Can You Decode This Secret Language?

When I was small I had always wanted to create a secret language, but then again, when I was small I wanted to do a whole lot of things that were way out of my mental reach.

I wish we could learn linguistics as a part of the language curriculum! Then I could have learned to make a secret language. It’s actually really easy, all you have to do is pick a language you and your friends are fluent in (i.e. English) and then make some rules to change up the words.

There are four things you can do to a word:

  1. Add some fun-sounding syllable in the word. Example: add the syllable -tuc before the last syllable of every word. Almost becomes altucmost.
  2. Rearrange the word the way you want to. (keep in mind that the word shouldn’t be too difficult to pronounce!) Example: Move the last letter to the front of the word. Almost becomes talmost.
  3. Remove something from the word. You have to be careful with this one, if you remove too much then it might be too difficult for your friends to understand. Example: remove the second last letter from each word. Almost becomes almot.
  4. Insert something in place of something else. Example: remove the second last letter of the word and replace with -tuc. Almost becomes almotuct.

You don’t have to use all of these strategies, but the point is that you use them to make different rules. You will have to try these rules out on different types of words, and you may have to make rules for exceptions. For example, what do you do with a one letter word, can you still apply the rules you made?

Here is a language a friend and I made called Enoyo, can you decode it? Try and figure out what the sentence would say in regular English. 

Whenoyo lifoyo esgivoyo onlemoyos, chuckoyos themoyos atoyos epyoyopl youoyo hatoyo.

If you need a hint I will translate this sentence in Enoyo: Ifoyo youoyo needoyo aoyo hintoyo ioyo willoyo etransoyolat thisoyo esenoyotenc inoyo Enoyo.

Happy Translating!


Test Habits That Make No Big Difference

Do you have this ritual dance you do, every time a test comes along? I definitely do. This is a checklist that will lead to success (almost) every time. Actually I’m pretty sure most of them have nothing to do with test success, they just make me feel good.

  1. I start by opening all my books on my desk, make a checklist of all the things I need to cover. Have sticky notes, a highlighter, stapler, pencil, and eraser… everything ready!
  2. I could start studying but…I type my way to blackboard to check all my grades and try and set my future mark. “Test genie, I need an 80 to balance out that 60 mark! Oh, but wouldn’t it be awesome to get a 90? I think I should get a 90 on the next test.”

Did you see what I just did there? That’s right I set an unrealistic goal, here I am getting 60s and I jump straight to 90. Never happened in course before, but for some reason I plan to get a 90 anyway.

  1. As I am flipping through notes, I realize there were some days where my notes weren’t so good. Missing information here and there, so I call my friends and plan a study group, even though no actual independent study has happened yet. Whatever.
  2. Start studying late: The day before the test, I still haven’t studied so I speed through my notes and text book. Cross my fingers and hope that that was enough.
  3. An hour before the test we all assemble a study group. (This is where most of the studying actually happens, where everyone talks over each other, asking and answering questions.)
  4. After the test there are two possible feelings and accompanying analyses:
    1. “I think I did well! The answers basically popped out at me… wait. You shouldn’t be feeling good! Now of course you didn’t do well, you probably jinxed it. Ok, ok calm down, maybe it’s not too late yet, feel bad. Start thinking of all the things that could have been wrong. Be sad, be sad!” This is ridiculous I know, but everytime I think I do well I actually don’t get the mark I expect!
    2. “I probably failed! I didn’t know the answer to anything!!!! Ignore the test, go have some ice cream.” You know that feeling after a test you don’t think you did so well on? I give myself an internal speech about how it’s all ok, I shouldn’t ruminate…Although, usually what ends up happening is that I have exaggerated my mistakes in my head so much that I don’t realize that they were really small mistakes. I end up doing really well!

So that’s my story of how most my tests go at university. Test time is actually a lot of fun, because you feel like you’re actually doing something, and you learn and remember the material better when you are actually studying (which is why studying works!).

Types of People I Like to Work With

Everyone has their own way of working-no kidding.

