A cunning linguist.

Oy vey.

Put down the books, girl.

After an afternoon of hard reading in the coffee shop, I'm actually considering going back to school. Not anytime soon, that's for sure. I've already said, I've no desire to return to the other side of the classroom for a long while. But just how lovely would a degree in linguistics be?

I know that sounds like the most eye-gougingly boring thing on the face of the earth. But if you think about it, it's not a big detachment from poetry. And it's pretty fucking relevant to language education and second language acquisition, as well.

And anyway, I keep thinking of the most important thing anyone ever said to us at university (besides when Hawkey told us the first day of studio, "If you even think you can be happy doing anything other than writing, then walk away now."), when Brian Blanchfield said:

Every writer spends their entire life trying to answer just one question. You just have to find your question.

Which Mike and I were discussing again the other day, how fucking true it is.

I knew then what my question was, and it hasn't changed to this day. Never once has anything I've ever written strayed too far from that question.

Every day here is an exploration of that question -- every day not speaking Korean, meeting people who don't speak English and everything in between (speaking a little, meeting those who speak a little). Studying Korean. Trying to speak Korean. Elaborate systems of mime -- how important facial expressions have become. Touching, bowing, waving, gesturing. Etiquette and rituals. Tone of voice. Failing and failing and failing to communicate, and then, eventually and against all odds, succeeding.

Anyway. It's getting deep, kids. I should really just stay away from Chomsky entirely.


Kel said...

the only thing i would ever consider going back to school for is linguistics. so not boring!

MikejGrey said...

There's a crappy rap group called the Cunning Linguists

Also, I think I'm going to try to go back to school for Fiction. Seriously. With some heavy Gary Lutz sized grammar drills. That's all I want to do. Study fiction language.