So, I've now taught one week of classes and survived. I'm glad to have gotten through the first Monday of the semester, as that's my long day. I get to campus around 8:00 in the morning, and don't leave again until about 8:30 at night. The big stretch is my two afternoon classes, when I basically teach straight through from 4:00 until 8:30. But it went well (although I was definitely hungry by the time I finished and got home!), and my field methods class was as much fun as I'd hoped it would be. It's always hard to tell how it'll go that first night. Basically, the point of the class is to get a person who speaks a language other than English (and preferably a language to which neither I nor my students have been exposed) to come every week to class so that the students can elicit linguistic data from her and then analyze it to learn how the language works.
This semester, a friend of mine who speaks Bengali is the consultant, and she's clearly going to be fabulous. The students are always completely terrified beforehand, because they just don't understand anything about what's going on, or what this kind of thing looks like, or how it feels to have to write down everything someone says and then analyze it. So the first week, I give them about twenty minutes to get basic course business done, and then I get the consultant into the classroom and we do our first elicitation, and the only one that I will run (after this, the students decide what to ask her, and they do the asking and the writing; my job is to help guide them in their planning ahead of time and their analysis afterwards). By the end of the class, half of them still looked scared (normal), and the other half was running high, talking about how much fun that was, and they'd had no idea that it would be so much fun, and they couldn't wait for their turn to do the elicitation. Heh. Gotcha.
All the prep for that, plus the many other things on my plate right now (I'm simultaneously longing for the end of February, and terrified by how quickly it's coming), means that I haven't been doing too much knitting. I took the girls with me up to Tehachapi on Sunday to do fieldwork; they played outside in the snow:
while I worked inside and knitted away on the Babushka (which is very good meeting knitting, it turns out). I'm making progress, but it looks exactly the same as it has for quite a while now (in that way that shawls have, midway through), so I won't share any pictures right now.
I did, however, finally get the second set of beads I've been waiting on for the Tibetan Clouds Stole, and I'm really glad I did, because I think we've got a winner. See what you think.
(I think you can click to embiggen.) I am leaning strongly towards the one on the left, which is a silver-lined amber bead, as opposed to the one on the right, which is a copper-lined clear bead. The darker one (on the left) seems subtler to me, while having what looks to me like a richer fire. Opinions? Thoughts? I'm dying to get started on this, but want to finish the Babushka first, as I have both Older Daughter's sweater and a secret project on the needles right now. I'd be feeling bad about the distraction of the secret project, but Younger Daughter will benefit from it (and heck, I wanted to knit it), so at least I'm making good on my promise to each of the girls to produce something for them in the near future.
Meanwhile, the clouds are back, and we're in for some more weather. I don't think it'll be as wild as it was last week, though, when we got so much hail that it actually sat on the lawn for several hours before finally disappearing.
It's just a little surreal, especially with all that green sitting incongruously in the background.
Weird, huh? I'm hoping it doesn't do that again tomorrow, as it's a swim morning for me, and swimming in the hail and sleet isn't as much fun as it sounds (yes, it is an outdoor pool, and yes, it is heated; I'm not even close to crazy enough to swim in an unheated pool)(although I am apparently crazy enough to swim in the sleet; I don't know what that says about me).