This month’s LTS blog post features Eden Cronk and Kayla Robinson. Eden is our new Department Manager since July 7, 2018. Kayla is the new Undergraduate/Graduate Coordinator as of February 11, 2019. You can find them in the main Linguistics office Monday-Friday.
Eden and Kayla, welcome to the Department of Linguistics this year! Can you tell us a little about yourselves?
[Eden Cronk] I was born in southern Oregon and have lived here most of my life. After graduating from the UO with a Bachelor’s in Sociology, I was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in southern New Mexico for two years. In my late teens and early twenties I did some traveling, including a year in France and seven months Central America. I have an 11 year old daughter who is my everything. I enjoy reading, working out, and spending time with friends.
[Kayla Robinson] I’m originally from southern Illinois. In 2015, I finished a B.S. in Communication Disorders and Sciences and moved to Eugene. “The west is the best.” When I’m not in the office I like to be in nature, try new restaurants, take film photos, and watch movies. I’m a big fan of Bob Dylan. I have a cat named Rorschach and I adore all 17 pounds of him.
Both of you work a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ magic for students and faculty. Can you tell us an example of one or two of those things students may not be aware of?
[Eden Cronk] I handle all of the contracts and personnel paperwork for faculty. In other words, I make sure your professors get paid! I organize the schedule with the main UO scheduling office. This takes much more time than it should, if you ask me. 😉
[Kayla Robinson] Students might not know there are several things I keep an eye on—registration, Graduate School procedure, etc. For example, if a student applies to defend, I will check how long their committee has been in place, how many dissertation credits they’ve earned, and if they are currently registered for dissertation. I can also help them with getting a room reserved for the defense. I do this so if anything isn’t in order, we can get it fixed before it leaves the department. My goal is to save our students from experiencing inconveniences later on.
What do you enjoy most about being in the Department of Linguistics and the UO?
[Eden Cronk] I like working with the faculty and students the most. This is a great group of people and I feel fortunate to be in this position.
[Kayla Robinson] It is a blessing to be surrounded by people from all over the world. I also really enjoy hearing people speak a variety of languages in the office. (Sometimes Spike sings in French in the copy room!) For both our department and UO in general, the knowledge and innovation create a tangible excitement. I dig that atmosphere, and I am proud to be part of the campus community.
Is there anything that is, shall we say, NOT the reason you come to work every day?
[Eden Cronk] Being at a desk 8 hours a day gets a little old.
[Kayla Robinson] I’m not in love with sitting at my desk all day, especially when it is nice out.
Finally, if you had to pick a favorite word, in English or any language, what would it be?
[Eden Cronk] I actually have several…shenanigans, superfluous, snafu, brouhaha, and kumquat.
[Kayla Robinson] Saudade (Portuguese): Saudade is a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. (Wikipedia)
This word is special to me because it describes my feeling toward leaving home for the west. I love the people and the life I lived in Illinois very much, but I know if I were to return it would never be the same. In that way I feel I miss something that no longer exists. It’s beautifully sad, and I don’t know of anything like it in English! It is similar to the Welsh word hiraeth.