#1) The Work Horse: I have this friend that has the ability to work like a machine. When she starts she just spits out information —————————————————and the stuff she puts down on paper is like in another language. You can’t even understand what is written there because it’s so complicated. There are a lot of  science-y words that just give you a headache. She doesn’t procrastinate; she probably doesn’t even know how. She just works, works, and works…. and if you don’t work as hard, the level of disapproval she can load up in one look is enough to skip even your lunch break. That one look. You will work like your life is dependent on it. This is a really useful partner in any work situation. There is one rule though: she can’t work after 7pm. So what does she do after that? Learn Japanese of course-everyone’s favourite past time.

#2) The Distracted One: This  friend is the one that is really annoying. You work really well together, you come up with amazing ideas, and then when you try to make these ideas come alive? This person gets distracted. You argue over something that doesn’t really matter, but continue to do it anyway because you have to win this argument. You think this person is really funny, this person thinks they are really funny, but the reason behind why they are funny is completely different from yours. See, they think they are funny because they continuously crack silly jokes that they think are funny. I laugh because of how unfunny they actually are. This person then waits for my reaction and expects support in large group situations (because no one else laughs). I support him anyway because he is my friend (and maybe sometimes he-accidentally-says smart things). So here I am trying to work and there he is asking me all these questions…hey do you want to do this instead? Are you sure? No, bad idea, let’s do something else. My response…sir *pause*, sir *pause*, can we please start the project first?

#3) The Next-Level-Genius: This is the person we all envy. She is pretty, charming, funny, wants to travel the world, and tells you all about the upcoming songs, movies, funny youtube videos, critiques everything, and has the best giggle. She is also the biggest procrastinator you have ever met. She will start the assignment not the day before, but the day of, she will study a day before the test pulling an all- nighter. The kicker? When I get my paper back- 80%, after genuine hard work. Her paper? Only 98%!!!

She is also super unorganized; she had this huge binder, where all her papers would be just left inside. When she would open her binder she would place her paper on top of this massive pile of work from all her subjects. When you do any of that, you know what happens? Your parents tell you: oh my, this is an A student? How do you study? Your teachers tell you: you should start your assignments well in advance. You know what I am beginning to think… procrastination is a sign of intelligence (that is if you do it well)! I mean…think about it, if your brain is able to process all that unorganized information in something that makes sense to you in little time without using extra time to practice or learn a skill…then isn’t that a form of intelligence? Teachers should be teaching us that skill (not procrastination, but how to learn more efficiently)!


Stuff People Like Me Dream About

Dear Santa,

You always seem to be running behind on my gifts, so this time I will make a list for you well in advance:

  • I am still waiting for my mountain of KitKat. This one is really overdue, I’m sure I asked for this when I was three, and here I am still waiting…18…years…old. This is when I need it most Santa! University can be stressful.
  • I want wings, even though I am afraid of heights, but it’s okay. It would be so cool, I would be famous.
  • More vegetarian/vegan food options on campus!
  • Surface Pro 4. OH MY GOD, I am still hyperventilating. It’s been out for forever now, and I still don’t have one. Unacceptable.
  • Make me smart-please, please, please. I just want to know everything, and be right all the time, and learn with super speed so I don’t have to study. I’d also like to have a wicked presence of mind, and, and, impress the world with my genius.
  • A house in the middle of nowhere. Preferably big, on a waterfall, and surrounded by nature. You know, the green stuff. The birds and animals-no mosquitoes though, or spiders… or bees. Also, no mortgage.
  • A Ferrari. Just cause. No clue why a Ferrari is better than a Corolla, but you know…’s cool.
  • Make me a CEO. They make a lot of money, and no one tells them what to do.
  • A green house. I visited the greenhouse on campus the other day and couldn’t believe the level of awesome that was in there. I just walked in and BOOM! Heaven. The air- it smelled so goooooooood *sigh.* It wasn’t a strong smell. It didn’t smell like flowers or anything. It just smelled…green, fresh, rejuvenating. All the plants were beautiful; I have a plant in my room and I feel so happy just watering it every day. It’s amazing. I talk to it all day and it just listens, and smiles, in its plant- like-way. I just want more of them…in a greenhouse.
  • The ability to read minds, turn invisible when I want (to spy), and disappear and reappear in different locations like a vampire.

And that’s it! See, nothing much. Santa, you need to pick up your game, or people will start to believe you don’t exist. This is not blackmail, it’s friendly advice.

