It’s almost time for this blog to go live again. The next class is just a week away!


Diversity of Accents

There is a huge range involved when it comes to assessing the diversity of accents. Every country around the world has an accent or often a number of accents specific to that country, even though certain countries’ accents may seem similar.

There is often a large amount of diversity to be found in the accents of a single country alone. An example of this is Britain. While the country is not physically very big, it has a large number of regional accents. People from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all sound dramatically different to each other. Within those countries itself there is further diversity, for instance people in neighbouring English counties or cities often have distinguishably different sounding voices. An example of this is that the British cities of Manchester and Liverpool are only 35 miles apart, but people from these two cities sound drastically different.

Accents and the differences between them represent more than a geographical difference. They also represent other factors involved in diversity such as social class, gender, age, level of education and sometimes race. The accent of a person offers a lot of insight into whatever their background may be, and accents are another diversity factor that make people unique and interesting.

The Disappointing Rose

Like many of you, Rose was my first and my favorite companion for the longest time. Quiet literally, Rose Tyler was the longest running companion since the reboot of the show in 2005, appearing as main character in over 30 episodes. She was smart but kind, brave but not reckless, she had a bright mind and smile, she was perfect. Until I look back on the her years later.

Rose Tyler started as an unimportant little girl who worked at a shop. Her family wasn’t rich, her boyfriend wasn’t special, she had the most normal life possible. She was waiting for excitement to happen. Which is exactly what the Doctor brought to her. Within hours of meeting him, they’re running through London, saving the city, and traveling in a magic box. Needless to say, Rose was dazzled by the Doctor. So much so that she abandoned her boyfriend, her family, her past and ran away with him.

Then this became an reoccurring theme. Leaving her responsibilities and past behind, Rose traveled with the Doctor through all of time and space, she became important, she became a support of the Doctor, and eventually a love interest. But there’s always inherent selfishness lingering in her choices and behaviors. Her explicit choice of the Doctor over her single mother, her boyfriend, her father whom she so desperately wanted to meet, despite the Doctor’s direct warning that they will not be traveling forever.

After they’re goodbye on the beach of Bad Wolf Bay, the doctor moved on to find other companions and adventures. Maybe it’s out of continuity, or maybe it’s the show writer wanting to give Rose a happy ending, Rose Tyler came back, even though risking the chance of ripping the universe apart. It had seem the smart and independent Rose disappeared on Doomsday, and was replaced by a shallow character who had one purpose in life: to find the Doctor.

Diversity over Pizza and OJ

Being an international student, I had the honor to be a part of a group of people of different nationality, culture, family upbringing, major, religion, and personal interest. The fact Wartburg College has a small campus makes it even easier. Lunch and dinner conversations are always my favorite: everybody brings their own attributes to the table and because we have such different backgrounds.

One of my favorite conversations happened in Mensa was about wether an Indian friend of mine should be considered Asian. We went into great length to discuss what does it mean to be a part of that continent, is it just a place in which you’re born in? Is it the culture you grew up with? Is it the genetic traits you carry? Or is it even a combination of all of the above?

Which led me thinking, do I still count as a Chinese? I’ve been way from home since I was 15 years old. In the past 6 years, I’ve done my best to immerse myself in American culture: I’ve attempted Mac N Cheese multiple times(despite the fact I’m lactose intolerant); I’ve fell in love with Grey’s anatomy; I’ve witnessed two rounds of election; I’ve went on both hunting trip and youth religion camp; I’ve adapted to the use of OMG and LOL; I’ve been Americanized. I’ve grown into an adult in the American society and accepted it’s values. At this very moment, I might even be more fluent in English than I am Chinese. I’ve always prided myself as Chinese and I always will, but exactly how Chinese am I?

Who am I?




New Experiences

Last year I did something that I never thought I would. I joined a real sport. I was extremely active in just about everything but sports in high school. I was a cheerleader all four years which is a sport, yes, but at my school it was not really counted as one and I do not think we were doing a ton to make it really count. When I got to college I did not really do too many things and I was looking for something to do. A friend of mine was talking about lacrosse and how they needed more players, so I kind of joked about joining. A week later it was not a joke anymore, I had officially signed my life away to Wartburg Women’s Lacrosse. The largest problem with this was that I had never even seen a single game of lacrosse even on TV, let alone actually played before. Nobody in Iowa really knows what lacrosse is so it was a completely new thing for me and my family. I am writing about this experience because it is okay to go out and try new things even though you have no idea what you are doing. I have made amazing friends being a part of this team, and I have fallen in love with a sport I had barely even heard of before last year. I have always been too scared to really go try anything new and actually trying something new was probably the best decision that I have ever made. I really want to encourage anyone that might be thinking about doing something new, or joining a group that they are not sure if they should or not, or anything like that to go for it! What could you lose? When you’re little you’re always told to go try new things, it’s never too late to try.

Diversity of Language

There is a huge amount of diversity among languages across the world due to the fact that there are a huge number of languages in existence. There is also a huge range of diversity in the fact that some languages are extremely similar to each other while others are completely different. There are also languages that have a number of sub-languages or dialects. This is often the case when a language is spoken by people in different areas of the world. An example of this is British English and American English. Both are English and people from both areas can understand each other (sometimes!) because they are both the same language, but with grammatical and pronunciational differences. In contrast to this there are also languages so dramatically different from each other that they share no common words, use different characters and have their words read from different directions on a  page. Between the two extremes you have relationships between languages such as English and German or English and French where there are several common or at least similar words and the same characters but the languages are inherently different, and two individuals only speaking one of those languages would struggle to understand each other.

Diversity in Female Memory

Another RICE day event I went to was the STEM poster session. I found one pretty interesting because it brings attention to the hormonal changes in a female’s body during different times of the month. Emily Laudner’s and Aksha Upadhyay’s poster was titled “Differences in Visual Sensory Memory Between High and Low [Estrogen] and [Progesterone] in Young Women” They tested young women between the ages of 18 and 22 to see if their memory was different during different times in the month due to their hormone cycle. To participate in the study, the participants had to have been on birth control for at least three months to make sure their hormones were regulated. They showed the participants a group of letters for 0.5 seconds and had them recall what the letters were in the order that they remember seeing them. They found that the women performed better on the 11th day of their cycle than on the 25th day of their cycle. They tested the participants in two different groups, one group was tested on their 11th day before their 25th day and the other group was tested on their 25th then their 11th. They found no significant difference between the results of the first group and the second,
meaning it wouldn’t matter which order they are tested in, just the day. I think that this shows diversity because nobody really thinks about the fact that a female’s hormones are changing everyday and that can affect a lot more than her mood, like people have a tendency to make jokes about. It can actually affect how a female learns things on different days. Emily said that even though there isn’t much she can do about it, it’s nice for her to know because she is going to be a teacher when she graduates and it is nice to know that this could actually affect learning capabilities on some days.