Those 6 weeks in April through May were tough as I took on double the recommended course load so that I could graduate this September.
One of the things I dedicated myself to during those 6 weeks was my passion project for my anthro class. No exaggeration I nearly broke my mental health with stress on this project because I was excited about it, and forgot I was in a 200 level class and didn’t need to go so hard. My topic was Irish Gaeilge, but that’s only the briefest of summaries. (I’ll put more details on the end.) I got to pick my own topic, because the idea was for me to study, and apply an anthropological lens, to something I’m passionate about. And I gave it beyond my all.
I received my score in under 24 hours. My hard to please professor who doesn’t give perfect scores marked it 120/120. He noted where he could have taken points, but because he’s never personally seen a project so well done, he had no choice but to call it perfect. He added, “I’d even urge you to publish it somewhere, somehow.” With some notes as to where I could flesh it out some and an offer to help that I’m going to take him up on after I graduate. (Another 6 weeks of hell started in the end of May. )
As I gear up to graduate, and then take my GRE and apply to grad school, I have self doubts that I’m good enough. But where I’m passionate, I’m fully capable, I guess I’m learning. I just need to not break myself in the process.
So. I picked Irish Gaeilge as a topic of interest because I’m currently learning it. I wanted a deeper understanding why people picked this language as a second/third/fourth language. I know why I chose it, but what about others?
In week 2 I put out a basic survey asking 10 questions dealing with people’s connections to Ireland and why they chose that language. I then set that loose on Tumblr with some key blogs reblogging. I didn’t exactly get 5,000 responses like last time. But that survey was open to literally everyone, while this survey was open just to those learning Irish. I still got 335 responses, which isn’t bad.
However, as I started to do research, I fell headlong into the history of the language, its near extinction, and the revival in the past 100 years. Which then led to me learning that there are some in Ireland (this is not representative of the entire population) who resent being forced to learn it.
Which led to another survey, this one just for those who live in Ireland and are learning it, or have learned it, through the school system. This one I sent to a key friend living in Ireland and asked him to circulate it small scale. I only needed a few responses to this one. I got 3 which was great. This survey looked at the perceived effectiveness of the revival and their thoughts on being “forced” to learn it in school.
Then came the stark fact that 50-90% of the world’s languages are going to be gone by 2100 and the question, will Irish be one of them? I still don’t have a solid answer to this.
Anyway, 2 surveys and a couple dozen academic research articles later, I put together a beautiful presentation that I’m really proud of.
So go team me.
But I could use a nap.
And it’s not good that I nearly broke my mental health.
Mid May through the end of June isn’t going to be much better either.