I know what you mean. I think parts of Leazes can be nice; I just got unlucky. My friends who live in a different hall have such a nice, quiet floor. I wish there was a section on the accommodation form that was like “do you like to party all the fucking time? check yes or no” and then anyone who actually wants to sleep and/or not deal with drunks at obscene hours could just live in harmony with like-minded people. I’m not hard to please— I’m just very tired of drunken shrieking carrying on until 530am. That’s a bit excessive, I think.
I am ill.
The freshers flu finally got to me. I have a cough, my sinuses have gone batshit, and I just feel generally blah.
That’s not what this post is about. That was just a bit of bitching.
I’m currently in my second week of classes, and so far, they’re going… well. I have mixed feelings. Beware, this will probably get long.
A rundown of my classes:
Syntactic Theory: So far, I adore this class. It’s really tragic, but I think there are few things (in linguistics) that are more fun than phrase structure trees. It just makes sense. You can see exactly how words relate and influence one another when you structure them out.
Language Origins & Evolution: I’m really enjoying it! It’s like physical anthropology meets the history of language. There’s only one two hour lecture a week, which while it’s convenient, it can get very tedious. The seminars are nice though, very casual.
Grammar, Language & Mind: This is the class I’m struggling with. It’s fascinating and very challenging, and my professor is very engaging. It’s on a subject that I adore.
However, during the first week, we dealt almost exclusively with abstract concepts. (“What is language? What do we mean by language? Is language internal or external or both or neither?”) I may or may not have made myself look like a fool during both the second lecture and the first seminar. I will preface this story by saying, I still believe that I am right. He may be right as well, as that’s the nature of abstract theory. We were ordering an (abstract) list of dichotomies and categorizing them as internal/external, innate/convention, etc. One dichotomy that appeared was “sentence vs utterance.” Now, I have been taught time and time again that in linguistics, to avoid confusion and maintain formality, you should not use the term “sentence.” In the field of linguistics, it’s just not a term to use, unless speaking informally or about conventions/prescriptive grammar. The first person to speak said that she would put “utterance” under external and “sentence” under internal. While I most definitely agree that “utterance” (being a valid linguistic term) should fall under the external category, I had a problem with “sentence” being internal because under “external” fell “convention”. To be honest, I had a problem with it even being on the list. So naturally, being the one loud American in my class, I raised my hand, and said that I had been taught that “sentence” has no meaning. In response, I received the most puzzled look of all time. “What do you mean ‘sentence’ has no linguistic meaning?” he asked me. I, admittedly, floundered a bit because that was one of the first things I was ever taught. Do linguists in America have an entirely different concept of language than their counterparts in the UK? I panicked, and I honestly didn’t know how else to explain what I meant. He pretty much brushed me off, and I was shamed in front of the entire class. That evening, he had assigned us a reading entitled “Sentence” that he had written. It was mentioned three times in this article that sentence is an informal term and has fallen out of favor with the linguistic community. During the seminar, I offered my opinion on something else and again, I was brushed off. I’m still kind of baffled. I’m not sure if he doesn’t like me or what, but now I’m afraid to participate in class discussions. Yes, I know that’s weak, and it’s dumb to get discouraged so easily, but he is one of those professors who terrify me. I’m not scared because I think he’s mean or whatever, but rather, you can tell how intelligent he is, and I, being a true academic (and, admittedly, a show-off), want so badly to impress him. I get like this with basically every professor, honestly. It’s a major character flaw, I know, but I get seriously discouraged when I don’t get an automatic response from a professor. I’ve never really gotten over not being the smartest person in the room or (and this probably sounds worse) not getting the respect I think I deserve.
This has descended into whining. I apologize.
And as for my floormate situation, I leave you with this:
Warning: this post will be a bitchy one. I apologize in advance, but a little bit of bitching is both necessary and healthy.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I live in a dormitory that houses around one thousand students. For the most part, this is manageable. During freshers week, I was rather annoyed with my floor mates because, well, these girls are loud drunks, and they are loud drunks directly outside my door at 3 and 4 in the morning. After freshers, I figured that sort of nonsense was mostly over.
I was wrong.
Sunday night was wonderful. It was quiet and peaceful for the most part, and I was able to get a good night’s rest for my first day of classes on Monday. (I’ll talk about my classes in a post later this week.) Now for a little bit of backstory on my Monday night— a lot of people right now have the “freshers flu,” and I’ve been worried that I would come down with something. For most of Monday evening, I felt terrible. I’d had a headache all day that I just couldn’t shake, and I was worried that I was coming down with a fever. I had also very wisely ignored the fact that I had been extremely sensitive to light all day. (I’m a genius, really.) I got back to my room, called my mother on Skype, and she very quickly pointed out that I had a migraine and am also an idiot, now go take a migraine pill and lie down, you look terrible. So I did around 11pm.
And here begins six hours of torture.
I am assuming that I am one of the only people in my hall with a 9am lecture because from 11pm (which, it should be noted, is the beginning of quiet hours) until 5am, all hell broke loose. People were blasting music, shouting, screaming, slamming doors, beating on walls— it was fucking ridiculous. I lost my temper when, at 5am, a few of my floor mates and their friends went shrieking drunkenly down the hall. At that point, I got out of bed and just started beating on my own door.
All in all, I estimate that I got under two hours of sleep in fifteen and twenty minute increments throughout the night. Honestly? I’m still pissed off. This has gone too far. If this happens again, I’m going to call security, and regardless, I’m going to be taking matters into my own hands.
COME AT ME BRO
But, you know, other than that, it’s been great.
update: it’s started again. clock turned 11 and I called security. I’m not fucking around with this tonight.
presented without further commentary.
I feel you. It seems like everyone went to all the freshers nonsense while I sat in my room, though I’ve heard from multiple sources that it was not worth £70 by any stretch. I’m honestly just looking forward to classes starting, being the nerd that I am.
don’t be fooled by the sunshine; this was actually taken in north east england.
I’ve been in Newcastle for a week now. It’s been… interesting, so far. I live in an absolutely MASSIVE dormitory; it houses over 1,000 students. Needless to say, it gets a bit loud in here sometimes.
Classes don’t start until October 1st. Right now we’re at the tail-end of freshers week, which is sort of like a welcome week, just with a lot more drinking and clubbing. You have the option to buy a freshers wristband (for seventy freaking pounds) which gets you into a week of both day and night activities and events. (From what I hear, the events have been pretty shitty thus far.) The way it’s been explained to me is that basically the school gives the students a week to party and get probably the biggest hangover of their lives in the hopes that they’ll sort of get it out of their systems when classes start up.
So far, I’ve done a TON of shopping. A shameful amount, really. (I’ve bought really great things though, so it’s not all a loss.) In addition to the ridiculous amount of shopping, I’ve done a lot of exploring, and I, antisocial freak of the century, have even managed to make friends.
Take that, England.