I recently went home to Alaska for a weekend and decided that it was time I learn how to snowboard, so off I headed to the closest resort to try my luck freeriding the powder (snowboarding on freshly fallen snow just for fun). In a small ski town in Girdwood, Alaska, two hundred young adults were gathered in a confined day lodge at the Alyeska Ski Resort. The air had the foul odor of wet, moldy shoes and my arms and legs still ached from my first attempt to make a run (to go down the course). As I tried to weave my way through the disarrayed chairs, tables, and groups of mingling teenagers, I realized that I could not understand anything they were saying to each other. I quickly found my friend, Adam, and asked him why everyone was talking in a way that I did not understand. The words they used sounded like street-slang sometimes, and at other times, were of such technicality that I could not even guess the meanings. Not only did I want t...