Well, at least not for those of us with social anxiety.

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

As far back as I can remember, I had always feared my ‘first days’ — whether that was my first day of second-grade, first day of a college lecture, or even first days in a new team at work. Sure, they’re exciting and highlight a new beginning with new challenges and opportunity, but for some reason they tend to always involve the dreaded ice-breaker.

I understand the concept, I really do. I even appreciate its effort. It is wonderful to use the start of something new to level the playing field and make sure everyone participating becomes acquainted with one another. It is a great way to foster inclusion and reduce the fear of the unknown. …

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Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

I am an auditor in public accounting. According to a study by Emolument, accounting jobs ranked in the upper half of the world’s ten most boring careers (Young). I might be biased, but I think this is a stretch.

Sure, maybe the old style-accounting could have been bestowed that title, but a lot has changed since CPAs around the world punched away on their ten keys while they took breaks from ticking and tying. The profession that protects the integrity of the capital market is, dare I say it, quite exciting.

Technological disruption

I have spent the last year of my life auditing some industry-leading companies, and boring would not be a word I’d use to describe this experience. Most of the excitement can be credited to improvements in technology which have allowed me to spend my time handling more complex and interesting things, even in an entry level position. …

I mean, unless you like rewarding lazy writing.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It is beginning to feel Medium authors seem to think it is a requirement to write a “how to” listicle the day after they have one successful post. When I say these style of articles are lazy, I don’t mean they are bad. In fact, many of these articles are written well, nicely organized, and can even have interesting tones.

However, these “articles” (almost feels like a stretch to call them that) usually consist of the exact same material, though possibly adding some narrative to trick the curators and readers into thinking that this is novel information. …

Using lingustic acoustic analysis to figure out what sarcasm really is and how humans are able to detect it.

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Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

Just kidding…

When it comes to sarcasm or verbal irony, it can be difficult to distinguish the intended meaning. Especially with the rise of deadpan humor, the lines between jokes and simple utterances of truth, or legitimate commisive speech acts, are blurred. In application, understanding a systematic or rule-based phonetic guide to sarcasm would be helpful in not just discerning every-day semantics, but also in forensics. For example, how does a defense attorney argue that their client was “only kidding” in regards to a threat? Despite the FBI issuing statements saying that all hoax threats are felonies, in practice, some courts rule in favor of the defendant (Bowdich; Rushe). The supreme court has made precedent the importance of intent. …

If they can, what differentiates human language from non-human animal language systems?

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Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet on Unsplash

Some of us are lucky enough to have an animal friend to spend our newfound governmentally-mandated extra time spent at home. It could be the now twenty five weeks of almost isolation, but I swear I heard my dog talk the other day. Ok, it was probably the isolation, but it did prompt me into looking into the various linguistic abilities, both innate and learned, present within the animal kingdom.

Language is fundamental for both human and animal life, but there is variance in the usage and application. It is important to qualify the definition of language to human usage in order to compare how animals and humans acquire similar language forms. …

It was about as fun as it sounds.

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Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

Notice me.

It was the summer of 2018. I was doing well in school. I finally made good friends. And I had an internship for a great company — life was really going well for me.

My internship was in Chicago, IL, a wonderful place for a young adult to spend a summer. It was the first day of training. I nervously sat at the back table and watched college friends reunite and gossip about their early summer travels. I went to school in California so I was the odd-one-out in an internship class full of Big 10 students. I expected this, whatever. …

The many exciting elements of a seemingly boring job.

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Photo: LYCS Architecture/Unsplash

I started my career this past summer in audit for a public accounting firm. I spent my summer after graduating from university studying for (and luckily passing) the CPA. I had the difficult exam behind me and I was eager to start working. I was optimistic about my future, though not naive to the many stressful aspects about the job. For starters, my dad is a CPA, so I spent my childhood recognizing how hard he worked. I also saw the many benefits and opportunities award to him due to the CPA designation.

I interned, like many others in public accounting, the summer after my junior year in the Chicago office of my eventual employer. I felt like I had a good idea of what was to come. …

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Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

Although intended to protect the citizens of the United States with the right to remain silent and a right to counsel, the outcome of the Miranda v. Arizona case in 1966 has become a source of recent debate due to the convoluted and ambiguous nature of the ruling.

The unofficial Miranda warning has the potential to be extremely inconsistent as police officers often speak from only memory. Not only do naive and uneducated citizens find it difficult to enact their Miranda rights, but even highly trained lawyers found the specificity currently required to impose their constitutional rights tremendously complicated according to Janet Ainsworth, JD, professor, author, and highly regarded linguist (Ainsworth 19). This specificity comes from the so-called felicity conditions of successfully saying a speech act, or a performative. These conditions are required to invoke one’s right to remain silent and have a lawyer during police interrogation. …

It took a global crisis for me to do some self reflection

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Photo: Markus Spiske/Pexels

I grew up in a small town where your high school said more about you than you ever could — you either went to the elitist-jock school or you went to the hipster-theater school a few miles down. Your identity was decided before you even turned 14. It didn’t matter if you wanted to pursue music or be an art kid if you went to that sporty school, the sticker on your parents’ car bumper spoke for you.

This drove me to eventually attend college a short 2,500 miles away. It was finally my chance to start my own identity, rewrite my story, or whatever other cliché you’d like to insert here. …

While we may be getting tired of one another, we can still work in harmony.

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Photo by Jack Sparrow

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to force many to work from home, it is important to reestablish routines and set expectations for your new office-mates.

I started working from home on March 12, 2020 due to Coronavirus gaining traction in California. It has since been 42 working days since this transition and my roommates and I are finally finding a routine that works. I live with three of my closest friends in a four bedroom home. So while we are lucky we each have our room to retreat to, we have found working out of our rooms is incredibly isolating.

Working Together for Success

We all work for different companies in different industries, yet we all spend a majority of our days in virtual meetings or dialed in on calls. We have found that alternating who can use the common area to take calls has allowed us to change scenery and keep our brain visually stimulated. We have also found that if we are not in a call or in a virtual meeting, it is nice to work near each-other in the common area. We found the most efficient way to know who is in a meeting and when is to simply share our Outlook calendars with one another. This allows us to be extremely aware if someone cannot be interrupted. …


Thomas Andrew

Detroit raised, Los Angeles living. Recent accounting and linguistics grad from USC working in public accounting.

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