So three linguists walk into a bar…

August 26, 2009

(I’m not going anywhere with that, it just sounds funny to me. Like how many linguists does it take to change a lightbulb? Depends on the arguments of changing.)

So today I was in the Pacific Cookie Company enjoying a cookie and scoop of ice cream with my friend and fellow literature major, Heather. We were discussing our majors and class selections and what languages we were planning on learning throughout the course of our degrees, when who should walk by but the head of the linguistics department, Jim! (That’s Professor McCloskey to you.) It’s always distinctly odd to see one’s professors off campus, and even more so when you’re pretty sure they have no idea who you are. However, before I could help myself, I waved at him. To my utter shock, he saw me and came in to greet me.

This is notable primarily because our department’s not small, and our school’s just gargantuan, so usually undergraduates only bond with their T.A.s and peers that way, not with the upper ranks of the tenured and the published. It speaks to the amazing coziness of the Santa Cruz linguistics department that the chair not only recognizes his random undergrads by face, but remembers what other majors they’re doing, has random advice on the languages issue (Latin and Greek are okay! I don’t actually have to subject myself to any more live ones if I don’t want to!), and will take time out of his day off to dispense said advice with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.

I am not at all ashamed to admit, I half expected him to offer me a lemon drop. (And I’m not terribly disappointed that he didn’t.)

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