Friday, February 4, 2011

The ultimate off-grid

I was just reading an article about this group in the Amazon Forest. I'm trying to wrap my head around a group of people who have never had contact with Western lifestyles and what that must be like. No consumerism, or taxes or complaining about not getting cell phone service in their new house. No idea what cars are, or what planes are. Do they know that the planes flying over taking photos of them have humans in them or are they just big silver war birds? What is their language like?

I was also recently reading an article in Scientific American about how the language people speak from birth actually affects their perceptions of the world, and dictates much of the societal norms of their culture (or vice versa on the last part - maybe it reflects the societal norms? It's a chicken/egg thing). For example, Spanish speakers do not say "He broke the vase" they say "The vase broke." Or "He was throwing his ball in the house and the ball broke the vase." Studies done on natives from South American countries showed that when they witnessed someone purposely break something, they had just as a good of a memory of which person broke the object as their English speaking neighbors in the U.S., but when someone accidentally broke something they were far less likely to remember which person caused the accident than their English speaking neighbors from the U.S. even though they remembered clearly what broke and how it broke.

So, I've been thinking about that too. And it's gotten me thinking about how we talk to our children. I have always talked to my daughter like she is a little adult. I've never used "baby talk" even when she was a baby because it annoyed me. And I figured she wouldn't learn sentence structure and correct enunciation anyway if I said, "Does da wittle baby wanna cwookie" or something like that that would make me want to gag anyway. I've had people comment on how well-spoken and advanced her vocabulary is because I just say stuff to her I'd say to my friends and if she doesn't know what a word means I just tell her. I wonder if that helps her in learning all around? I do think it gives her more confidence to have more words to use when she's trying to express herself. Sometimes it's so hard to get across what one is thinking it is really helpful to have a huge arsenal of words handy.

Tonight is the big annual event at work and then hopefully things will calm down after the big move/and the big event. I've gotten to that point emotionally where I feel like it is just going to be what it is going to be and there's not much else I can do about it and stressing won't help. I've prepared as best I can, I've asked for a lot of input from knowledgeable people, my co-workers have kicked ass working on preparations and I have some great volunteers lined up. It will turn out as it's meant to turn out and I'm not going to stress about it. I was starting to feel really freaked out and controlling about how it had to be perfect for my first attempt at organization the financial aspect of this sort of event, but now I realize it can't be perfect - even if I had a lot of experience. And I'm feeling burned out from how busy and rushed I've had to be. So, I'm taking the attitude that it will be just fine. People will have fun and I'll get to dress up and they're feeding us staff and volunteers free pizza. It's guaranteed to be fine with those factors.

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