Story at work(shop)

A story practice at Work(2)

Station SL, a coworking community

1455 Hays Street San Leandro, CA 94577

 

Join us for some invigorating professional development in the form of an interactive and participatory workshop where we will consider story listening, story finding, and story telling as they help you be more effective in building connections with colleagues, clients, and collaborators.

Not only will you have (and continue to find) more stories about yourself to have at the ready for meetings, presentations, pitches, networking interactions and job interviews, but you will be better able to listen to and elicit them from others, including creating contexts for story that will enrich and enhance the way you work!


Tickets are going fast!  Get yours here

job: User Experience Research Intern (Lyft)

User Experience Research Intern (2019)
At Lyft, community is what we are and it’s what we do. It’s what makes us different. To create the best ride for all, we start in our own community by creating an open, inclusive, and diverse organization where all team members are recognized for what they bring.

Lyft is seeking a User Experience Research Intern to join our growing team, which aspires to elevate the user experience for our drivers and passengers across 300+ cities nationwide.

You will conduct research studies, as well as participate in studies alongside more senior researchers from which you’ll gain strong mentorship. You will partner with Design, Product Management, Analytics, and Engineering in order to derive deep insights about our users’ behaviors and attitudes, and communicate results and actionable recommendations across the company.

You have extraordinary attention to detail and love to organize. You are also an excellent communicator and a flexible team player that can thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic working environment. You are comfortable working closely with passionate researchers, designers, product managers, and engineers that care deeply about creating experiences that bring people together through transportation.

Responsibilities

  • Design and conduct studies across key Lyft product areas — independently and in conjunction with more senior researchers. You will utilize methods such as ethnographic & field research, diary studies, surveys, user/usability testing (remote and in-person), guerrilla research, and any other methods you find impactful
  • Review, analyze, and communicate qualitative data to generate tactical and strategic insights, as well as actionable recommendations which drive product innovation and design improvements for users

Experience & Skills

  • Currently pursuing a degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Anthropology, Psychology, Computer Science, Cognitive Science, or a related field
  • Must have at least one additional term (quarter or semester) of school left after the end of the internship
  • Experience as a Researcher and/or Research Coordinator for qualitative research studies, including usability/user testing, surveys, field research, and user interviews
  • Extraordinary organizational skills and meticulous eye for detail
  • Ability to work independently on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong listening and analytical skills; proactive troubleshooter
  • Team player with excellent written & verbal communication skills
  • Enthusiasm for a collaborative, highly energetic, fun and fast-paced environment

Bonus points

  • Research experience with mobile technology
  • Experience using SurveyMonkey and Ethnio
  • Understanding of quantitative methods, behavioral analysis, and statistical concepts
  • Experience conducting quantitative research in applied research settings, ideally within a Product organization
  • Experience with behavioral data analysis, designing surveys and experimental research, and analyzing large datasets using appropriate statistical methods
  • Experience with research participant recruitment and management practices, as well as creating basic surveys and working with survey software
  • Experience with applied statistics/econometrics and R, SPSS, SAS, or Python for statistical analyses; command of SQL also a great added bonus
  • Design thinking, visual communication, information design, or wireframing skills

Lyft is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. Lyft does not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. Lyft also strives for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibits harassment of any kind. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance and other similar state laws and local ordinances, and its internal policy, Lyft will also consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Book review – Outliers

Now that I have finally gotten around to reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, I see why people have been telling me for years that I should read the thing!

The book examines story structure, interrogating our ingrained ways of telling and hearing stories about success (and also failure). The big message: what we take to be stories of remarkable individuals are actually stories about the power of opportunity, context, and community.

However, because as a society we celebrate individual achievement, we tend to construct and consume narratives that valorize a particular person’s brilliance, tenacity, and genius. For Gladwell, such ways of narrating success are “profoundly wrong,” and in dismantling these culturally dominant ways of telling, he seeks to call attention to the cultural forces and other factors such as hidden advantages which contribute to successful outcomes, and which tend to be invisibilized in our stories, and thus our understanding. By doing so, he provides a call to action to address lost human potential by bringing our attention to changing the systems and structures that repeatedly advantage, elevate, and enable only certain members of our communities to succeed and keep succeeding.

