Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Back to School
The new school year is officially here. I actually had to teach my first full class today. Whee, self-introductions! I am teaching Level 3 this semester, to continue the trend of teaching the next higher level every semester I am in the ELC. We shall see if I can score a perfect rounding out by getting Level 4 next semester, which is supposed to be my last semester of being eligible to teach in the ELC. Once again, I am teaching reading and writing, and I am full of what I hope will be workable ideas that do a lot to supplement our rather sad textbooks. This also means a continuation of the blog project, so I will have an opportunity to refine and perhaps expand that assignment into something more inspirational for the students.

Speaking of the blog project, just yesterday I got an email from Hans, my best blogger from last semester. He said he missed my class. Awwww... I asked him if he intended to continue writing on his blog for practice. Somehow I doubt it, as it is his last semester in college, but I can always hope.

In addition to my teaching duties, I have also now attended all of this semester's graduate classes at least once. I am currently taking Phonetics & Phonology, Semantics & Pragmatics, and Research Methods. I'm hoping they'll all be fairly interesting. Phonetics I've actually been to twice now, and I'm assuming it has to get harder than this. When she asked how one classifies vowel sounds, I felt like I was back in China, teaching the doctors about the different places of articulation.

Semantics & Pragmatics has the potential to be very interesting, but it also has the potential to head far further into the realm of linguistic philosophy than I really want to go. Then again, maybe I am still be biased by that one exceedingly boring linguistic philosophy lecture that I made the mistake of going to at Grinnell. That man had spent so long thinking about the functions of language, he had ceased to be able to use it communicatively. Very depressing.

Research Methods seems like it will at least be informative, and perhaps character-building. I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate the grad school late-afternoon-into-evening time slot of 3-6pm, because it eats my entire productive evening. I had to call the karate school and tell them I couldn't come at all this semester because of that class. Nrgh! Oh, well. Maybe, if I'm clever, I can keep enough floor space in my new, sparse living room to actually practice. Then again, maybe I'll fill it all up with piles of papers and books and whatnot.

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