Monday, March 5, 2012


Just want to post a short semantic description of this word iyarina, which was the name of the field school/lodge where I studied last summer. iyana is "to think," (-na for the infinitive) and -ri- is kind of a reflexive marker that can attach to many different verbs, sometimes with idiomatic results and other times with pretty logical ones. For iyarina, a pretty good definition would be "to ponder," since the verb in English emphasizes personal, reflective thought. The word can also mean "to remember," I suppose because you remember when you dwell on a thought rather than letting it pass through your mind. Personally I like to think of iyarina as meditation, or even as developing my thoughts, something I want to do more of lately.

In my field studies preparation class I've had trouble finding a balance between reading and thinking and doing. I usually err on the side of reading too much, and all of these readings pull my brain in different directions but I don't have time to stop and think about them or to remember them, much less to develop my thoughts and reactions further and integrate them into my preexisting knowledge. Having neglected to fully ponder or think these things out, the "doing" aspect gets completely pushed out of the way. (Well I'm doing lots of things, like working 15-25 hours per week, ballet class, Arabic and TESOL homework assignments and keeping my house just clean enough not to drown in dirty dishes or laundry. Just not turning in all of my assignments for my field studies class.)

So in terms of my preparation for this summer, I haven't been moving forward much. I'm relying partly on my old project idea that was conceived in the Fall in order to apply for an ORCA grant; I'm lucky that I have that to fall back on and even luckier to have gotten the grant. But I really want to dedicate some time to the process described by iyarina, because if I can do this well I think that my full project proposal will be much easier to put on paper. I still don't know how to write a literature review, but I have a feeling it will be a matter of doing a very rough draft and then going back in to improve it, since staring at blank pages hasn't been very inspiring so far. Anyway, instead of reading and looking for the answers to my project questions, I'm going to stop and think for a minute and see if that works out better. I'll just have to trust that I've read a decent amount already, and that anything I read in the future will help me to improve my project rather than seeing it as a task to finish before my project even gets started.

(Blah blah blah, fin. This "learning journal" is starting to look eerily similar to my personal journal. woops.)

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