What resonates most powerfully for me in thinking about how these ideas apply to our Career Linguist community is this idea of the talent that gets squandered when hundreds of linguists internalize failure for not having achieved “success” in the academic job market year after year. Despite the fact that a tenure track job at an R1 institution is demonstrably not the norm for those who gradate with their PhD, it is storied as such, and thus, to take a different path gets storied as going “outside.” Dichotomies of inside/outside get further reinforced when operative systems and structures that do things like provide /limit access and evaluate merit in particular ways are invisibilized. These same professionals are then further stymied by barriers to understanding (their own and that of would-be employers) that would help with bringing linguistics to work in contexts beyond academia. This lost potential exists at the individual, but also the collective level: We can and simply must do better for our field, the challenges of our time demand the talents that linguists uniquely possess.


In this post, I’ll explore a few major themes from Gladwell’s book that inform a discussion about creating and celebrating professional opportunities in our community  …and I promise that I won’t ruin all of the stories from Outliers for you – *although* the book has been out for 10 years now, so it’s not exactly as if this is a spoiler alert!!!

Ultimately, Gladwell’s argument in Outliers is that success is really about opportunity, and that access to opportunity is shaped greatly by context. Including that:

It’s about timing  – turns out that Bill Gates came of age precisely at a crucial moment when programming because more technically interesting (and fun), but he also had access to a terminal when he was a teenager at a time when most college professors of computer science didn’t. He showed up on the scene as a young professional with a tremendous technical advantage and turned out to be pretty much the only person in the world who had his particular quantity and quality of experience.

So, when I think about operationalizing this idea of “when,” I am reminded of the advice to “be here, now” and recognize that there are so many ways that the world of work is changing, such that jobs and ways of working that we have available to us now simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. Putting this reality together with awareness of story, what I see is that we need to be bringing story finding to seek out stories about today’s world of work that simply don’t tend to get told in our community. Our institutions can find and share more stories of linguists who creatively apply their linguistics training in myriad contexts beyond and within the academic one, including – and perhaps especially – those folks who are working in technology in ways that extend beyond computational linguistics.

It’s about (getting opportunities to) practice.  In Outliers, Gladwell points to the (often overlooked) factor in the success of The Beatles as the amount of stage time they got in Hamburg Germany as they were starting out. Turns out, they played for upwards of 8 hours a day and for months at a time.  According to his calculations, this resulted in their having nearly 10,000 hours of playing together before their big break. Not only did this practice make each of them technically better as musicians, it made them better as a band, since it made them better listeners, it expanded their repertoire, it developed their willingness to try things  out and take creative risks because of their awareness and appreciation of their abilities. So too with Bill Gates, crucial time that he spent practicing made the difference when it came to striking out professionally: when you have experience, you get heard as having confidence.

We linguists practice many things over the course of study that make us uniquely suited to be adroit problem solvers and systems-thinkers, as I have explored in many posts here on this blog – including skills cultivated by the study of linguistics – but among these, we are highly skilled in the practice of understanding how language is implicated in the construction of meaning. We learn Saussure in our earliest classes, and then meaning-making becomes like breathing to us, so we forget that we always see multiple aspects of language simultaneously, like for example that it always brings potential for connotative and denotative meanings. Or that we can consider five planes of discourse operational in an interaction. Unlike most users of language, we have analytical distance on it.

 

Because we recognize that language is a technology that people use to do things, we can be said to “see through” language, always hearing what was said, and at the same time what could have been said but wasn’t. This makes us always aware of underlying assumptions and puts us at a tremendous advantage as critical thinkers. We can see how things are framed and how they might be framed differently, leading us to ask different questions, to bring innovative solutions to problems.

But, when it comes to finding ways to use these skills, it turns  out that where you’re from makes a difference

In the second part of his book, Gladwell explores cultural legacies – including his own, identifying and deconstructing myths even in his own family lore. He considers how factors like language socialization and understandings about power distance give middle class students a leg up in navigating institutions and interacting with people in positions of power, sharing an example of a young boy being coached by his mother to actively pose questions to his doctor. It becomes quickly apparent how – equipped with such skills – young people with greater comfort and practice in asking for things from people in positions of authority will be likelier to get advantages simply by knowing to (and how to) ask for things from people in positions to help them. And that would only compound as they go through life, navigating system after system.