The Phone Call

See, I live on residence, but that doesn’t mean I am free from home. Nope. I have this responsibility where I am supposed to pick up my phone. My phone; don’t even get me started on my phone, I absolutely hate it! The only thing I would actually want to use my phone for is to read books online while I am waiting in line for Tim Hortons.

I become anxious when I receive texts. I give my phone the evil eye for a good 30 seconds before I respond back. I mean I love all my friends, I just hate texting. Then there’s calling (ugh); I can’t even begin to describe how much I don’t like talking on the phone. That being said, do you know what I am expected to do? I am expected to pick up the phone, go to contacts, select HOME and press the call button. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Now here is the other problem. I have an assignment coming up…Ha! When has that ever happened? More like 4. Okay, so I am working diligently away, watching YouTube videos on how not to procrastinate after classes (I’m trying!). Then I look at the blank page for a while….make a plan on how to get work done, and then go back to the YouTube videos (I need inspiration, don’t judge). Then I look at the watch. OH MY GOD! It’s 7 and I haven’t even started the paper, which of course, is due tomorrow. So I am working hard by now, flying through the assignment, and before I know it, the clock strikes 12.  Annnnnnnnnnnd I forgot to call home, again. Sometimes I call at 11 by accident, thinking that it’s 8 or something, and everyone is sleeping. So then I feel guilty; great, I woke everyone up. Good job, super kid.

What happens during the off chance when I actually call home?

Mom picks up the phone,

“Hello, did you finally get time to call us?”

“Mom, I was really busy okay.”

(Sarcastically)“Yes, yes I know you must be very busy. What did you eat today?”

“Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”


My little sister cuts in,

“You know what sis?”


“The whole point in making a drawing video is to show off your hand. You are supposed to paint your nails. In your last blog, you didn’t paint your nails, that’s all anyone could focus on. Who does that? Oh you know what? I joined dance club, and we are about to work on this project where I am going to research volcanoes…dance is so difficult no one knows what they are doing…volcanoes are creepy. Sowhatdidyoudotoday?”

“Ummm…I worked on psych” (It sounds lame, even to me).

Muffled voices in the background.

“Grace let me talk, Grace, GRACE!”

Dad’s turn…

“How are you?”

“Great, how are you?”

(Sigh) “I am good, how is school going?”

“Really good.”

(Mom in the background)“Ask her, did she get the grades for her last test?”


“No I didn’t get them yet.”

Mom cuts in,

“Your teachers….” (sound of disapproval) “Why do they take so long to mark?”

“Mom the test was yesterday.”

Dad in the background,

“Don’t bother her, let her study.”


“At least say bye to her. Here, papa wants to say bye.”


“Bye, good luck for your assignment.”


Chorus of goodbyes, like I am being dropped off at the airport.

My family is super entertaining, it’s like being in a drama/comedy TV show; and for those who understand, its like being in an Ekta Kapoor serial.

Dear Little Sister, I wish I was you

Dear Grace,

Sometimes I wish you were older and that I was still in sixth grade. Sigh. The biggest thing I had to worry about in sixth grade was EQAO and that doesn’t even matter as much! You don’t even get marked for it!!! (unless you have that teacher that goes, well I have spent time to mark it so it is going to be on your report card, honey). In university, every test, assignment, and exam evokes anxiety and we get REAL MARKS for it. If only you were older, then you could have gone to university first and told me what it was like.

See, I am what this university considers a “first generation student,” which means that I am the first person in our family to go to university in Canada. You don’t have to worry about any of it, if you need help you can ask me. I had to figure it out all on my own.

It took me forever to even choose the university I wanted to go to! Mom and dad were little help, they did not understand the system here in Canada, so when I asked them what an undergrad was, all I got back was “oh no you don’t need to do that, you already graduated high school.” Wait…what? Turns out you have to do an undergrad to become a doctor, and this undergrad could be a degree in anything, not just in something that has to do with the medical field.

I am in no ways sure what to do with my life, though, there is a whole lot of stuff to figure out still! The moral of the story is, however, forget about what the world says, you pick something you like and be passionate about it. Just jump on, wrap your hands around it and whatever happens don’t let go (I hate it when you do that to me, I’d rather you put all that energy here), because let me tell you, being a rock star is cool and all, but you are going to miss out on a lot if you don’t go to university.

Love you,

Your sis