August 23, 2012 by Erin Battle
In all of my tours and interviews, I always get the question “what would you recommend most to high school seniors and in-coming freshmen?”. I think that the best thing I can say is be ready and willing to branch out and be BOLD. Tryout and audition for things you never thought you would do. Join that one club or take that one class that you’ve always thought about, but never had the courage to go for. As a freshman, I never imagined myself as a Senior Interviewer. I never imagined myself as the face of the College. When I found out about the Senior Interviewer position, I told myself “Erin, you’re going to do this because it’s something that you would have never done as a freshman”. When I found out that I got the position, you couldn’t have paid me millions to wipe the smile off of my face. Looking back on the summer, I’m ecstatic that I had the courage to simply fill out an application because there are so many people I never would have gotten to meet, and so many experiences that I never would have gone through without this amazing job, and the beyond awesome people I was lucky enough to be surrounded by.
I would have never learned that Andrew is a neat-freak, or that Sam’s terrified of spiders. I would have never found out that Katie has the perfect way to survive through a zombie apocalypse, that Steve is indeed a doctor, or about Karthik’s crazy infatuation with Taco Bell. If I hadn’t interviewed for this position I never would have known that Philip has such awesome dance moves and I would have never heard Rebecca’s patented “teehee teehee”. I would have never seen Doug’s passion for basketball, or learned that Carter’s family is in fact, nothing like the von Trapp family. I never could have imagined how “extra” Jamar actually is and would have never learned about Aaron’s intense Scramble skills. Without this job I never would have gained another amazing set of parents in Wendy and Tish, or found out how beyond amazing and caring the entire Admissions staff is. This summer has been one of my absolute favorite experiences and I’m so thankful to everyone that has made it such. I think that this is one of the greatest examples of why being BOLD and trying things you’ve never dreamed of pays off, because those experiences could end up meaning the world to you.
July 12, 2012 by Erin Battle
So … as you may have noticed, I’m a Linguistics major aaand I’m sure you immediately asked yourself: what exactly IS Linguistics? Even my parents (hi Mom and Dad!) have no idea what they’re actually paying for me to study. To put things basically, Linguistics is the study of language. Now, this doesn’t mean that I spend my time learning eighty million different languages or that I’m fluent in every language from here to Russia. Linguistics is actually more of a science than anything else. Merriam-Webster defines Linguistics as “n. the study of human speech including the units, nature, structure, and modification of language”. Pretty much this means that we get to study everything that language is made up of. We get to delve into the sound systems, common patterns, and culture behind all different languages and their families. There are so many different facets of Linguistics that are hard to understand unless you’ve been in the classes. Even I’ve been surprised with the things I’ve learned. For example, last semester I took a class on Native American languages. We learned about the different patterns in languages that occurred in different parts of all of the Americas and even got to debate on how we thought the Native Americans got to the Western Hemisphere. Instead of writing a paper at the end of the class or having a big test, our final consisted of us making a learner’s guide for a language that has been dead for generations. Now, I told this to my roommate and she responded with a drawn out, “Ewwwwww.” Hopefully your response is much more along the lines of, “that sounds AWESOME!” Anywho, I thought I’d spend the last part of this telling you some of the reasons that the Linguistics department is beyond amazing and why I’ve gotten to love it:
- The department is small. While there are definitely drawbacks to having a tiny department, the benefits are absolutely worth it. I know all of my professors really well and I’ve always felt comfortable going to them if I’m ever struggling in a class. This also means that students are much closer because we’ve been able to take so many classes together.
- We get to make ridiculous sounds without being embarrassed. In my Phonetics and Phonology class we got to explore every sound that is found in human language world-wide. Essentially, we were able to spend multiple class periods testing each other to see if we could make the sounds, from clicks to uvular trills (they may sound easy, but you’d be surprised). We knew we all sounded like crazies but nobody cared.
- It’s just so darn interesting! Being in the Linguistics department has taught me so much, not just about language but about culture and why languages are formed the way they are. Linguistics has encompassed so much more than I thought it would and it’s become such a huge part of my life in college that I’ve cherished. I’ve adored my time in the department and I love that I’ve found something that I’m truly passionate to study.
Hopefully that gives you a better idea of what Linguistics is all about and maybe even piques your interest in the subject. This was just a little peek into the department and I think (for my parents’ sake) that it shows you that Linguistics is a great major with a lot to offer. So with that I sign off by wishing you /hæpi ridiŋ/!
June 25, 2012 by Erin Battle
The admissions office is beyond quiet these days. We’re in the weird time where high-schoolers aren’t yet out of school and visiting and not many parents are freaking out enough to keep the phones ringing. For the most part we sit in our frigid basement (hence the space heater) making up hashtags such as #jamarintheoffice (hence the peach tree babies) and catching up on all of the shows we’ve missed. Every once in a while we’ll go a little crazy and start talking about teen dystopian novel series’ or 50 Shades of Grey (we cover every spectrum of literature) but we are, overall, a quiet bunch. Finally, when we get an assignment, we’re all ridiculously eager to work on them (very different from our feelings about school assignments), in fact most of us finish our assignments the day they’re given to us. While the five of us love the freedom that our work days give us now, we’re also ridiculous amounts of excited for the other seven interns to get here. We’re so pumped for all of our interviewees to get here too … all of us are looking forward to hearing some crazy awesome stories and meeting some beyond bomb people (our excitement is clearly evident in our picture). The five of us (Katie, Jamar, me, Philip, and Sam) can’t wait for the office to be filled with interns and high-schoolers, but I have a feeling that we might slightly miss the days where all we had to do was pick up the phone once every three hours.