Subject: Fridays

Date: Friday 10/6/06 4:36:00 PM

Location: Hillel of Buffalo, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

Class this morning was fun; however, there’s certainly a problem holding the course in the basement of Clemens (which is always over heated) as students (myself included) are wearing warmer clothes (with the decrease in temperature and in preperation of the Buffalo Winter), in a classroom that isn’t terribly well lit to begin with, and where the lights are shut off so the powerpoint slideshow can be show: it just knocks everyone out.

I noticed myself drifting today, and the problem is, that I’m the only one in this class who talks…EVER (don’t get me wrong, the instructor is amazing) but unlike my other courses where people speak up, exchange ideas…no one talks in this course but me. This is difficult when the class is (like it was today) heavily based on just powerpoint because it doesn’t really engage anyone and in that kind of atmosphere, if I’m not engaged, I’m drifting because there’s no input…I’m just staring at a screen, taking notes, notes that I could take out of a book on my own…in a quiet, dark, incredibly warm room, wearing a hoodie which then feels, like a nice warm blanket and my brain wants to shut down (and attempts to do so).

I finally just started asking semi-random questions (which, did pertain to the topics at hand but at the same time, were random enough to envoke some kind of discussion) to keep my mind active, so I wouldn’t drift off again (which I noticed I was doing). I’m writing a letter to the Buildings Dept. asking them to lower the heat there, for the sake of our GPAs, maybe they’ll listen.

I then met with Dr. Jaeger to plan out my last few classes here at UB before I begin the emigration and dual citizenship process (greekcub I have no idea how you managed to be patient, I’m chomping at the bit).

I really want to take a course from Dr. Wolfgang Wolck (I’ve heard only wonderful, and incredible things about him) before I graduate and he only teaches in the spring, so this is pretty much my only chance. Not only that, this spring he’s teaching Advanced Sociolinguistics which sounds fantastic (I’m having a great time in Paauw’s Sociolinguistics class and I’d like to continue with it). I’m hoping to get into that course (and since I’m a Super Senior, my registration window should allow me to register before anyone else as it is). I also want to take Dr. Jaeger’s Phonetics course next fall before I graduate. If I can’t get into Wolck’s course I’ll take the 400 level Linguistic Anthropology course which would also be fun, just (I don’t think) anywhere near as cool as taking a course from Prof. Wolck.

This is certainly an exciting time, it’s crunch time…and it’s almost over. A lot of hard work, over a lot of years, is about to pay off…and it’s going to pay off big time.

I finish classes in December (I already have my final exam dates, which UB was sure to remind me are subject to change); I’m in the Middle East for 10 Days over December-January, then I’m back to start Spring Semester where I’ll have four classes…all on Tuesdays/Thursdays with Monday, Wednesday and Fridays off.

I think one of the best parts about my schedule for next semester is that all of my classes are either in Baldy or Norton (which is almost next to Baldy…you just walk through a cat walk). Which would mean I would come in through the bust stop at Flint Loop, in the morning, go to the Linguistic Lounge, Go to Class, Lounge, Class, Lounge, Class, Lounge, Class, Lounge and then home, with four day weekends every week (which would allow ample time for language study and of course, fieldwork).

Then this Summer I have to take CSE111 (for my math GenEd) and finish my Nutrition GenEd which I’ll do…because I have to…not because I want to…But I’ll make the best out of it and maybe I can pick up some useful tidbits. I plan on scehduleing those for the same Summer Session this Summer (if the system will allow me, they only allow a weird number of credits per session) and when that’s done (well, either before or after, depending on scheduling) I’ll be spending a month in Tel Aviv getting used to it, finding my way around, and re-affirming that this is what I want to do (sort of just reconfirming what my heart and my mind are telling me). I’ll also be working my last Yaoi North convention for awhile, and it’s at that convention where I’ll be announcing who I’ve selected (with Chris gryvon‘s approval) as my successor to run Gay Sex: 101.

Then I come back from Tel Aviv and start the Fall Semester where I’ll be taking two Linguistics Courses and – rumor is – they’ll be adding an Arabic V (I’ve taken Arabic I, II, III and I’m taking Arabic IV this Spring Semester) which I’ll glady take, so I can have a course with Prof. Roustum one last time before I graduate.

I finish out these courses in December, take the Finals, Say my goodbyes (probably cry…a lot) and one week after I graduate, I make the big move. It doesn’t seem so far away, my heart just aches because I’m not there now. It’s a hard feeling to explain and I know a few (maybe more) of my friends are upset…but I just can’t base my life around what will make other people happy. I have to follow my heart.

I have my first Mid-Term on Tuesday for Paauw’s class which I’m sure I’ll do well on (actually, I think the entire class is going to do well on it, it’s a pleasure to study with everyone in LIN315…there’s this great vibe the class has). I’ll be studying for that this weekend. I have to start studying for my Arabic Mid-Term for Prof. Roustum this weekend as well. I’m doing well in Arabic, but I missed two classes because I wasn’t feeling well (as Prof. Roustum says, “you’re health comes first…this is not an important class…if you are tired, sleep!”) so now I feel slightly behind (but I’ll catch myself up over the weekend…I plan on flash carding my entire vocabulary, so I can at least see what I know and how far I’ve progressed).

Linguistic Analysis I & II don’t have Mid-Terms, they just have papers, assignments and a three hour open note book/open book final exams (one of which is from 7:00pm to 10:00pm). Sociolinguistics also has a three hour exam as well as a semester long research project, papers, quizes and other fun things.

Grade Wise (based on assignments) my estimates are that:

(just finding the average of the grades I’ve received. Not taking into account which grades count for more)

In Paauw’s class I have a 107%

In Kang’s Class (at present) I think I have a 95%

In Shin-Wei’s class I think I have an A (I’m not sure, but I think the paper I wrote for her today – which I had her correct this morning and I made the neccessary changes before I turned it in) was at least a B+, probably an A (I hope) which means it will then cancel out the C I got on the first assignment (best 5 out of 6 counts…I’m still semi-annoyed with myself). If not, it’s still okay because I now understand – fully – the Maximum Onset Principle and some other issues with syllabification which were alluding me. I’m having a little difficulty doing some of the Allophone/Phoneme Analysis, but Dr. Jaeger said that can take a few tries to get and it’s on my list to study this weekend so I should have it down and memorized by Monday with little to no problem.

I have no idea what I’m getting in Prof. Roustum’s class…I’ve had him for three semesters and I can’t figure out how he grades exams (at all), what points count for what, or anything…but I can tell you that there’s a Mid-Term, a Final and that they’re both held in class. That’s your entire grade right there, just two exams…but, no stress…(yeah…right). I need to seriously impress him on the Mid-Term, I’m going for an A- (at the least) so I can do an independent study with him next semester (providing I can block it in to my schedule).

Today’s been a very blase day, not a lot of people around for some reason (I guess people are going home for the weekend?) a bunch of people were out from class, and in all, the campus just has this very quite tone to it today, a relaxed tenor. I was supposed to go out with Nikki tonight but our plans fell through so I’m sort of just hanging out around campus hoping to run into some people so I can get a little rest and entertainment on Shabbat. I may go to Sarah’s and just read poetry with her or something.

Tonight’s the first night of Sukkot and Hillel isn’t doing anything (had I known in advance Jordan was going away for the weekend I would have tried to organize something but it’s also possible he told me and it didn’t click) so I’m feeling sort of lonely and I really don’t feel like going out to a gay club or bar tonight (to what end?) I don’t really have any friends here in the Queer Community anymore, not through animosity just people take different paths in life.

I’m going to head over to Sarah’s…peace all.

~ Matan