Paralinguistics

June 23, 2011, 7PM Italy time

The bungalow

Longest day ever.  During our siesta I took a 2 hour PTFO nap instead of going to the beach.  I’m so glad my roommate came back and woke me up or I would probably still be sleeping.  I woke up feeling super sick.  Good thing taking random medications written in unknown languages by people you just met is completely normal here.  I gave Anna niquil yesterday and I am pretty sure I changed her life.  Likewise, whatever those fizzy German vitamin thingies were pretty much saved mine.

What I’ve noticed is that the more you let your guard now and lower your inhibitions, the more other people will follow suit.  If you want to do something, do it.  More than likely other people secretly wanted to but were too scared of being judged or something.  So basically if you act like a fool, you inspire other people to act like a fool.  It’s an amazing phenomenon.

Also, I’ve noticed Americans and South Africans are pretty much on the same page with everything, except South Africa is like five years behind; Ireland and England too.  Scottish and Irish like arguing even if there is nothing to argue about (joke wise obviously), and being Canadian is only an American joke…other countries really don’t care.  I guess maybe Canada is like Wales to England?  Who knows.  The cultural differences are so funny.  It’s great when a group of primarily one country tries to teach other groups something and everyone is confused.  British people didn’t know what bleachers are…and once an Irish joke went completely over everyone’s head just because we seriously couldn’t understand a word that he said.  If you ever get a chance, ask someone Irish to say “This Thursday we thought that things thoroughly sucked.”  You will not understand a word they said.

There’s a girl who is seriously obsessed with the idea of disciplining children.  She freaks me out.  Like every question she asks is about “well what can we do if they do this?” or “What sort of things are we allowed to do for punishing them if they are bad” or “Do they hit kids in Italy?”  It’s like…uhhh what the hell dude, you’re sketch.  If I end up getting placed with her I am going to watch her like a hawk.

We experimented with paralinguistics today.  My group won because we did like…a million phrases in 10 seconds.  Psychic-ness helped for sure ;-). Paralinguistics is how you communicate without words, like body language and stuff.  Not only did we study how to communicate this way (it’s definitely going to be clutch when communicating with host families and the younger kids who don’t know any English) but we learned how to watch for these subtle clues in other people.  It’s pretty interesting how, despite the different languages and dialects, the paralinguistics are the generally the same, or at least similar.

Also, on a random note, I have started to find character types.  I found my Devin (sort of, it’s pretty much Devin if Devin was gay) from California and it’s amazing.  The guy is AWESOME.  He’s super curious and pretty much explores the world for fun.  Also, he loves stumble.  And Harry Potter.  And ancient stuff.

I found a weird combination of what would happen if every Stephanie I know combined together and was born in Canada.  It’s…an….interesting thing.

I found a Cambry (or however you spell it).  Actually there are like five Cambrys.  When I get grouped with them, the only way to get them to listen is to either adopt the J2 method (more on that when I have time/my psychology book) or the D method (once again, more on that, but D stands for Devin).

A Christie A. archtype shares my bungalow too.  She’s awesome.

More to come, I’m sure.  Anyway.  What do those letter things mean?  Well, due to the fact I have been getting bored listening during teacher school and sometimes people’s “ideas” are…anyway, I have had to find other ways to entertain myself for 8 hours.  One of these ways is to continue my analysis of people back home using real life, unbiased scenarios.  I have found that by using vocal inflections and using certain facial expressions generally associated with a particular person gets the same results in a room full of strangers from other countries as it does back in Newport.  In other words, when I’m bored, I sometimes change the way I am talking/explaining/telling something to see how it is received by everyone else.  It is a nuts situation and I think it’s definitely making me more “psychic”/I’m definitely going to have my eye out when I get back.  I will try to record my findings.

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