I didn't bother him). She knew exactly who I was and had everything ready except for printing my bank statement. I received the certificate which states when I started my account with them and that it's still active (stamped and signed) and then my statement for three months with current balance (stamped). Note that if you want to show your fairy godmother deposits instead of your current balance, you need 6 months for your statement. I am hoping that it won't be a problem to have these two documents versus just a letter that states my balance. We'll see.
  5. I was ready to pay her, but she took the payment directly out of the account. Easy enough, but I'd come ready with cash just in case your bank isn't so lenient.

That's it! I'll continue to update with each hoop I jump through. ;)

PS, check out this adorable IU piggy bank. Too bad I can't get him to make my certificates. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do You Eat Dog Food?

Not anymore, but I love Puppy Chow!

Chocolatey, peanut buttery delectable Oreo Puppy Chow
Wait! Hold up....not anymore? Well, for any of you that have older siblings like me, maybe you experienced the same thing. Maybe you big sisters big brothers out there know too...shame on you!

I remember it like yesterday, unfortunately.

It all started in a Wal-mart parking lot, which could be said about a lot of scary and just-not-right things, I'm sure. I don't remember how old I was, but I was definitely in elementary school or lower. My family, including my two older sisters, had just finished our shopping trip. We were pulling out in our purple Astro van (ah, those were the days...) and my sisters had bought a tin cookies. They offered to share some with me. 

Never mind the cookie was shaped like a dog bone. Shaggy ate Scooby Snacks, right? Never mind that siblings sharing cookies should always be suspicious! I ate one. Much to my dismay, its barbecue flavor was not strong enough to overpower its...umm...uniqueness. It was a dog treat. Yuck! (Note: Looking back, it was actually really funny and should have been on America's Funniest Home Videos. Thanks Kylee and Amber for the silly memory).

So, I don't condone tricking your siblings into eating dog food; however, I was reminded of this story when I got a weird reaction from Will upon asking him if he wanted Puppy Chow. 

Maybe I should have just told him it was dog food so he wouldn't eat it all!

My dog, Gus!
No matter how much your dog begs, don't give him or her the Puppy Chow from this recipe!

The Recipe 
Peanut butter and chocolate...It's a match made in heaven, and now its even more divine!

  • milk chocolate bar (I used 16 squares, and the squares here are a bit bigger than those on a Hershey's bar)
  • white chocolate bar (I used 10 squares)
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter, plus a little more for good measure. ;)
  • 4 cups of Cereales Rellenos de Cacao from Consum (this is kind of like Chex cereal that is filled with creamy chocolate in the middle). I used this since I couldn't find Chex here.
  • Two 17x22 cm ziplock bags (or a thick Tupperware with lid). I had to use two of these bags because they were the biggest I had. 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Oreos!!!

1. Melt chocolates and peanut butter over low heat (3 on my stove top) and stir them fairly frequently to avoid burning. 

NOTE: I don't recommend to use the microwave as some recipes suggest. Although it usually works well when the chocolate is in contact with peanut butter, once the chocolate kind of...exploded.

2. While stirring, measure out 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into each of your two bags (or a whole cup into a bigger bag if you are lucky.

3. Crunch up some Oreos (I smashed 4 inside of their package, but next time I will try 8) and place them in the bag(s) with the powdered sugar.

NOTE: If you want a more Cookies and Cream idea like the link above, you could try the Cereales Rellenos con Leche. It's the same cereal I used, but it's filled with Oreo type filling, and you could use one bag for "cookies" and one bag for "cream", with milk chocolate in one and white chocolate with the other, mixing them when you are done.

3. Take the melted chocolatey peanut buttery goodness off the heat when smooth and start pouring cereal into it 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time, stirring gently to cover the cereal.

4. Once all cereal is smothered in melted amazingness, start spooning it out into your two bags (one if you're lucky). Close bags very tightly, and shake, shake, shake, Señora!

5. Pour into a different container if you like, and relax as you chow down on that delectable (fake) Puppy Chow.

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