For our own part, I suggest that we need to take seriously that we get socialized to use language in particular ways after spending 6 – 10 years  in the academic system. And crucially, that our ways of claiming expertise as researchers don’t always get heard in the same ways as showing expertise and mastery in other settings beyond academic ones. These include discursive features like hedging “the data seem to show” qualifying and contextualizing claims by providing evidentials or mentioning key collaborators and researchers who influenced our thought. In fact, these very practices can give the exact opposite reading, suggesting uncertainty, the inability to work independently or even resistance to operating quickly when a task demands.

The way forward

Given that only 2% of the population has a PhD  according to the US Census, we can expect that the overwhelming majority of interactions we will have in professional contexts will be with people who have not participated in the same socialization in intensely hierarchical close-knit communities and do not share our ways of talking and hearing the claiming of expertise.

Thus, to realize more of linguists’ potential to bring needed skills to the world (of work), I propose a solution that works at both the individual and collective level.

  • Individuals need to be asking for (and saying yes to) interactions where diverse stories of work get shared – events like networking events and informational interviews.
  • And our Institutions need to be creating more contexts for these stories in the classroom, in departmental communications and events and at professional meetings and conferences.

Further, bringing story listening we can apply an a awareness of story structure to these interactions and use them to ask for stories about work that focus on today (day-to-day) and tomorrow (trends) instead of always beginning with yesterday. Too many of our career storytelling conventions have us looking back: “why did you first choose this path?” “how did you get started? “when did you decide…” but much likelier to catalyze momentum necessary for career navigation will be to engage jobseekers in thinking about direction to the future: “what opportunities do you see now and moving forward for linguists?”  “can you think of other people doing interesting work who I should be reaching out to?” “what resources should I be seeking out?”

Let’s find more stories and start telling them beginning here and now: and here’s to what’s next!

job: User Experience Research Intern (Lyft)

At Lyft, community is what we are and it’s what we do. It’s what makes us different. To create the best ride for all, we start in our own community by creating an open, inclusive, and diverse organization where all team members are recognized for what they bring.

Lyft is seeking a User Experience Research Intern to join our growing team, which aspires to elevate the user experience for our drivers and passengers across 300+ cities nationwide.

You will conduct research studies, as well as participate in studies alongside more senior researchers from which you’ll gain strong mentorship. You will partner with Design, Product Management, Analytics, and Engineering in order to derive deep insights about our users’ behaviors and attitudes, and communicate results and actionable recommendations across the company.

Additionally, you’ll own and manage the team’s participant recruiting processes, including managing the research participant database. Overall, you’ll work to understand participant needs and criteria for various studies, identify and recruit the right participants, and look to ensure their participation.

You have extraordinary attention to detail and love to organize. You are also an excellent communicator and a flexible team player that can thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic working environment. You are comfortable working closely with passionate researchers, designers, product managers, and engineers that care deeply about creating experiences that bring people together through transportation.

Responsibilities

  • Design and conduct studies across key Lyft product areas — independently and in conjunction with more senior researchers. You will utilize methods such as ethnographic & field research, diary studies, surveys, user/usability testing (remote and in-person), guerrilla research, and any other methods you find impactful
  • Own the participant recruiting and management for the UX Research team, including identifying, screening (via surveys and phone), and scheduling participants for various types of research studies, and managing our database of research participants
  • Manage the organization of all research reports and deliverables, as well as templates and protocols for studies

Experience & Skills

  • Currently pursuing a degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Anthropology, Psychology, Computer Science, Cognitive Science, or a related field
  • Must have at least one additional term (quarter or semester) of school left after the end of the internship
  • Experience as a Researcher and/or Research Coordinator for qualitative research studies, including usability/user testing, surveys, field research, and user interviews
  • Extraordinary organizational skills and meticulous eye for detail
  • Strong experience with research participant recruitment and management practices, as well as creating basic surveys and working with survey software
  • Ability to work independently on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong listening and analytical skills; proactive troubleshooter
  • Team player with excellent written & verbal communication skills
  • Enthusiasm for a collaborative, highly energetic, fun and fast-paced environment

Bonus points

  • Research experience with mobile technology
  • Experience using SurveyMonkey and Ethnio
  • Understanding of quantitative methods, behavioral analysis, and statistical concepts
  • Experience conducting quantitative research in applied research settings, ideally within a Product organization
  • Experience with behavioral data analysis, designing surveys and experimental research, and analyzing large datasets using appropriate statistical methods
  • Experience with applied statistics/econometrics and R, SPSS, SAS, or Python for statistical analyses; command of SQL also a great added bonus
  • Design thinking, visual communication, information design, or wireframing skills

