Creative Writing short story. It's going to be about a girl who eats in her sleep. Believe it or not, that's a real disorder. It happens, for instance, when people go on crash diets - they starve themselves during the day, so the body takes the food it needs at night... and then they wake up in the morning with crumbs on their faces or surrounded by pizza crusts or something. I got the idea that day I lost my clock and we thought I'd been sleepwalking, so I went and looked for it in the fridge. Dia came up with the sleepwalking part and I added the eating-disorder twist. Anyway, this shouldn't be too hard to write, but it's taking a back seat for now because the following three things are more important:
Linguistics presentation. I have to present Williams' Syndrome, which is a form of mental retardation characterized by very good linguistic and social skills. We suspect that my second cousin Laura has this disorder, although she's never been formally diagnosed, so I'm trying to get my dad to somehow make a recording of her voice that I can use in my presentation. I wish I had a picture of her, but we don't; we hardly ever see her, and when we do, there's not usually a camera in the vicinity. Anyway, I obviously can't focus the whole presentation around her, but I think having a real subject would add a dimension to my presentation that no one else had. Also, it's supposed to last around 30 minutes, and that is a LONG TIME, so having this extra material would help too. I don't think finding material is going to be a problem, nor is making the presentation (gotta love PowerPoint), but I'm a bit worried about dragging it out over 30 minutes.
Linguistics paper. I have to propose a linguistic experiment which has something to do with language acquisition, and write a research plan. I don't have to actually carry out the experiment, but I have to invent results and all that sort of thing. If it were just a normal paper, it would be easy, but since it's an experiment, that adds a whole new dimension. I don't like doing things like this. It's not helped by the fact that I can't come up with an idea. Anyone? Experiment ideas which relate to language acquisition? Help?
Thesis. The biggie. I'm on page 11 (single-spaced), and it's going pretty well, but it's choppy. I have a lot of information on Middle English and Modern English, but not so much on Early Modern. Then I have a lot on Modern Dutch, and barely anything on Afrikaans. It's not evenly balanced. Also, there are a lot of sections where I have to add, in capitals, LOOK FOR EXAMPLES OF BLAH-BLAH-BLAH or FIND OUT IF BLAH IS POSSIBLE, and then just move on with the writing. So almost none of the sections are truly finished, because they need more research. But I really do work better when I don't plan everything out ahead of time, but just write and work it out as I go. I get bored with plain research and note-taking. I also end up wasting time reading about totally random things which are interesting to me but often have nothing to do with the thesis. By actually having the writing process going, and having a specific goal that I'm working towards or theory that I'm trying to prove, I can be much more efficient in my research. Not everyone can work this way, but it's the best format for me. Plunge right in.
Aside: I'm trying to start selling some of the stuff I'm not going to take home, so if any of you Dutchies know someone who wants (among other things) a bike, bedding, an Enrico Benetti backpack, a Spanish 290 or Creative Writing textbook, a red Speedo bag, or (awesome) Celine Dion body wash, drop me a line, OK?