It’s been a pretty brutal week, between putting in my 2 weeks’ notice at one job, trying to keep up with everything else that’s happening in school, and in my life, and of course, with my feelings. I really took the phrase “when one door closes, another one opens” to heart since I started planning ahead for how I’m going to fill my spare time. I think this is my Renaissance period as a human, and I hope it doesn’t just pass me by! It’s also been a week of massive change externally; for the first time since I was in kindergarten, Travis Zajac is not a New Jersey Devil on the ice, but now an alumni. Here’s to hoping they retire his number in March when they honor him in a game vs. the Jets! Seeing him retire has me feeling a little more at ease with my decision to quit the first job I ever had; it’s like a cosmic sign that sometimes, it really is over, and that’s OK! Besides, if I’m posting this less than 12 hours before a class there’s no telling how much more difficult balancing school and work and life would have gotten. There’s no song better fitting for right now than “Dream Life, Life” by Colbie Caillat since I’m searching for that ease of mind and good vibes! So, with all of this out of the way, let’s dive into actual thesis things!
I was tasked this week with beginning to think about what sort of articles I am going to need to look at for my literature review and the academically oriented written portion of my thesis project. I was able to take the broad umbrella term of forensic linguistics and narrow it down to wanting to focus on instances of linguistic violence, linguistic injustice, and linguistic bias with consequences relating to judicial issues. To be a bit more specific I looked at linguistic violence from the perspective of using language to intentionally hurt someone or their credibility, linguistic injustice through the lens of discrimination that many individuals face if they speak with a certain accent or dialect, and linguistic bias as the idea that if someone does speak with a certain dialect they should still be able to transition to a more “desirable” dialect, to make their speech appear intellectual or palatable for others. It’s a very problematic belief that I cannot wait to combat!
With everything going on this week I was not able to find two articles and without the articles, I also could not thoroughly read, annotate, and reflect. But, I’m figuring out that life is much easier when you’re able to stop and compromise with yourself rather than ruminate on shattering your dreams of perfection, so I decided to make myself a list of tasks and a weekly agenda that’ll get me back on track, and keep me there.
- Every week I should commit to finding a minimum of three relevant articles and be able to read, annotate, and understand what is going on. For this, I will dedicate two hours to finding the articles on Fridays, and use Saturday and Sunday to explicate them. My goal is to have a minimum of 12 solid sources in terms of looking at instances of linguistic violence, bias, and injustice. I would also like, if time permits, to look at the use of forensic linguistics in the judicial system. Good thing databases, truncated searches, and good folks will be there to help with this!
- I am going to set up a separate Google space, a shared folder, that will be visible on a different page of my website to show how my progress in accumulating articles and understanding them is going. Updates will be provided regularly on Twitter and screenshots will be used in future blogs to avoid repetitive content or overly long future posts.
- As I am working on gathering my articles, I recognize that the methodology that best suits my approach would be a case study, as I am researching and examining how the field has grown and evolved, but if I am able to look and analyze the actual application of forensic linguistics, I can also incorporate protocol analysis. I’m hoping to have a rough outline of how I’ll organize my lit review prepped by mid-October, and it’ll be a living document that will run parallel to my research.
- As I do my academic, official research, behind the scenes I’m also going to have to work on expanding my skills with applications like Flash and Twine, and look into other mediums, so that way come the spring, the creative component of the project, which is an e-lit piece, will be facilitated smoothly.
- I’m going to remind myself that it’s OK for me to walk away when things get overwhelming and pick it back up later. I’m also going to take the time this semester to actually enjoy what I’m doing beyond just thinking about the academic aspects and merits of everything. Things are looking up!
Admittedly, it is hard to step back and say I didn’t get what I wanted to or needed to do, and I can feel my inferiority complex kicking in! But, I can also appreciate having the space to grow. Here’s a lovely TED Talk that inspires me to think about why it’s more important to strive for internal honesty, bravery, and improvement over perfection. I might have started out with a foundation like a house of cards, but I’m definitely evolving into an origami masterpiece!
I’m going to leave you with the wondrous, and seeking track “Seems So” by The Apples in Stereo, and I’ll see you on the other side! Oh, and happy fall!