Lyft is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. Lyft does not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. Lyft also strives for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibits harassment of any kind. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance and other similar state laws and local ordinances, and its internal policy, Lyft will also consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

job opportunities at CSpace

Wonder whether consumer research/brand strategy are for you? Read this case study about how CSpace framed the problem and solved a challenge for IKEA:

Associate, Consumer Research

https://cspace.com/careers/?gh_jid=615122

Consultant, Brand Strategy & Insights

https://cspace.com/careers/?gh_jid=990853

About CSpace

We create rapid insight and business change, putting customers at the heart of companies and solving problems from the customer’s perspective. We keep our clients relevant by building real, ongoing relationships with customers that in turn help them deliver superior experiences, launch successful products and build loyalty. Our customized approaches are tailored to specific business needs and include online insight communities, immersive storytelling, data and analytics, activation events, innovation projects and business consulting. We do this for many of the world’s best-known brands – like Bose, Walmart, Jaguar Land Rover, Mars, Samsung, IKEA and more – to create “Customer Inspired Growth”.

We are passionate about our people and proud of our culture. We co-created a set of values to ensure that we are delivering fantastic work, continuing to learn and developing and building a high-performance culture which creates opportunities for those who work here:

  • I’ve got this: taking responsibility, doing what we say we will
  • Only accept awesome: delivering high quality work that we are proud of and has impact
  • Show the love: celebrating successes and ensuring everyone has a voice
  • Do what scares you: challenging ourselves, taking risks and learning more
  • Tell it like it is: being honest and freeing ourselves from “office politics” and “hidden agendas”
  • Open up and listen: listening first and fully before we respond or react
  • Find what fascinates: being passionate about the world and our clients’ worlds
  • We before me: putting the team first
  • Leave your mark: everyone has an opportunity drive change in our business and for our clients

To learn more, visit www.cspace.com or follow us on Twitter @CSpaceGlobal and Instagram @c_spaceglobal.  C Space is a part of DDB, a division of Omnicom Group Inc.

Interested?  We look forward to receiving applications from people with diverse backgrounds – talented, creative people with their own voice, ideas and perspectives.

 

Headquartered in Boston, London, and Shanghai, C Space has offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

job posting – Researcher: Translators w/o Borders

Researcher – Language in Education

Researcher – Language in Education in Cox’s Bazar

The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people access to vital knowledge in their language through translation and interpreting, building language translation capacity at a local level, providing translation and simplification services that are culturally appropriate, accessible and open source, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.

Contract length: up to 20 working days
Contract type: Consultant
Location: Remote

Travel: One trip to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (maximum 15 days)

Application Deadline: 11 February 2019

Click here to apply, presenting your CV and a cover letter containing your technical proposal outlining methodology and fees.

Due to the urgency of the vacancy, screening and interviews will commence immediately and the candidate can be selected at any stage before the closing date.

About Translators without Borders

Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a community of language professionals, building local language translation capacity, and raising awareness of language barriers. Originally founded in 1993 in France (as Traducteurs sans Frontières), TWB translates millions of words of life-saving and life-changing information every year.

In 2013, TWB created the first-ever crisis relief translation service, Words of Relief, an initiative that intends to improve communications between crisis-affected communities and humanitarian responders before, during, and after a crisis, by eliminating the language barriers that can impede vital relief efforts.

Background

Extreme violence in Myanmar have driven more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees across the border into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This is one of the largest refugee crises in the world. This refugee population has distinct humanitarian needs such as food, shelter, and actionable information in a language they understand. The only language that everyone in this community speaks and understands is Rohingya; a language that has no written form and has, in the past, attracted very little research into terminology and structure.

To best respond to the Rohingya community’s acute information needs, TWB is working in consortium with BBC Media Action and Internews to generate research and create tools to assist humanitarian actors to communicate effectively, in the appropriate language.

Overview

TWB is supporting the education sector to identify innovative approaches to reduce language barriers experienced in the delivery of education programs in this response, including to tools and resources to expand mother tongue education. The research will be led by an experienced education consultant and build on the skills and knowledge of TWB’s existing language and sociolinguistic team in Cox’s Bazar.

