These are a-two of my favourite things....

First, this:

To some, this might be an office nightmare. Someone's be-stickered desk... with mis-matched mini-hutch.

But, dear readers, we are in Nunavut. We are in Rankin Inlet, to be more specific, and one cannot be so picky.

You should have seen the monstrosity I had before this one. It was over five feet tall... with a permanently affixed solid fake-wood hutch. There was a keyboard underneath the desk, that at one time had been screwed to its underside, but somewhere along the line, the keyboard tray snapped down the middle, and then dislodged from it's right-hand runner.

The solution... was a very creative one... if not impractical, uncomfortable, and UGLY....

To use two bedside tables... stolen from god-knows-where... to squeeze the poor tray together, and support it ... as long as you didn't rest your hands on the tray, and used the most delicate of keystrokes to type your daily emails.

It only took a week of working here to decide that I simply COULD NOT HANDLE working at that thing. So I turned my computer around, and used the other half of my workstation. And stored books/documents/agendas/cups/plates/silverware/magazines etc. on the dilapidated piece of furniture.

Then today, we decided to do the grand move. To kick the old desk to the curb, and replace it with this upgrade. I now have so many nooks an crannies to stick pencils and post-its in... I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.

It's wonderful.

And Second...this:

Attention all fellow Qablunaaq*... this is a great little tool. I think somewhere along the line it was pilfered from some poor NAC student who took the Inuktitut language course (not currently offered in Rankin...). Now that I'm a little more (physically, mentally) settled, I find myself more interested in trying to understand, or at least pick apart, the language.

And this is a great way of starting that... I think, anyways.

*And, for the record, according to my dictionary... Qablunaaq translates as "white person". Interesting, eh?


Anonymous May 7, 2008 at 5:08 PM  

Hey, that looks exactly like my desk from the lab 2 summers ago! .... except mine had a matching hutch, and wetsuit stickers instead of the fun ones that are on yours.


Megan May 7, 2008 at 10:56 PM  

But...but...they don't speak Inuinnaqtun in Rankin, do they?

Jackie S May 8, 2008 at 9:13 AM  

Yah, I don't know the difference between Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut, but I do know that a lot of the words I look up on the english side, are what my colleagues say... and vice versa.

A lot of the time, in the dictionary, they give two different words for a translation... normally with different endings, and the same root.

To be honest, Megan, I thought "Inuinnaqtun" meant the Roman-alphabet version of Inuktitut syllabics.

Megan May 8, 2008 at 6:28 PM  

Although the NWT and Nunavut governments consider Inuinnaqtun a separate official language, Inuit have told me it is really a dialect of Inuktitut and very easy for them to pick up. It uses the Roman alphabet, just like Inuvialuktun.

I thought it was mainly spoken in the Kitikmeot and in Ulukhaktok, but maybe there is some crossover to the Kivalliq. I know quite a bit about official languages in the NWT, but not nearly as much about languages in Nunavut.

Matt, Kara and Hunter May 8, 2008 at 6:58 PM  

In Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay they spoke Inuinnaqtun. But people said there were differences even between those two communities!

Way Way Up May 8, 2008 at 8:28 PM  

To my knowledge Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut are 2 different languages, with Inuinnaqtun spoken in the Kitikmeot and Inuktitut in the Kivalliq and Qikiqtani. The differing orthographies are only the result of history. But beyond this there are enough differences in sounds, words and pronunciations so that they can be thought of as two separate languages.

Even though Baffin dialects have their own differences my students have told me they find it easier to understand someone from Northern Quebec speaking to them then someone from say Cambridge Bay or Holman.

Megan May 8, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

When I worked at CBC North, my host was fluent in Inuvialuktun and eleven separate dialects of Inuktitut. He would talk about the differences from community to community, and could switch between them as needed.

I now wish I'd asked him if he thought Inuinnaqtun was a separate language or a dialect, but I bet he was counting it as one of the eleven dialects. Or maybe he's even more awesome than I thought. :)

Matt, Kara and Hunter May 8, 2008 at 9:33 PM  

Holy- that is a lot of dialects to remember!! And not the whole Kitikmeot speaks Inuinnaqtun, just a couple of communities.