WaLK – stands for What a Linguist Knows, but metaphorically, it speaks to what it is that I see (and hear) when I walk through life because of who I am. I am Dr. Anna Marie Trester, and WaLK is the place where I blog and share resources about some of the things that I see as I am out there thinking about professional applications of our skills and training as linguists.
For me, it always comes back to “show me your city block.” This is advice I give to people when they are crafting a statement of purpose, when they are interviewing for a job, or performing a character in an improv scene. This advice is informed by different experiences and sources of knowledge, but it was first inspired by one very compelling statement of purpose that I read from a woman who was applying to graduate programs in urban planning. She took her reader through the experience of driving to school when she was a kid growing up in Atlanta, showing us what she saw through the passenger window as she and her mother left her affluent suburb and passed through poverty-stricken neighborhoods. Her struggles to comprehend the disparities that she saw for those few minutes at the beginning and end of every day so impacted her, that they have fueled her passion for study more than 20 years later.