UNICEF has been working with education partners to develop a ‘Learning Competency Framework Approach’ which will provide the structure for learning in the absence of a curriculum. There has been much discussion on the politically sensitive issue of languages of instruction. UNICEF describes the LCFA in this way:

LCFA3 sets out the competencies to be met and guides teachers and education stakeholders on how to achieve the competencies. . . . This framework will also address sensitivities related to the language of instruction. Considering the written instructions from the National Task Force on Undocumented Myanmar Nationals and written feedback from MoPME not to use Bangla language in the teaching learning process for Rohingya children and also considering the education system and arrangement in Rakhine state from where they came from, in consultation with all stakeholders including Cox’s Bazar education sector members, it is decided that the mode of verbal instruction will be Rohingya mother tongue. English and Myanmar language will be taught as a subject and written instruction and text will be bilingual, both English and Myanmar languages. https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/education-rohingya-refugee-and…

Role

The consultant is expected to lead this TWB research by:

  • Working closely with TWB relevant staff members to design the most innovative and appropriate methodology for this research.
  • Consulting the relevant education actors in Bangladesh to ensure the proposed approach is locally relevant.
  • Mobilizing, managing and training a team of local researchers, data collectors, etc with logistical and language support from the TWB team in Cox’s Bazar
  • Developing an evidence base from which to understand language challenges in how teachers are trained, how they deliver information to students, and how students record information to facilitate learning.
  • Recommending action necessary for local and international actors to improve the design and implementation of education programming in respect to language, with a focus on practical solution-focused suggestions.
  • Organising and facilitating an initial feedback workshop with preliminary results at the end of deployment in Cox’s Bazar.

Outputs

● A 20-page maximum editable report with programmatic recommendations and visual representation of findings. The consultant’s report will be an internal TWB report. TWB reserves the right to edit and design it before publication.

  • Datasets, questionnaires, detailed methodology and all other relevant information.

Proposed Overarching question

What are the language challenges faced by the children and teachers in Cox’s Bazar, and what can be done to address them? What practices should be adopted to minimise future language challenges? How should this inform the rollout of the LCFA?

Proposed sub questions

We anticipate that the researcher will investigate the following areas where we already understand that there are language difficulties by addressing the following:

  • How do language challenges impact the ability of teachers to:
    • understand their duties and responsibilities (including those for protection)
  • understand teaching materials
  • deliver the curriculum in a way which allows children to understand it
  • manage student assessment
  • How do language challenges impact on the ability of children to
  • learn and understand the subjects covered
  • apply learning
  • record learning
  • participate equitably in assessment processes

We anticipate the researcher will be able to make recommendations on present and future action by addressing the following:

  • What innovative approaches can be put in place to address the challenges identified at present?
  • What processes, resources, support or additional capacity would help prepare the education sector and teachers for the language challenges in delivering the LCFA

Timeframe:

20 working days between March and May 2019 with a possibility of an extension

NB: The exact dates may be subject to slight changes.

  • Inception phase (approx 4 days)
  • Develop a research outline detailing the methodology and schedule for the research, getting internal ethics approval if necessary.
  • Desk review of relevant project documentation, reports, and secondary data.

Data gathering phase (approx 12 days)

  • Conduct fieldwork in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (this may be done in two phases). Some interviews with National educations actors may also be carried out in Dhaka to complement field research.
  • Conduct remote information gathering.
  • Inception Report

Report writing phase (approx 4 days)

  • Prepare a draft research report and share with TWB for comments and feedback.
  • Conduct debrief session with TWB staff and UNICEF, presenting key findings and recommendations
  • Submit a final report to TWB, including all raw data and original field notes

There is significant space for creativity and different ideas on the methodology or format of this research. A final framework will be designed and approved at the inception phase.

Profile

The ideal consultant is an education researcher with practical experience of the education sector in low-resource settings, an understanding of the humanitarian sector, and a strong sense of initiative.

