Anyway, the point of this entry should really be that I just wrote seven pages of my thesis, yippee! Fragmented, yes, but written. At this rate, it might end up being an actual thesis by December 21st instead of just 15 pages, or whatever it's supposed to be. That would rock.
And this, combined with Sergey's syntax lessons of the past few classes, is making me realize something else: that my real interest area in linguistics is actually language change. I was fascinated almost every minute in Dr. McLaughlin's class last semester, because it was sociolinguistics, focusing on language contact, trends, and changes. I almost never speak up in class, just because I don't have anything to say, but in that class I talked a lot. I just never made the connection as to why. And today in class, when we segued off into historical linguistics and language change for a second, I perked up and jumped into the discussion. Weird how you can not realize such basic things about yourself. I thought I liked syntax, but really, what I like is syntax as it fits into that global idea. That's why I'm having so much fun with this thesis - it's about how the word order of a language has changed over time. It's great.
So I definitely made the right choice for the thesis. My only worry now is that I might get accepted into the Syntax Ph.D program at Yale and then discover it's totally wrong for me because I don't care anything about traces, XY-paradigms, and all that stuff. On the other hand, they didn't have Sociolinguistics, and none of the other programs they did have appealed to me as much. (Though I could have chosen Linguistics-Undecided, and probably should have.) I'm sure I could probably switch programs if I did get accepted and I decided I wanted to switch; however, Georgetown does have a Sociolinguistics Ph.D, and I somehow had the good sense (or luck) to apply specifically to it. So cross your fingers for Georgetown, everyone.
I was going to write a long rant about Tom and what a terrible sore loser he is, but I'm sort of drained now. The long and the short of it is that (except for him) we all played very well individually tonight, but were missing a couple of key players and were up against the #1 ranked team (who was also substituting a couple of players from a different team, one of whom was so tall he barely had to jump in order to dunk - not kidding). Tom is one of those guys who, when things are going badly, decides he'll control the entire game, so he starts launching wild shots, ball-hogging when he should pass, and telling the rest of us what to do, and tonight was no exception. The point is, we lost, by a lot, and Tom got angry and started yelling at all of us that we'd played terribly, worse than ever before. He had had a terrible game, but the fact is, Frans was a beast, Adam had an amazing first night with us when it came to defense and steals, and all three of us girls actually got chances to shoot (although I was the only one who made any). We managed to score 40 points on this amazing team. If we had been up against any other team in the division, we would have won. So we all felt like we did a good job in spite of the loss - Marijn actually said she felt like she played better than she ever had - thus, Tom yelling at us (and specifically saying, "You played bad!" to every person but Frans) was the last thing we wanted to hear. Finally I just said, "Just because YOU played bad, Tom, doesn't mean we all did." Everyone else hid smiles, but that just made him madder, of course. A couple of other people added their angry two cents ("We did our best!" and "We don't need to hear this right now!" and "You're just mad 'cause we lost!"), and then we walked out en masse, leaving him to find his own way home. The theme of the bike discussion was, "Can we kick him off the team?" We won't, of course, but how annoying!