12 of 12 for January 2010

13 Jan

Not my most interesting set of photos yet, but it’ll have to do. This actually marks the first time that I’ve done three 12 of 12s in a row in the same place. I get around a lot.

My first class was at the ungodly hour of 9:30am (anything before 10 seems too early in college), so I was up bright and early and shortly on my way to campus. My class was inside the beautiful neo-Gothic University College building, which I photographed here from the Front Campus.

Oh, and before I got to class I stopped at Starbuck’s for some essential caffeine and carbohydrates (a lemon cranberry scone). The class was our M.A. Forum, which I’ll be presenting in next week. Wish me luck.

After class I exited through the UC Courtyard, which looks positively magical in the snow. The whole building feels like a castle.

I liked it so much I had to include two photos. I love the cloisteresque corridor here.

The large majority of squirrels in Toronto are black. But they still like crackers.

While I was lucky enough to not have to buy any books last semester, I had to buy two on the 12th: one for Phonetic Analysis (left) and one for Urban Dialectology (right — written by my thesis advisor). Overall, I’m happier with my courses this semester because they are much more useful and in line with my interests.

Later I headed to the department to work on my upcoming Forum presentation. Here’s one of the slides from my PowerPoint. The topic is the receding conservative pronunciation of “BATH”-type words in New England, which includes words like half, last, and laugh. Middle-aged and especially older people sometimes use a more backed vowel in these words (similar to the pronunciation in, say, Australia or parts of England). But this feature has more or less disappeared completely in people under age 30.

There was a big poster sale going on in our building. The Star Wars poster towering above all the others caught my eye, but I did not buy it.

In the evening I TA’ed my first tutorial of the semester. I’m still teaching the same course, but with new students. Overall, they were quite a bit more proactive and interested in the topic than my previous group. Several of them seem to be quite intelligent and linguistically inclined. My only concern is that we got a little bogged down in their more advanced questions, which may have left the rest of the class a bit lost. I may have to rein them in from time to time. Anyway, we talked about the competing prescriptive rules that influence people’s choice of a generic third person singular pronoun, and how the formal prohibition of they is arbitrary, problematic, pointless, and not supported by historical precedent. Prescriptivism sucks.

After tutorial I snapped this shot of the CN Tower from campus.

And another shot of University College at night!

Then I went home, made dinner, and fell asleep almost immediately.


2 Responses to “12 of 12 for January 2010”

  1. squamloon 14 January 2010 at 11:54 #

    1. What a beautiful campus, both day and night. Cloisters always make me think of our little side trip with Albert to the cathedral in Aix .

    2. The TRAP-BATH merger was very evident in my own family. My grandparents all said bath and half that way, my parents have vestiges, and I think my oldest sister even has a tinge.

    3. Police officer. Mail carrier. Flight attendant. (Cool room BTW. It looks so … Good Will Hunting or something.)

    4. Beautiful dinner.

  2. 'enry 'iggins 27 January 2010 at 22:41 #

    By “TRAP-BATH merger” you mean TRAP-BATH split. The TRAP-BATH merger is what most Americans have.

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