Requirements

  • 7+ years in the education sector, with humanitarian experience
  • Demonstrated high-quality research publication record
  • Demonstrated understanding of mother tongue education in low resource contexts, teacher development, curriculum development, or education in emergencies work, and awareness of the impact language can have on education
  • Excellent English writing and data analysis
  • Ability and arrangements to work remotely without significant support
  • Ability to travel to Bangladesh for up to 3 weeks
  • Experience in teacher training is desirable
  • Spoken Bangla, Chittagong or Rohingya an advantage but not essential
  • Master’s degree or higher in one of the following fields: education, social sciences or other relevant international development field

Core Values

Translators without Borders employees and volunteers are made of people who believe passionately about the value of this work and take personal responsibility for achieving the mission. Translators without Borders’ mission and organizational spirit embody the core values established in its strategic framework:

Excellence: As the leading voice for communicating humanitarian information in the right language, Translators without Borders is a leader in the translation industry and in the non-profit sector.

Integrity: Translators without Borders believes that every person, whether it is the people who we serve, our volunteers or our staff, has value, deserves respect and has inherent dignity.

Empowerment: Translators without Borders believes in using language to empower people around the world to control their own development and destiny.

Innovation: Translators without Borders recognizes and celebrates the power of innovation to address humanitarian and crisis issues around the world.

Sustainability: Translators without Borders recognizes that meeting our mission necessitates establishment and maintenance of a solid financial and organizational infrastructure.

Tolerance: Our staff and volunteers are highly knowledgeable and skilled; value each other, our partner and our recipients; create a supportive work environment; and, conduct themselves professionally at all times.

Translators without Borders is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion, and encourages qualified candidates of all genders and from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.

How to apply:

Click here to apply, presenting your CV and a cover letter containing your technical proposal outlining methodology and fees.

Tools for structuring career curiosity

question-words_ruth_googleI have been becoming aware of the need to find a new way of talking about the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of work.  We refer to these as the Work Interrogatives in conversations here on Career Linguist, but now as I am in the process of working through how it is that I want to talk about these in my next book project, I have realized a few problems with “work interrogatives” as a frame:

We really want to be approaching career with curiosity, with openness, and not seeking to interrogate.

Also, I am finding that these question words pair together in interesting ways, and that rather than considering them each individually, I enjoy thinking about some of the interactions, for example: Where and When.

Nowadays, employees have more control over these domains than ever before, and further, these words serve as useful tools/reminders: where and when surface as essential tools for making the space (temporally and spatially) to think about career, and thus I would call attention to their role as career navigation tools.

So, I think that I want to instead think about these question words as tools for structuring curiosity, but I’m curious: does this way of thinking serve to stimulate momentum in your own career navigation?

Let’s discuss!!!

And send me your thoughts!!!

 

Linguists’ HH in the Bay Area (Mountain View)

A professional get-together for linguists based in the Bay Area.
Sunday Feb 17th from 2-4pm

Maison Alyze
212 Castro Street
Mountain View – CA 94041
Phone: 650 960 1212 

reconnect

Whether you’re currently using your linguistics training in an academic or professional setting, or want to learn more about how you might do that, this group is for those who want to connect with other local linguists!

Feel free to share with any linguist friends, very much looking forward to meeting up!

In a spirit of generosity, curiosity, and with the understanding that
our networks are our greatest professional assets, come on out to mix and mingle with other Bay area Career Linguists

Career Activities at the LSA meetings in NYC this week

Linguistic Society of AmericaCalling attention to just two of the wonderful events taking place at the Linguistics Society of America meeting!!  For more information, check out the LSA Facebook page and Twitter feed, the Annual Meeting page, the online schedule and .pdf of the Annual Meeting Handbook.

Friday January 4, 3:30-5 pm in Liberty 3
“Linguists in the Workplace”
     Samantha Beaver (Memra Language Services)
     Ruth Brillman (Spotify)
     Deborah Walker (Acrolinx)
     Jessica White-Sustaita (HomeAway)
This panel features linguists from an array of professions beyond the professoriate (ie., “Career Linguists”), as well as representatives from the companies who hire them. Our career linguists will tell all about their journeys from PhD to the workplace, what motivated them to make the shift to the private sector, and the advantages (and sometimes disadvantages) of working outside of academia. To give a fuller picture of what life is like for career linguists, we will also hear from those who hire linguists to better understand what make a linguist a great candidate for numerous professional roles. Panelists hail from a variety of professional sectors, including language engineering, user experience research, nonprofit/program development, and diversity technology, to name a few. An audience Q&A will follow our panel discussion. Hosted by the LSA special interest group Linguists Beyond Academia, “Linguists in the Workplace” is for anyone interested in better understanding the array of options open to linguists as they navigate their careers post-PhD.

