Thursday, April 07, 2005

wow, it's been a while.

Sorry about that. As I had anticipated, it's much harder to make myself write a post on here when I'm at Dartmouth than when I'm doing the skiing thing... I guess it's just something about making myself write voluntarily when there are all kinds of other things I'm expected to write, too.

After Nationals, we went back to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for our quarterly physical testing regime. We do a Wingate Test one day and a full battery of strength, agility, power and balance tests in the gym the next day.

Last Wednesday, I flew from Colorado back to Manchester, N.H., where I picked up my van and drove up to Dartmouth. I was up until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. unloading my stuff from my van into my dorm room, and then the next day I went to two 2-hour classes, one called "Computational Linguistics" and the other, "Mass Media in Latin America." The professor for the computational ling class is a little dry, but I decided to stick it out. The other prof was really dynamic and young and the subject matter seemed interesting, but the course was taught entirely in Spanish and I realized that I was going to have a hard time keeping up with all the native speakers in the class. 50 pages of nightly reading in English take me long enough as it is; in Spanish, I'd never have time to get anything else done. So I opted out of that class.

The next day I went to "History of the English Language," which I'm very excited about and which I like to abbreviate as HOTEL. Monika Otter is one of my favorite profs at Dartmouth. She is a native of Germany but has been teaching in the U.S. so long and is so interestied in the subtleties of language that she has a much better command of English, even idiomatically, than most other American college professors, let alone average Americans. I've been listening to her carefully the last couple of classes, and the only error I heard her make was pronouncing the word "circuit" as "ser-kwit," which is a pretty logical mistake to make. Right now the class is basically a quick synopsis of Ling 1 for the benefit of the non-majors in the class, of which there are many. But looking ahead, we'll be getting into some neat stuff about Old and Middle English that I know nothing about. Here, let me post a sample of some Middle English. This is from a translation of an early French travelogue about Africa:

"In Ethiope, whan the children ben yonge and lytill, thei ben all yalowe; and when that thei wexen of age, that yalownesse turneth to ben all blak."

Funny, huh?

I went home to Maine briefly last weekend to get the rest of my dorm room stuff, and my brother and I went to see Sin City. It's quite a bloodbath, but very beautifully rendered: all in sharp, deep black and white apart from the occasional flash of lurid color: red drops of blood, blue eyes, a pool of yellow ooze.

I wish I could've gone home this coming weekend instead, because my mom's a capella group, !zing, is performing then. I keep missing their concerts. But on Tuesday I had to pack up all my ski stuff again, and yesterday I left for Colorado yet again. We visited St. Anne's, an Episcopal primary school in Denver where we got to see all the kids we've been exchanging emails with from the road ever since October. Ralph gave me a ride up to Vail afterward and let me sleep on his couch, and today we checked into the really luxurious Vail Cascade Resort, where we're staying until Sunday. We're here for SkiTAM, the main annual fundraiser for our ski team. I really don't like schmoozing with people, but it's worthwhile for me to be here because our team really wouldn't have the money to do what we do without this event. Plus, you never know — maybe I can find a company here that's interested in sponsoring me.

OK, it's off to the opening reception for me...

1 comment:

finn said...

History and Development of the English Language (as it was called) was probably my favorite of the classes I took in college.