Second Language Acquisition Theory
This is a once a week, Monday night class with the same awesome professor I had night class with last semester. We only have one textbook, so there is a lot less reading, but for our final project we have to design a research project and predict the results. We do have the option, but are not required, to actually carry out the research, but that would take going through IRB and such. I am considering designing some sort of survey with the Native American language classes taught here, as I know there is like nothing out there about these university level classes. However, it is probably a bit late to actually get IRB approval and get it done this semester, but I'm still considering it. Something with motivation and attitudes of the students and teachers, to discover the needs of the program and how it could be improved. But I'm not sure if that would insult anyone or not. Also, I don't exactly have a lot of experience with creating surveys. So we'll see.
Introduction to Native American Languages
We're pretty much going to try and survey most of the language families in the Americas and all of the cool funky things they do that challenged what people thought they "knew" about languages and linguistics once upon a time. This is a fun class with Dr. L, but there are a lot of non-linguistics major undergraduates in the class and that is making it...kinda slow, honestly, from my perspective, because Dr. L has to explain, in very simple terms, all the linguistic terms and such. So it's a good class, I just kinda wish I'd taken it with a group of linguistics majors, because I think it would have been quite different. Anyways, our big final project is a full sketch of a language, that we do bit by bit throughout the semester. I originally wanted to do Plains Apache, but there is only one text out there, so that didn't leave me much of a way to analyze the syntax of the language. So Dr. L suggested me and my partner switch to Slavey, which is a related Athabaskan language, so it's interesting, and probably good for me, but just not as easy as doing Plains Apache would have been.
Theories of Culture
Oh, man. This is a core class required of all Anthropology MA students. We basically are reading a book a week of all the major names- Durkheim, Marx, Boas, Weber, Whorf, etc. I am not excited about this class. At all. It is interesting stuff, but...I'd just rather be doing anything more like my other two classes. It is with Dr. O, which is nice, and I can't picture anyone else teaching this, because Dr. O is just a fountain of endless knowledge. He knows at least something about everything, it seems. But this class has weekly reading critiques, a midterm, final paper, and final exam. So yeah. A lot of work that I don't really want to do. These kinds of classes remind me that I am definitely more linguistic than anthropological.
I am pretty sure that I'm going to present at the Oklahoma Foreign Language Teachers' Association's fall conference. I just need to submit my abstract still, but I presented there in the spring and it was really fun and really laid back, so this will be another opportunity for me to get another conference presentation under my belt in a very relaxed, low-key atmosphere. So that is a yay.
As for my TA duties, I'm kind of enjoying it. The office work is not that bad and everyone is very, very nice. In fact, the elder Kiowa instructor that I helped so much during the first two weeks surprised me with a gift of earrings and a matching necklace to say thank you. I tried to explain that it's my job to help her, but that didn't really work. :) The 20 hours a week isn't fun, but it gets me out of my apartment and behind a desk, and since mostly all I do is go down the hall and make copies, I have a lot of time to work on my own stuff. At least, in theory. I'm meant to be reading some Karl Marx right now, but I'm having a hard time getting around to it. And now it's lunch time.