The only thing I'm not totally clear on is the academics; I've been told that I would be registered for a 'placeholder' study-abroad course to keep me registered as a full-time grad student but that I wouldn't be taking actual courses while abroad. (The up side: I wouldn't be charged any tuition.) Most of the past assistants have apparently used the time to do research - which I could theoretically do, since I do have to take some credits of 'thesis' and my thesis will probably be on some Dutch-English-Afrikaans-general Germanic theme anyway - but I'd need to chat with my department about that. I'm only required to take 10 courses for the degree and I'll have 7 of them completed after this year, so a semester of no 'real' coursework was probably in the cards anyway, but for most of the other grads, it will probably be their fourth semester rather than the third.
Anyway, so there are some potential kinks to work out, but if the opportunity presents itself I'd be crazy to turn it down. As I've said before, this is probably the last chance I'll ever get to travel internationally on someone else's dime - airfare included! - and I've been dying to go to Africa ever since I started working with the South African counselors at Ton-A-Wandah in 2001. Nothing is certain yet, or even anywhere close to being certain - the coordinator has to speak to one of the main professors, whom she says may already have someone in mind - but if he doesn't, I'd have a very real shot at it. In my own mind, anyway. Maybe I flatter myself, but I really feel like I am exceptionally qualified for this - not only have I studied/lived abroad before, but I speak fluent Dutch (which is very similar to Afrikaans). I'm not saying I'm a shoo-in - not even I am that arrogant - but my application would definitely make them sit up and take notice.
Anyway, not much other news - I have a killer midterm tomorrow (phonetics) and seriously, if I believed in any sort of a god, I would be thanking him or her profusely right now for the existence of the other three linguistics graduate students, with whom I had a two-hour study session this afternoon. I swear I understand less and less of what our teacher says with every passing day. We also get our syntax midterm on Thursday, but at least that one's a take-home. No midterm for Persian (we've only just finished learning the whole alphabet, LOL), and nothing for Mayan languages either, since we've just turned in our first essay. So after this week things should lighten up until after fall break (the 19th) - knock on wood.