Li-Mae Doesn't Know How to Use Tumblr!

But sometimes she reblogs nerdy things and posts pictures from places


the spinal fusion

yay clingy vertebrae!


the spinal fusion

yay clingy vertebrae!


napping together is my kind of date

(via bryarly)

Street art in Valpo!

I want to keep a tally of how many earthquakes I feel while I’m here.

As of a few minutes ago, I’m at 5.


After my first week of classes (I’m going on a field trip out of town tomorrow, so my week is essentially over), I have a few reflections.  This is the first semester I’ve had since starting college where I’ve really had a lot of options  for courses.  I only need one engineering course while I’m here to stay on track, so I’m studying a bunch of language, and I am absolutely thrilled about it.  My course load this semester looks something like this:

  • English Phonetics and Phonology - as I’ve already noted, I’m really excited for this class, as it will give me some insight into what it is like for the Spanish speaking kids back home who sign up for Spanish classes with a whole bunch of native English speakers.  On top of that, though, I really am fascinated by linguistics and am excited to learn about it.  I started studying phonetic symbol charts earlier this week.  
  • Spanish Phonetics and Phonology - I decided to sign up for phonetics in both languages so I could compare and contrast the two.  I think it will be fascinating to see the differences between the breakdown of the languages (I believe phonetics in Spanish is much simpler.  The vowel sounds, at least, are.)  Theoretically, I will also improve my Spanish pronunciation by studying specifically how the sounds are produced.  I haven’t actually had this class yet, as the professor was sick on Wednesday when I was supposed to have it for the first time.
  • Japanese Language and Culture - This class, based on the one time I’ve gone, should be fantastic!  I’m so excited to actually sit down in a classroom and start learning a new language.  It has been so long since I’ve done that.  And it’s really going to give my brain a workout, since I’ll be learning it from Spanish.  Also because my professor in that class is from Spain and, although her Spanish is much clearer than the Chileans’, she speaks lightning fast.  This class should be great for making friends.  It is not obligatory for any field of study, so all the students who are there are either really interested in language or really interested in Japan.  I tend to be both.  Signing up for this class was such an easy way to find other people who love anime!
  • Heat Transfer - This is the one engineering course I’m taking.  Coming into it, I felt super nervous.  Mostly because I am taking it through the chemical engineering department rather than mechanical (all mechanical engineering courses are located at an inconveniently far away campus; also, ME heat transfer is an 8 AM class), and anything having to do with chemistry scares me off.  I hate chemistry.  Also, my host dad told me that La Catolica has the best Chem E program south of Mexico and teaches very rigorous courses in order to maintain that reputation.  My professor in that class speaks in a very Chilean manner - quickly, and not at all clearly.  But he knows Spanish is not my first language and is very supportive of my being there.  We had our first non-introductory lecture today and I feel far less intimidated now that I’ve been reminded that I tend to be a good student - none of the problems we worked in class today presented a challenge.  Also: I was amazed at how many women are in this class!  I know Chem E tends to have more women than Mech E, but this class is basically half-and-half, which is still way above average for Chem E classes back home!
  • Contemporary Latin American Stories - I’m required to take a course through CIEE, my study abroad program.  I’d originally signed up for a Chilean history course, - which I attended Tuesday - but I switched to this one because history was scheduled at the same time as my heat transfer recitation.  I’m really looking forward to this class, as it happens.  We will be reading lots of literature, but only stories, nothing longer.  There are a lot of great storytellers from the Spanish speaking world, and we will be focusing a good part of the semester on fantastical stories - for which Borges is famous. I do love reading and haven’t taken a lit class since high school, so I’m excited!  

So that’s that.  In addition to all that information, I will note that I bought all my notebooks for this semester at a grocery store and they all have photos of wild animals on them.  Notably, I chose the snarling leopard for heat transfer.  I figured that it would make me feel braver, since I was feeling so intimidated and nervous.

The earth quakes so much here!


Updates! I have been out of the country for two weeks, and I am now in Viña de Mar, a city on the coast of central Chile, about two hours from Santiago and five minutes away from Valparaíso, which was once - and arguably still is - Chile’s most important port, and also its cultural capital.  

I will be here until July, studying at La Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaíso.  La Catolica, for short.  I am here with the support of the study abroad organization CIEE, through which 50 other estadounidenses are also studying.  I’ve befriended several of them, and have been enjoying myself so far.  I’m living with a host family that consists of one mom, one dad, - who happens to be a mechanical engineer - and one host brother - who happens to be studying mechanical engineering.  We’re a little engineering family!  I feel extremely comfortable in this home and with this family, and I think I am very lucky that the match is so good.  Over the past several days, I have been spending time with my family and newly made friends, and attending introductory classes and orientations put on by both CIEE and La Catolica, but today I started my actual classes.

Class, that is.  I only have one class on Mondays, and it is English Phonetics and Phonology.  It is a class for Chileans who are studying English, and is super interesting to me, as I have always wondered what it is like for native Spanish speakers back home to sit through classes with kids from the US who are majoring in Spanish.  The teacher was thrilled to have me there today, and I’ve already been asked to demonstrate the cadence and flow of a native English speaker.

On the note of language, it became totally apparent when I got here that Chilean Spanish is practically its own distinct language from the Spanish that is taught in the States.  There is a lot of slang, people talk extremely fast, and enunciation doesn’t seem to be a priority at all.  It was tough for me when I first got here, but I was amazed at how quickly my ear got accustomed to hearing it.  Within three days, my comprehension had improved enormously.

There’s a lot to which I’ve gotten pretty accustomed quite quickly, actually.  Lunch is the main meal here; we eat a ton at lunch, then just have something light with tea in the evenings.  The evening meal is called once (like the number 11 in Spanish), and I’m a huge fan.   

Last week I went to La Sebastiana, Pablo Neruda’s house in Valparaíso, I rode one of the famous hill elevators (ascensores) in Valpo, I ate my first tuna (a fruit that I’d never encountered before), and I stayed out until 5 after going out one night (South America parties so late into the night!).

Things are going great, my Spanish is coming along a bit more every day, and I am completely ready to get into the routine of school, home, studying and friends.

I still have not taken any interesting pictures of anything, but this is a very beautiful place, and I will share more pictures as I take them!

Best to everyone who reads this.



I was just “oh this is adorable” and then I got to the last one


(Source: letusallprayformiley, via sohryu-asuka)



Just your standard dude-eating-frog phenakistoscope GIF.  Whatever.
(More phenakistoscope action at the Richard Balzer Collection Tumblr.)


Just your standard dude-eating-frog phenakistoscope GIF.  Whatever.

(More phenakistoscope action at the Richard Balzer Collection Tumblr.)

(via npr)


Title: FFデフォルメ風初号機
Artist: Achako