Brief Update

64 Days Until Go Time…No Wait, The Day’s Over…Now It’s 63…

Just a quick run down of life before I head home to shower, and watch Legally Blonde while I study and munch on pomegranates.

Good Ideas in Computer Science

Gnomes and Unicorns folks, Gnomes and Unicorns. We have our midterm for this course on Oct. 29th and we have a quiz in it next week. Right now we’re programming Karel the Robot…the course is okay, I believe I’ll be receiving a B+ to an A, we’ll see though.


This is phonetician boot camp (where there is an i in team [ti:m]), and while I didn’t do as well as I liked on the first homework, I did receive an 85% in the Buffalo Vowel Transcription, a 90% on the Arabic Transcription (I can’t believe I botched the one phonetic symbol which would have ensured a 100%…but such is life…the speaker was from Kuwait which was cool though) and I also (according to my scoring estimate) received a 90% on the German Vowel Transcription, I should find that out Tomorrow.

I should be getting my second homework grade back later this week (e.g. Tomorrow) or next week. The lowest grade is dropped so I’m hoping that – providing I did well on the second assignment – I can forget about the first and proceed forward with the course with no further hitches.

Linguist in Waiting is my informant for Tagalog which is the language I’ll be examining for my semester long phonetics project which we’re being introduced to next week. I want to specifically look at stress in the language.

Grammar & Lexicon

We don’t really need to discuss this course. It’s going (and is – thankfully – over in 63 days). The mid-term is tomorrow. We’re not doing a whole lot of what…’normal’ (read: non-linguists) people would describe as grammar (the best way to describe what we’re doing is mental masturbation).

Overall, there’s a large portion of students in the course who are overtly negative or hostile to each other, but JP and Julia as the teaching team are wonderful, so that’s a blessing at least.


This was Sociolinguistics Boot-Camp for me last year, it’s much nicer standing on the other side of the classroom, watching the process from the standpoint of the educator rather than the one being educated. Scott’s teaching philosophy agrees with my own and, to date, it’s been nothing short of a wonderful experience. I get to teach the class by myself when Scott’s at a conference on the 25th of this month (I’ll be teaching about Politeness and Accommodation, which is good since I can cover that in my sleep if I were required to).

The students have their midterm exam this coming Tuesday, so I imagine (or hope) that most will be taking this weekend to study and taking advantage of my office hours Tomorrow to go over anything that they’re shaky on.

Also next week we’ll be listening to international rap which gives me a wonderful opportunity to use the HaDag NaChash Curriculum Guide for “The Sticker Song” (שירת הסטיקר). Actually, any chance for HaDag NaChash anything to make it’s way into class makes me happy, but the fact that we can legitimately incorporate it is great.

Independent Study

I’m looking at language policy from India in 1929 (the Language Riots) and comparing it to present language policy in India, specifically as it relates to education with an underlying focus on language discrimination. This is much more fulfilling than the research I was doing through last semester. I plan on being done with this by the end of October so I can ‘scrape it off my plate’ so to speak.

Classical Tibetan

Classical Tibetan is going wonderfully, even though I won’t be able to be here next semester I’m receiving enough tools that I’ll be able to continue studying it on my own until I can study it in Tibet at some point (…it’s good that when I say things like that, folks at this point know I’m not kidding…). But Tibet is certainly on the list, and had I had this course before I set the ball in motion I would have certainly stayed for another few years here at UB before making Aliyah, though it really is time to get a move on and I’m not getting younger (a side note, I was once told by a very bitter and jaded homo that if I didn’t have a long time boyfriend by the time I was 21 I’d be single forever…he didn’t know how to respond when I said ‘that’s okay, I have my right hand and a mirror…’).

Next Weekend (Oct 13/14th) starts my TESOL/TEFL/TESL training course; which will be occupying my time over Oct 13/14, Oct 20/21 and Oct 27/28. I’ll be receiving my certificate on the 28th.


I should be finding out if I receive the grant that I asked for from Nefesh B’Nefesh later next week (hopefully). The other day I received my Garin Tzabar application which I’ll be filling out when I get back to my apartment so I can mail it out Tomorrow.

I’ll be meeting with my Shaliach sometime in November for our second meeting (though we’ve been in regular contact via telephone and email) which means I’ll have to book a weekend down to NYC (…twist my arm…no wait…twist it…).


Chai Line is going amazing. I submitted a grant for that on Tuesday, I have some letters to send out for it Tomorrow before Shabbat and I’ll go into this in more detail later on.,

Time to head home

Time to head home, I’ll go into a real, full length, life update (including my Mom’s and Margie’s visit to Buffalo) sometime later this weekend.

Peace all!