 


Linguistics Beyond Academia Career Mixer
When: Saturday, January 5, 3:30 – 5:00 PM
Where: Liberty 3

The Linguistics Career Mixer is an annual event that brings linguists who have found professional expression of their skills and training in a variety of fields — from research and consulting to writing and education — together with people who are currently trying to learn about their next steps professionally. The idea is to create a context for having exploratory conversations about career paths. Linguists who have found employment in a range of contexts will be on hand to talk about their work as researchers,consultants, writers, editors, trainers, managers, and language and communication specialists in government, education, business and non-profit sectors (among others). Representatives from 20+ organizations will be in attendance.  Sponsored by the LSA’s Linguistics Beyond Academia Special Interest Group (SIG).


Three women at the foundation of improv

One of my intentions for 2019 is to apply story finding to shine a light on the often invisible work done by women, in this case the origins of improvisational theater.

Viola Spolin book

I wrote this post to call attention to the foundational work done by Viola Spolin as a way to announce my latest workshop, but more on that soon – this story begins with Viola Spolin.  Her son, Paul Sills, is widely celebrated as the founder of improv because in 1955 he created the Compass Theater, and then later Second City in Chicago – but Spolin was responsible for many of the improv games and the foundational philosophies and practices that shape improvisational theater as we know it (as reflected in her 1963 book Improvisation for the Theater).

However, in the process of finding Viola Spolin’s story, I actually found the story of three women: Viola Spolin, her mentor Neva Boyd, both of whom were in fact supported by Jane Addams, since Viola Spolin first worked with Neva Boyd at Hull House, one of the settlement houses founded by Jane Addams.

So, here’s their story.

Hull House was the first social settlement house in Chicago, and it served as a place where immigrants would gather to learn, to eat, to debate, and to acquire the tools necessary to put down roots in their new country. Later, in the 1920’s, when the demographics of the neighborhood changed, in addition to the Italian, Irish, German, Greek, Bohemian, and Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants, participants in the clubs, activities, and programming of Hull House included more African Americans and immigrants from Mexico. At Hull House, as part of the progressive education movement, Neva Boyd focused on non-competitive play as a democratizing force. An early theorist of the educational and social benefits of play, her book Handbook for Recreational Games documents many of the exercises she developed as part of the work she did, which included training social workers in group work.

For Boyd, games not only helped children learn cognitive like language and communication skills, but also critical social and emotional skills like cooperation: “Play involves social values, as does no other behavior. The spirit of play develops social adaptability, ethics, mental and emotional control, and imagination.” (https://www.violaspolin.org/bio/)

Viola Spolin in turn, applied these societal benefits of play to cultivating her own practice of play as a teaching system, first for the WPA Recreational Project in Chicago, working with children and recent immigrants in low-income neighborhoods and ultimately bringing the benefit of theatrical play to drama therapy programs, mental health facilities and with prisoners, as well as community groups seeking creative engagement in the midst of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement such as the North Side Cooperative Ministry, Parents School, and Women for Peace.

Such it is that in this playful spirit, in the aim of reaching across divisions of culture and language, and as Spolin put it: as part of “the necessity to help people become more creative as a real justification for living,” my collaborator Criscillia Benford and I will be  offering our first creative expression of 2019: Embracing the Awkward – Finding Fun on First Dates and More on January 5th right here in Oakland, CA. And there are still spots left!!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/embracing-the-awkward-finding-fun-on-first-dates-and-more-tickets-53281934701

This play-filled workshop brings together my decades of experience in improv, Criscillia’s meditation and neuroscience pratice, and both of our research expertise in social interaction. It has been designed to give you the time and space to practice having conversations with new people. We’ll use improv activities, infused with research-based insights into human communication, to help you connect to the moment –– no matter how awkward! Expect a mix of games, activities, and scenes to help you get more comfortable being yourself while connecting with others. No improv or performance experience required. Just bring a willingness to have fun, be curious, and try try again. You don’t even need to be single!

Together we will co-create and maintain a space where curiosity, lightheartedness, and listening are celebrated. You will leave with a better understanding of how navigating conversations with agreement and acknowledgement can lead to more more fulfilling connections.

Hope to see you there! Sign up here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/embracing-the-awkward-finding-fun-on-first-dates-and-more-tickets-53281934701