I'm really enjoying the classes here at the Linguistics Institute. I am attending 4 classes: one on writing systems (of languages past and present), one on language change (historical and present, English and other languages), one on language variation (focusing on English, especially cases where two different words seem possible in a particular kind of sentence, and looking at differences in meaning/style/etc. which might distinguish them), and a class that is hard to describe in a blog that will probably be read by people who don't know much linguistics. (It focuses on ways we can characterize a speaker's knowledge of syntax--in this case English--using statistical models based on frequencies of words and constructions). I may also take one more class if I can find one I like. A lot of interesting classes are scheduled at the same time as those above, but in one of the free periods, I've tried two different classes. One was a bit beyond me, and so I tried joining another class recommended by another person here. That one was really a bit too "Intro" level to be interesting. But four is the normal number, and there are evening lectures and workshops on Wednesdays and weekends, so I don't really need more.
I am almost a student because I don't have to do any homework! There are assignments for anyone who wants to get college credit, but for the rest of us, it's enough if we just do the readings (as much as possible--there are too many to get to them all) and go to class.
I'm also enjoying the beautiful campus here. Today after dinner, I went to the Stanford Shopping Center (I'm not a fan of shopping or malls, but I have to admit it is a beautiful place) to buy a sweater (it's been cold the last few days, and I didn't bring enough warm clothes), and I decided to get a camera. I didn't bring my digital camera from Japan because it was a little too big and heavy, especially the battery charger (which I have to use often because the battery wears down so fast. ) I really like my old Sony CyberShot, now about 7 years old, but when I saw a Sony store in the mall, I decided to get a new one. It is much smaller and lighter, and works like the old one...except that all the menus are in ENGLISH! It really felt weird when I picked up the one in the store and saw English on the screen. I might actually try using more of the features with this one. Starting tomorrow, I am going to take pictures of the campus to post here, so check back.