Conferences… Conferences everywhere.

Phew! What a semester it has been…

First of all, I am learning a lot as an instructor of a freshman writing and composition for international students and a tutor at the Purdue Oral English Proficiency Program. In addition to allowing me to gain more experience in teaching English to non-native speakers, my current posts are also an opportunity for me to work with both undergraduate and graduate students. Each group of course has very different need and presents different challenges to a teacher. It’s a nice change of pace from teaching Introduction to Linguistics…. though I have to admit that I miss talking about cranberry morphemes and wugs!

Because of my .75 TA-ship appointment, it has at times been a struggle to continue my own research. Fortunately, having conference presentations lined up is a very effective motivator! Just this past weekend, I presented a paper titled “Language Play and Glocal Identities in Polish Internet Memes” at the annual meeting of the Semiotic Society of America (SSA) in Dayton, OH. I was excited to share my most recent findings with others and I look forward to pursue this course of research. It was also wonderful to present in Dr. Myrdene Anderson’s panel again and to meet linguists, anthropologists and archaeologists from so many different places.

Enjoying some live jazz after my presentation.

Enjoying some live jazz after my presentation.

The conference season is far from over for me though – this coming Saturday, I will be presenting at the Indiana TESOL (INTESOL) meeting in Indianapolis, IN. My presentation, titled “Why Johnnie Can’t Read About Poland: Absence of Central and Eastern European Voices in Mainstream ELT Discourses,”  will be part of a Purdue student panel organized by Dr. Margie Berns. I will also be presenting in Dr. Berns’ panel at the annual conference of the International Association of World Englishes (IAWE), which will be held in Phoenix, AZ this November. Also in November, I will once again discuss my meme research, but this time at the meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Chicago, IL. Talk about a full schedule!

Although I love conferences because of the intellectual stimulation they provide and the networking possibilities they create, I am definitely looking forward to a more laid-back spring semester. So far, I only have one conference presentation lined up: I will be presenting a paper titled “Feel Like At Home”: How English is Shaping Poles’ Identities As Global Citizens and Non-Native Speakers” at the annual meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in Portland, OR.  I will also be traveling out of state to attend a close friend’s wedding, but hopefully my travel plans will end at that.

To conclude my update, let me share one of the Third World Problem memes, which contains a caption in the Silesian dialect of Polish:

Image

Translation: “I want to study… But there is a computer in the room.”

Cheers!

-Aleks

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