Well, a goodly amount of snow dropped overnight, with the promise of more to come in the next 36 hours. Being on a lake has magnified the wind that has been kicking up, so I can’t tell if we’re getting new snow, or just blowing last night’s around. I signed up to take a practice GRE this morning (free – sponsored by the Alumni association), but when I saw how much snow had already fallen, I assessed my chances. They weren’t good. I live far off campus, and I would have to take 2 buses to get to the test. Even we hardy Midwesterners lose efficiency after a moderate snowfall. I envisioned missing my transfer and standing, out in the cold, waiting for Godot’s bus.
I tried to go back to sleep, but it was too late – I was awake for the duration. So I made a cup of coffee, a little breakfast, and watched some TV. For some reason, there were a lot of romantic comedies on, which seemed to poke at me and my wounded heart with a pointy stick. So I gave that a pass, too.
I’m a little adrift (pardon the pun). It is not fit for going out (at least, not if you don’t have to). I don’t want to watch TV. And now I’ve become too restless for studying and too apathetic for cleaning. It would have been much easier for me if it hadn’t snowed. I would have gone, taken the practice test, and maybe noodled around downtown. Then again, life would have been easier for me if…I had decided what I wanted to do with my life 10 years ago…He had wanted to get married…blah blah blah. Pick your poison. The problem with that kind of thinking is that there is no end to how far you can go back. And what the hell have you learned? Nothing.
In my Romance Philology class, the professor has been debunking the substratum theory to describe sound changes. This is a little dorky, but work with me here. The substratum theory posits that sound changes in the language occur due to the influence of another prevalent, but now dead language in that area. It’s because of the Celts, or the Etruscans or who know who else. In theory, it makes sense, but when you prove it, it falls apart. No one knows what celtic languages in Europe sounded like 1000 years ago. No one knows what Etruscan sounded like. And the kicker is that most of these sound changes happen pretty regularly all over. You don’t need a substratum argument – these changes happen because these changes are likely to happen.
What is the point of me blabbing about the substratum argument? Other than I think sound changes are groovy to think about, it makes me think about my life; and by extention, the lives of others. A good number of us after something goes awry, and say if only…whatever. But the things that go awry are the things that go awry most of the time. Twenty-two year olds that have been in school since they were 4 tend to have little perspective on what having a career is going to be like. Their interests change, especially if they have a lot of them. People don’t change tracks, because risk is scary – they might hold off on change until it is absolutely the only reasonable option. Different people need different things out of life. A single woman in her thirties may have different goals than a divorced man in his forties. And you can’t really know that until you get to the point where that choice needs to be made. Stay or go? Marriage and children or splitting up? You can’t make these decisions early on, you have to wait, sadly, until they hurt like hell to make them. And lastly, in the upper Midwest, snow in February is likely to happen. If it snows a lot, your plans will probably change. Just like unvoiced stops in between vowels. It’s just gonna happen.
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