I have long been a lover of language, words, meaning, and communication.

I theorize that people vary somewhat in the natural medium of their minds among, at least: words, images, sounds, and (I know one person who says) colors. I have not quite figured out whether it is words or sounds for me, but it is one. This is by no means unique, as I think this is one of the more common configurations, but it definitely is defining for how I work. It explains why I take to certain interests, pursue certain activities, and, idiosyncratically, know lyrics to most songs I have heard more than once.

Recognizing this tendency, I try to pursue this interest. Here are some recent activities in this vein:

Duolingo

Finding time on my hands after leaving charity: water, I have picked up a daily habit of practicing my fading high school Spanish, expanding my one semester of German, and picking up French for good measure. Switching quickly between these languages on a daily basis is a little confusing, but as I have been practicing each at least a little every day, it isn’t overwhelming yet, and provides me an opportunity to draw interesting parallels and differences between each of these and my native English.

Here’s how that’s going (excuse the clashing backgrounds caused by the iframing):

Intro to Communications Science

Intro to Communication Science Logo For some reason I recently, quickly did this ostensibly-6-week University of Amsterdam Coursera course on communication science over the weekend before the exam week of the course. It was kinda interesting. I was especially taken with:

  1. the semiotics taxonomy of communication that describes messages as ‘emotive’, ‘conative’, indicative’, ‘poetic’, ‘phatic’, or ‘metalingual’ depending on whether the primary concern of the message is the sender, receiver, message itself, channel, or code, respectively.
  2. the “Uncertainty reduction theory” ( Berger & Calabrese, 1975) that amounts to the idea that there is an ongoing process wherein the inherent nature of people and reality causes constant (cultural) change, creating uncertainty, and that people communicate amongst themselves (primarily) to ameliorate that uncertainty.

I, uncharacteristically, took thorough notes/outlines of the material (to offset my rapid pace?). If you are curious, you can find those notes on Evernote here

Poetry

I have written poetry intermittently since a young age. You can find my collected poems from 7th Grade to the Present on Hello Poetry or DeviantArt, pretty much the same set both places.

At MIT, I had the good fortune to take [Bill Corbett](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Corbett_(poet%29)’s “Writing and Reading Poems” (21W.756). If you are an MIT student and find yourself in need of a fall HASS elective and it’s being offered, I recommend it.