Might as well do that wrap up now…

Courses

Arabic III with Prof. Roustum was challenging; but no matter how you feel when you walk into his class, he has a way of making you feel a lot better about yourself. Criticism is only given when required, and then, gently to help you, not to hurt you or to embarrass you…it makes a difference. I’m elated that I received an A- in the course…it doesn’t feel real right now, but it will over time. I’ve cried over this course and worked my fingers until they were raw…and it feels good to have it pay off.

Fieldwork with Scott Paauw (I call this class Field Work because it morphed into something slightly farther away than the title originally suggested…we’re thankful for it). This class (while I don’t have my grade in it yet, and don’t want to bring down the evil eye) was amazing. I learned so much, I thought in new ways (which is always wonderful). It lead me to change my mind on certain key issues (and as Taylor Mali says “sometimes changing your mind is the only way to know you still have one”) and was by far, one of the most influential courses of my university career.

Linguistic Analysis I with Hsin-Wei Chen (so called because this course turned into a precursor for another course) was one of the hardest courses I’ve taken here at UB. I have no idea how I did in it; anywhere from an F Double Minus to a B-; I really can’t even gauge myself. I can however say that I still love phonetics, semantics is okay, syntax can bite me, phonology and I are still in a fight and we aren’t speaking, descriptivism and I are still friends and overall I believe I did okay in the course, I’m certainly not fawning over it however, it was difficult. The course was also incredibly high paced, and I would have personally done better in the course if I had it once a week instead of three times a week (exchanging three, one hour long sessions, for one, three hour long session)…and if she didn’t use PowerPoint…PowerPoint is the kiss of death if you ever want anyone to understand anything…it makes learning so passive (there’s a reason I don’t own a television).

Linguistic Analysis II with Kang (so called because this course morphed from what it was supposed to be into Linguistic Analysis II…this time for which the class was not thrilled) was okay, I believe I have anywhere from a B- to an A- and only time will tell. The course was, however, no where near as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be.

Social & Love Life

My social life (outside of weekly Hookah Nights, which I setup at my apartment, so I’d make sure I got a chance to see some friends) was almost nonexistent.

I worked incredibly hard this semester and that left little to no time to hang out with friends which is what it is, I’m at UB to get an education and unfortunately, everything else has to come second to that and fortunately, when your in an academic environment, most seem to understand.

I did, however, get to hang out with Alice (maleficentseyes) a bunch, for which I’m thankful because I didn’t get to see her nearly enough over the summer and I love her to death. I also had the pleasure of hanging out with Jackie (iolausian) more often than I ever did in the past which was amazing (slightly crazy) and informative (what she knows about media, is enough to make a CNN producers head spin). Unfortunately, we got to hang out more towards the end of the semester which is when I’m checking my watch every 30 seconds out of fear that I’m off schedule (which is incredibly rude…and unfortunately, really the only way to survive finals week). She’s moving to Albany which isn’t far away and now that I have four day weekends every week for the rest of the Spring Semester I should be able to break way for a few weekend trips. The Twins (gryvon and covarla) and I had our usual rendezvous, they’re probably more tolerant of my schedule than most given that they’re both Graduate Students. I also got to know Jacqueline (hollow_voice) a lot better which was nice, because before this year we never hung out. If I didn’t mention you, don’t feel bad, its 4:14am and I’m just writing my thoughts sort of free-flow at the moment.

My love life at the moment is nonexistent…though this isn’t really too much of a complaint.

One certainly can’t meet people unless one leaves the library or their apartment and I’ve done neither a whole lot this semester (not that I’m a recluse, but I have a fridge in my apartment and the library doesn’t, and I had a ton of work this semester which had to get done) and while I have the same (if not stronger) hormonal drive of any other male in my age bracket, I also temper that with the fact that I have an even stronger drive to succeed. There’s also the very real fact that in 12 months and 10 days from now I’ll be in Israel and I don’t want to start a relationship here in Buffalo, it has never been my intention to stay here long term and to form a relationship now where I know the end date isn’t fair for anyone or myself. Why put myself (or even worse, someone else) in a position where I would hurt them?

