Burning the Midnight Oil

So an update on classes:

Paauw’s Course & Queer Lexical Research

Paauw’s course is going amazing. I have learned so much this semester, and I’m so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to apply it, as is the rest of the class. I’m pretty sure I have an A at present (our school does not have the A+ that some schools do, so the A is as high as I can go). My research is also currently going better than I could have possibly hoped.

I met Dr. Smyth at the University of Toronto last week, as well as a handful of porn stars and performers at the Sex Club where I’m doing my linguistic research. I’m scheduled to present my findings to my peers, on the 30th of this month.

It’s amazing what happens when you can approach someone who’s wearing just underwear and sporting a hard on (not Dr. Smyth, he was in dress clothes and professional…we’re talking about the talent at the club…who come to think of it were professional and also in their dres clothes, so to speak), put out your hand and say “Hello, I’m from the University at Buffalo Department of Linguistics conducting field research, do you mind if I speak with you for a moment?” looking them dead in the eye, as if they were wearing a business suit and you both were at the lobby of a swank hotel, instead of under the Diamond Room where paid members engage in acts of their wildest fantasies.

They stare at you for a second, not sure how to process what you just told them, they ask you to repeat it (and I do so, still staring them straight in the eye), and then you walk away with the contact information you need to setup a formal interview later, their real names, cell phones, myspace pages and anything else you want, just by asking.

Fuck having a six pack – confidence will get you everywhere in life. Always look like you belong where you stand, and walk where few dare to tread, and you’ll make it anywhere.

Academically speaking, I’ve been going over and over the data we collected, and it’s just awesome (phase one of the methodology is complete). We’re going back and moving into phase two on Friday through Sunday of this week and I’ll be more than happy to post what I have so far under the custom-friends feed for it (again, comment if you’d like to be added to the list, and to see what we have so far). On Friday we’re back to the Sex Club, on Saturday we’re at a similar club, on Sunday we’re conducting interviews and going to a Straight Club (they’re the Control Group) and then we get to repeat everything in Buffalo after Thanksgiving in a whirl wind tour. I’m working very closely with my Research Assistant (Brigitte, who keeps me calm, sane, and is just wonderfully insightful), my supervising instructor (Paauw), and Dr. Smyth and I know we’re onto something.

I’ll be working on this through the night as I also write another paper and do laundry, and clean the aparmtnet because it has to get done (same with cleaning, because it needs to) and because I have a cold and my sleep cycle is currently screwed (I know, I know, mah nishtanah halleilah hazeh?) I might as well be doing something productive so I’m burning the midnight oil.

I ordered my UB Business Cards today and filled out all the forms and stuff, they’ll be emailing me a proof of them today, and hopefully will have them ready before I leave for Toronto this Friday.

Arabic Class

Going wonderfully, though it pains me to see a few students who are having problems with the course, I hate that feeling, the feeling of knowing that you don’t get it and everyone else does. Currently I have a B+; I’d like to see if I can push that to an A. I may see if I write some poetry in Arabic if Prof. Roustum will count that as some extra credit…of course, I’m limited to using the vocabulary in our text book, but that could also prove entertaining and a wonderful experiment in grammar and syntax…I could rhyme all about big expensive doors and textbooks and factories…it’ll be a blast.

People don’t understand that it’s a slow, methodic, process. You can’t rush it, you have to take it as it comes, slowly – very slowly – and write and rewrite each letter, meditate on the letter’s various forms, memorize all of them, and then write it again and again and again. Then to truly learn any language, you have to live it…which I’ll be doing in short order.

Linguistic Analysis I

I’m not really sure where I stand in this class, I believe I screwed up on some of the homework, however I meet with Hsin-Wei on Friday to see exactly (grade wise) where I stand. I know it is not lower than a C, and I believe it is hovering around a B- and I’d like to push that up to an A if at all possible (and considering how much the open note, open book final exam is worth, I do believe I’ll be able to do so, and if not, I’ll survive…I always land on all fours).

Linguistic Analysis II

At my current estimate based on received assignment grades, I have an A in this course (maybe an A-). I’ll know more where I stand at the end of class tomorrow night (the class runs from 7-10pm); this course also has an open-note, open-book final as the only exam.

Tel Aviv

My parents are really behind the move (which is wonderful and takes off a whole layer of stress) and of course the only concern I have at present, is just how long it will take me to finish picking up Hebrew so I can express myself as fully in Hebrew as I can in English (how many years, one, two, three?). I’ve sold all of my books with the exception of one’s that are near and dear to me, or that are professional reference and I’m socking away the cash. I’ve been streamlining my apartment at a slow, yet regular pace. I’ve had a lot of people say “you won’t go through with it” and I just look at them, stare for a second, and move on.

When you really want something, you fight tooth and nail for it, you bare teeth, and you fight for it. And every time someone tells you how hard it is, it just makes you that more stronger, that more determined, to get what you want.

I spoke with Mom today, which was good. I’m determined to sit for the ATA Arabic Exam in six years; it has a 10% percent pass rate, in all honesty, I want to achieve this before I achieve my doctorate (though I’ll let a certain amount of fate determine which I achieve first).

As much as the uncertainty of having nothing scheduled to the extent I have it here at UB, the loss of regiment, scares me…the thought of being able to just study one or two languages at a time without having to have other classes interfere with learning them, to me, just sounds like a dream…hard work, labor, many other jobs I can do, and I’ve said this at least once, and will say it a few hundred times more: there is no job that is beneath me, no matter how many people may think it worthless or menial, so long as it’s honest and pays me, that I will not do in order to get what I want.

At times, am I scared shitless that I may be making the biggest mistake of my life: you betcha, do I think I am: no, if I were to find out later that doing this was the biggest mistake of my life, would I do it again, knowing then what I’d know now: yes.

I can think of no greater torture than standing in an ivory tower going “what if.”

And after that, I also want to spend two or so years in Papua, New Guinea; not to mention learning how to sail a boat…I’ve always wanted to learn how to really sail a boat. I need to add that to my life’s to do list.

Evan (psychoticjester) May Be Visiting!

Evan may be visiting after Thanksgiving week, which would be awesome (I haven’t seen him in far too long) and I’ve missed him. And this time, I have more than tomato soup in my cupboard (long story, long long story). Maybe we’ll go to the Falls or Toronto (both are rather cheap excursions).

Anyway, time to gather up laundry, organize, paper write, data analyze as I avoid tap dancing with morpheus and burn the midnight oil and get this shit done.

I have a lot more to update about, but that will have to come later.