Who am I?

Taken by Prof. Christopher Wilde on the day of my MA thesis defense

I was born early in the morning 23 June 1993 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was born at 28 weeks, which is quite premature, but it seemed even worse back then, before birthing technologies really advanced. By the grace of God and through the handiwork of many medical professionals, I was delivered, put on a ventilator and spent my first month of life in the NICU.

My parents both being from Illinois, I came to know both states at a personal level from childhood, as I would go in-between my mom’s side of the family in Northeast Indiana and West Illinois, and my dad’s family in Northern Illinois. As the old song goes, however, I will always think of Indiana as my home.

Indiana isn’t my only home, though. After graduating from IPFW (now just PFW, after IU skedaddled out of the partnership), I was accepted to the Master’s program at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I was 21, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to discover my passion: Linguistics. Discover it, I did, but I discovered many other things along the way. Chiang Mai brought me true friendship, a niche society, self-reliance, self-dependence, another language, another Weltanschauung and another home. After three wonderful years there, I headed off to my next home: Yangon.

The dream of coming to Yangon had been long coming. Almost a decade in the making, to be precise. I started learning Burmese in 2010 in Fort Wayne with the help of Pastor James Keller of New Life Lutheran Church. Learning Burmese gave me the desire to learn more about Linguistics, learning more about Linguistics gave me the desire to learn more languages of Burma, which led me to learning Sizang, which led me to Chin State, which led me to India, and so many wonderful people and dear friends whom I love.

Yangon, however, was not the first place I lived in. Sure, it was the first place I visited back in 2014 for the 24th SEALS conference, but it wasn’t the first place I lived for longer than a month (I lived for almost a month in Kalay). My first long-term home in Burma was Nay Pyi Taw and that’s another story for another day.

I’ve created this website to publish my thoughts and writings, mostly to stimulate my inner writer. I have written academic articles and I currently have one piece in the Myanmar Times. I should and can be writing more, though. So, I figure this is a good place to get my ideas (and hot takes) out there for criticism and discussion. This is also a way for me to control what people know and read about me. At least, to try to control myself as much as Facebook would like to control me, anyway.

Following the military coup that took place 1st Feburary 2021, I remained in Burma until mid-April, when I finally decided to exit. As I write this, I am safe and sound in Thailand figuring out my next steps.

— 18 May 2021, 15:19 Bangkok Time,