I’m also not a fan of hooking up with strangers, so unless I find a friend with benefits, it’s just me and my right hand for the time being.

Health

My health has been pretty darn good this semester. I’ve been taking much better care of myself (with improvements that I’m still working on). Weight wise I didn’t gain too much,nor did I loose too much (though when I run into people they say I’ve lost weight, at this point I don’t know if it’s just to be nice, or because I actually have). I tend to shy away from using my scale and prefer to go with how I look (which is pretty good). I’m taking this next year to work on me before I head to the middle east, get tattoos touched up, do pilates more often, meditate more than just once a day and try to just bring everything into balance and into focus with real, weekly, achievable goals. I also have Monday, Wednesday and Fridays off and I plan to be on campus five days a week so I can be in touch with everyone (and perhaps actually make it to the gym this semester).

Fashion & Keeping Up Appearances

Fashion fell to the wayside this semester…I lived in hoodies and embraced my inner grunge-punk-rocker. Not that it’s a terrible thing on the whole, I love hoodies, but again, you can’t attract anyone if you’re not going to put any effort into it. I was literally too busy to care (which if I can get back to my usual anal retentive time management skills this semester, shouldn’t be too much of a problem to overcome this next semester). My apartment was okay, certainly not a wreck, but no where near as pristine as I would have liked it to have been…but it (like me) is a work in progress.

I often get yelled at for not having any food in my apartment…but again, this was by far the busiest semester of my academic career and I hope the living day to day as far as food shopping and consumption went pays off in the long run when I get good grades back. I hope to figure out a better way of dealing with it before next semester starts, but by the time I got home from a long day of courses, I was too tired to deal with anything (which is another thing I want to work on long term).

There’s a lot I want to work on for the coming semester and just do the best I can.

Next Semester’s Courses

Arabic IV with Prof. Roustum should be amazing. I’m currently working on him now so that he’ll give in and also offer some of his time to teach us this summer. I’ve offered cookies and to mow his lawn. We’ll see…I’m hoping he’ll be down with the barter system.

Linguistics 301 (Structure of English: Sound System) is with Dr. Michelson, she’s the Chair of the Linguistics Department and I really like her (she’s always been very cordial every time that I’ve met her).

Linguistics 302 (Structure of English: Grammar & Lexicon) is with Dr. Zubin…I can’t wait to take this course, the first time I was introduced to the notion of grammar was not in English, was not in Hebrew, but was in Arabic…why, you might find yourself asking. Because when I went to school we learned “Whole English” which essentially meant that unless you were a creative writer (which I was…in honors writing) you were totally fucked. I can’t wait to learn grammar…I’ve never learned it before…this will be new for me.

Linguistics 421 (Linguistic Anthropology) is with Dr. Bohnemeyer and should be fascinating. An even bigger plus is that I’m in this course with Candie (covarla) and Teresa.

Linguistics 493 (Sociolinguistics) is with Wolfgang Wölk who is the lead advisor to the European Union on Minority Language Rights, as well as a legend in our department. I’m so psyched you don’t even know. The man is just…amazing. Not only that, he could read the dictionary to me out loud and retain my attention and make it interesting. He has one of the best accents I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing…oh, and he’s a dirty old man with a wonderful twisted and dry sense of humor. I’m so psyched.

MFC481 (Current Issues in Pubic Education) is taught by the same professor who taught my Certificate in Paralegal Studies Course, Olga Possé, Esq. and should be fascinating. I had an A (maybe an A-, I think it was an A) in the last course I took from her and subsequently achieved my certificate in paralegal studies (I collect certificates and certifications like others collect dolls).

CIPP Exam (Certified Information Privacy Professional) I start studying for this exam in January; I’d like to have the credentials to my name before I start my final semester of UB which will be in Fall of 07.

Anyways, I do have more to write about, but it’s nearing 5am….and it’s time for me to prepare to pass out…goodmorning and goodnight everyone!