Etcetera - 6/4/13


During the 2008 presidential campaign, Walla Wallan Andrew J. Gallagher tuned in to the constant barrage of metaphors such as “playing hardball,” “a flood of immigrants,” “the economy has collapsed,” “candidates are neck and neck” and “the election is going down to the wire.”

So when the Walla Walla Community College instructor took a six-month sabbatical he began researching political metaphors.

In mid-April, Andy presented his research at the annual conference of the International Linguistics Association in New York City.

He wanted to use a book that described such metaphors as a teaching tool for his students of English as a second language, but found such a book did not exist — yet. That’s when he decided to write one.

Andy said he looked for political metaphors while researching hundreds of news-magazine articles, speech transcripts and thousands of hours of TV news broadcasts. He aimed to find a few hundred metaphors but thousands came out instead. Over a four-year span, he analyzed and categorized them in his spare time on nights and weekends.

The result is his book, “Metaphors in American Politics,” with more than 2,000 examples in 54 categories of source domains from all aspects of life.

“For instance,” he said, “elections are often compared to other intense competitions such as horse racing, poker, sports, boxing and war, e.g., ‘politics is a high-stakes game,’ ‘that speech was a home run,’ ‘the candidates took the gloves off in that debate,’ or ‘the bill was torpedoed in Congress.’ We also use metaphors based on experiences with nature, animals, shapes, temperature, etc., such as the ‘fiscal cliff,’ the ‘yoke of slavery,’ the ‘housing bubble,’ or the ‘Cold War.’”

Andy added that “many metaphors are created based on bodily experience, or how we use our bodies, heads, arms, hands, etc. in everyday life, e.g., ‘take a stand on an issue,’ ‘face the problem,’ ‘reach across the aisle,’ or ‘have a goal within our grasp.’ Other metaphors are based on physical actions used to describe abstract processes, e.g., ‘pull out the troops,’ ‘push the bill through Congress,’ ‘cut the budget,’ ‘slash the deficit,’ or ‘ratchet up the pressure.’”

Andy originally wrote the book to benefit ESL teachers and students but said K-12 English teachers and students and college-level students of English, political science, journalism, communications or linguistics would find it useful, too.

Authors of the 1980 book “Metaphors We Live By,” George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, provided theories on which Andy based his research.

He’s currently seeking a publisher for the book. He has been writing a blog to share the research at He also plans to attend several conferences on linguistics and language teaching this year and in 2014.

Andy has earned a master’s in linguistics, a master of education in adult education and a Ph.D. in English. He also studied briefly with Mark Johnson at the University of Oregon and is trained to analyze metaphors in everyday English. He has worked at the Washington State Penitentiary WWCC campus for 16 years, teaching classes of English as a second language, adult basic education and general educational development.

He can be reached through his blog or at

The local branch of the American Association of University Women awarded a record-breaking $14,400 for eight educational scholarships in 2013, according to scholarship committee co-chairwomen Jeanne Beirne and Debbie Dumont in a release.

The increase in awards came from the uber-successful AAUW Book Sale and Kitchen Tour fundraisers. And this year applicants could complete the entire application process online.

Awards went to Tammy Baker, Dana Filbrandt, Jenn Keyes and Brisa Maya, all of Walla Walla; Michele Reyes, Sheril Fetter, College Place; Jessika Gonzalez, Milton-Freewater; and Carina Stillman, Prescott.

Tammy graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in education nine years ago, but put off working on a master’s until now. She has a freshman and a junior in college this fall. She will add in-class experiences as a fifth-grade teacher at Berney Elementary to the educational theory of a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Grand Canyon University.

Dana’s father died when she was 13 and she regrets that he missed seeing her achievements in the classroom and on the Pendleton Round-up Court, but most of all, he missed the birth of her daughter. She had just started college at WWCC when her mom was laid off from work and finances changed. Her mom role-modeled working in a traditionally male field, retraining as a precision machinist. Now, with a 2-year-old daughter, Dana is about to complete an accounting degree at Central Washington University. She was previously honored by AAUW as a High School Scholar in math and science.

A 2012 Whitman College alumna, Jenn earned degrees in art and history. She worked for a year with the Walla Walla High School GEAR UP Program and as an assistant basketball coach at Walla Walla University. Now she’s committed to coaching at the college level and this fall will enter a master's degree program in sports leadership at Northeastern University. She is living away from Walla Walla for the first time this summer, playing semi-pro basketball for the Louisiana Bayou Angels in Baton Rouge. She may return to the area to teach and coach at a local college.

Brisa graduated from high school in 2009 and has worked full time at Taqueria Yungapeti while raising an active 4-year-old with husband Angel. She demonstrates a drive and determination in work and school that will help her become a bilingual elementary school teacher. The first in her family to attend college, Brisa has overcome academic and financial challenges. The support resources of the TRiO program and her drive and passion have helped her succeed at a high level at WWCC. She’s helped many people learn English while volunteering at Garrison Night School.

Michele started college years ago as a student athlete. Finding it hard to be separated from her husband, she returned home to Walla Walla and has been instrumental in every aspect of their family construction business. Michele and her husband have four children, three of whom are adopted. She has a medically fragile child who has been hospitalized numerous time for open-heart surgeries. She earned associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing and is working on her registered surgical nursing degree at WWCC.

Sheril will pursue a long-held dream to earn a bachelor’s as an American Sign Language interpreter. She previously earned a financial administrative assistant degree at Walla Walla Community College, worked in an office, married, is an active volunteer and started her own business. After her husband lost his job due to medical circumstances she is working toward her goal through Spokane Falls Community College’s online interpreter training program.

Jessika is school secretary at Grove Elementary in Milton-Freewate. She thought that after graduating from McLoughlin High School she would find a job, marry and move forward. But her mother died about a year into that plan. Jessica returned home to help raise two younger brothers and work full time. Seeing her brothers reach their educational goals has inspired her to finalize her dream to earn an accounting degree this fall at Portland State University.

Carina has been an English teacher at Wa-Hi for nine years, also serving as the Advancement Via Individual Determination teacher and as Big Blue Weekend coordinator, along with several other leadership roles. She’s been accepted into the Educational Leadership Program at Washington State University Tri-Cities to work toward Washington state principal certification.

The AAUW Scholarship Committee was composed of co-chairs Debbie Dumont and Jeanne Beirne, along with Liz Curtis, Cecile Erwin, Linda Moats, Jane Sporleder and Helen Zolber .

Recipients were selected based on their desire to resume their education after a lapse of a year or more. Selection criteria includes financial need and academic excellence.

More information about AAUW can be found at

Among the 217 music teachers from 195 cities across 45 states to be named quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation is Michael Agidius, band director with the Milton-Freewater School District. Altogether, more than 30,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

Mike said Edwin Nunez, one of his high school students, nominated Mike for the first-ever Grammy Music Educator Award.

The award was established to recognize current public- and private-school kindergarten through college educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.

The award will have its inaugural presentation at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and Nominees Reception honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustee Award, Technical GRAMMY Award during GRAMMY Week 2014.

One recipient will be selected from 10 finalists each year and will be recognized for his or her remarkable impact on students’ lives. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium.

The nine finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists also will receive matching grants. Funding for the honorariums and grants comes through the support of the GRAMMY Foundation Education Champions Converse, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Mills Box Tops For Education and Journeys.

Semifinalists will be announced in August. For more information see

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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