today in language is never just grammar

1. In Quechua there is no naturally occurring word for “to have, to possess,” so when the Spanish came and introduced money, they had to mangle their word for “to be” into a possessive. DO YOU EVER METAPHOR SO HARD 2. There is a specific word in Quechua for men with large beards (chhapu), whichContinue reading “today in language is never just grammar”

Sexual Abuse Allegations Rock YouTube Community

The events of the past few days have sparked a conversation about consent, healthy fan-creator relationships, and online safety in the YouTube community. Online microcelebrity is hard to monitor: it involves relatively tight-knit and virtual communities that connect individuals to one another with very little outside intervention. YouTube is an intimate, informal format that fostersContinue reading “Sexual Abuse Allegations Rock YouTube Community”

Graduate Employees’ Union Approves Proposed Bargaining Terms

On Tuesday, members of NYU’s graduate student union, GSOC-UAW, voted nearly unanimously on a proposed starting point for contract negotiations with NYU. They began negotiating at 4pm yesterday. Graduate Employees’ Union Approves Proposed Bargaining Terms

Newly Unionized Graduate Employees Begin Negotiating With NYU

As Local reported last November, NYU’s graduate student-employees finally voted on unionization after a decade of resistance from the university. The vote resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Graduate Student Organizing Committee, who are now affiliated with the United Auto Workers, at the end of last semester. Early in February, GSOC-UAW began the process of negotiating a contractContinue reading “Newly Unionized Graduate Employees Begin Negotiating With NYU”


Quechua has one word for to know and to learn: yachay. “You cannot ever really know something, after all,” my professor says. Even in Spanish, saber (to know) comes from sapere (to taste). It is a flavorful but incomplete action, and we all know it. I am grateful for this one word, yachay, because learning this language has required more and more self-knowledge withContinue reading “yachay”

Little Walsingham

I am always grateful to small English villages that provide their own descriptors. Such a village is Little Walsingham. There is, after all, only one way for a village called Little Walsingham to look: stranded in grassy plains and smooth hills, made of grey roofs and dusty rain. There are locals, but I can’t seeContinue reading “Little Walsingham”

The Fashioned Self by Catherine Addington | First Things

Too often, events like Fashion Week encourage women to see themselves as Marie Antoinettes or as Marie Leszczynskas. One is either a self-celebratory creative or a liberated emblem of modesty (or, conversely, a self-absorbed airhead versus an ugly prude). There is rarely any space for a makeup-wearing, fashion-forward woman who also embraces the importance ofContinue reading “The Fashioned Self by Catherine Addington | First Things”


In Quechua, the word for boyfriend/girlfriend is yana. Yana means servant. It’s also the only language I know where that word is genderless. There is no word for thanks in Quechua. “We don’t need it,” my professor says, “we have reciprocity.” No word for hello, either, or for good morning. “No rhetorical language, just concreteContinue reading “runasimi”

the fire on the mountain

Throughout my childhood, my mom was my best teacher. This is generally true, but it was also literally true, because she led reading groups at my school for years. She used anthologies called Junior Great Books, and I don’t remember a lot of the stories, but there’s one I think about on days like today. ItContinue reading “the fire on the mountain”

Best of 2013

Eve Tushnet has a great series where she posts her favorite books, movies, etc. from each year. I liked her post so much this year I decided to do my own! Best books read for the first time (non-fiction) Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx. This decade-long journalisticContinue reading “Best of 2013”