Historical Linguistics isn't the most scintillating of classes, but it makes sense and it doesn't require much reading - I've yet to crack my book. Not that we're not supposed to be reading, but I feel like the class lectures cover everything of importance that the book chapters do, and Jenna, who does do the reading, says that's essentially true. Our entire grade comes from the midterm (33%) and the final (67%), which is a little scary, but so far I think I'm doing okay. We'll see how the midterm goes.
Language Acquisition is really interesting. I've had classes along this line before, which is part of the reason I'm not doing any of the assigned readings for this course, either. Which means I occasionally get into a sticky spot when she calls on me to answer a question about the reading, but once again, the lectures seem to cover everything that the readings do, and she makes up .pdf files of notes for us that cover essentially everything she says during lecture (I just add little notes of my own to them), so this is yet another class where I can cut corners on the reading. That may come back to bite me later, or it may not. We'll see.
Phonology requires a ton of work, but since I'm skimping everywhere else, I don't mind it so much. We've got problem sets or discussion exercises for pretty much every class, and the readings are dry and boring - but I must admit, I do feel like I'm learning. I'm not enjoying it in the least - the prevailing thought in my mind is WHO CARES, since I doubt I'm really going to be using this degree for anything - but I am learning.
EMT class is awesome. So far, it's been a lot of legal stuff (what constitutes neglect, abandonment, etc.), human anatomy (wanna know the 13 stages of blood flow through the heart?), lifting and moving (knees, not back), how to immobilize and transport a potential spinal injury (the answer to every question these days is "C-spine!"), how to safely extricate people from car wrecks (I got maneuvered out, strapped to a backboard, and loaded into an ambulance), and, most recently, oxygen usage and how to insert an oro- or nasopharyngeal airway. (Not intubation - that's outside the EMT-B's scope of duty, although we are going to learn how to do it. This is sort of similar, but doesn't involve going down the throat.) Anyway, it's really, really interesting, and I got a 98 on the first test (after the bonus questions). Hopefully I'll be able to take the state exam sometime at the beginning of the summer and do this to earn a little money.
Summer is filling up fast. I'm staying here in Chapel Hill for most of it, but am most likely going to swim Key West again on June 16th (a friend from UF wants to do it too, hurrah!), plus head over to Europe around the end of July for a little traveling before (and after) the Channel relay swim. Liz also wants me to come to Pennsylvania with her for a week in June to visit her dad and her grandparents, which sounds awesome. And somewhere in all this hubbub, I need to make a little money. LOL. *crosses fingers for an EMT position*
My birthday was pretty good. I ended up having to get up and babysit, then go to phonology, so the first seven hours were just like any other Tuesday, but then when I came home I found that Liz had decorated my room and bought me two dozen yellow roses. She also got me new pajamas (American Eagle), a book (The Secret Life of Bees), a cute cereal bowl and spoon (because my pouring my cereal wakes her up every morning) and a photo album. Then she took me to dinner at 411 West (an Italian place on Franklin Street) and produced a cake from the back of our refrigerator (how did I not know that was there?). Anyway, I felt special - and I am now officially 23 years old. Sounds like a good age... but I don't think I want to get any older than that... can I stop now?
One more big thing that's been on my mind for the past month is the possibility of my going to PA (Physician's Assistant) school after I get done with the linguistics degree. For anyone who's not familiar with the profession: PAs do most of the same things as 'real' doctors - and they work in all areas, including pediatrics, obstetrics, and surgery - when I go see my doctor in Jacksonville, I actually see a PA - but they work under the supervision of an MD. The program is two (full) years long. Granted, this could just be the 'honeymoon period' for the EMT class, and I could get sick of it and change my mind, but at the moment, this sounds like a really good option for me. I played with the idea of a Ph.D, but - and this may make me sound lazy - I just don't think I have it in me to sign on for even more school, not to mention the fact that I can't think of anything I'm sufficiently interested in to want to study it for 5-6 years and write a dissertation on it. I'm already dreading having to scrounge up a thesis topic for my master's. For PA school, I'd need at least six months to a year of field experience (which the EMT work would provide), plus I'd have to take a year of prerequisite courses somewhere (anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, and statistics) as a non-degree-seeking student. Then, if I'm accepted, I'd enter the two-year program, of which the first year would be all classes and the second year all clinical rotations. Competition is pretty stiff, and I'd certainly be at a disadvantage under those with a bachelor's degree in something science-related, but there are other factors which would place me at an advantage - my age, my undergrad GPA, my GRE scores, the 2-3 years' EMS experience I'd have by that point, and the fact that I'd already hold one master's degree (proving I can 'go the distance' in a graduate program). There are fewer schools with PA programs than you might think, but the three I'd apply to would be Duke, UF, and Wake Forest, of which the latter would hopefully take me even if the other two don't. Anyway, this is all just talk, and I've obviously got to finish my current degree before I get too far into another one - but the idea has got me excited, and that's more than I can say for linguistics right now.
Miscellaneous: Liz and I are looking up apartments (we want to move to a two-bedroom this summer), it has snowed twice (though school never got canceled, darn UNC), I'm beginning to develop a shin splint in my right leg (so: more swimming, biking, and elliptical for the next couple weeks), I went on a shopping spree at Banana Republic and got, among other things, a black button-down shirt which looks really good on me (yes, I'm modest), and Wiggles peed in my laundry basket (why? You have a litter box!) so I'm currently doing laundry again.
Guess that's all for now...