school started today. It rained and was cold, there was ice on the ground, I saw several people go flying on the ice during my walk to class this morning. For breakfast I had rice and salmon furikake
. I have realized now that I don't have enough food to last for more than a two weeks at this rate. I already have eaten about half of the (admittedly small) rice in the bag that I bought last week. I am going to have to fall back soon on my instant noodle supply, but that too has its limits.
Classes were good. My linguistics professor told us some good stories about how his professors resolved a disparity in his findings with those of the "god" of Chinese linguistics, Y.R. Chao. My professor had been doing research on the amount of tones in Chinese dialects in this case one of the Wu dialects. Y.R. Chao had done his research on the tones using his own ear and an huqin (a type of Chinese musical instrument) to replicate the tones. Chao had arrived at the conclusion that there were at most 11 tones. However, my professor had gone to research using a microphone and recording equipment, so he got a more accurate reading and found there were 12 tones. However this presented his professors with a difficult problem. Y.R.Chao was known never to be wrong, yet my professor's evidence was incontrovertible- their solution was thus accomplished: since Y.R. Chao had done his research 50 years previously, the professors said that the language had acquired an extra tone in the interim! Therefore both Y.R. Chao and my professor were correct...
Japanese class was also good, although it seems that a lot of people from last semester dropped and were replaced by a bunch of people who laugh loudly and nevously at anything that is even vaguely humorous. I "screwed up" by saying a lot of stuff that my ex-roommate had taught me instead of using the japanese that is in the book. Still in my opinion 9 times out of 10 you will learn more from a living individual than you will from a book, because if one were to write a book that captures the entirety of the potential expressions that a person might say, I would have to trade my bike in for a sled and a team of dogs in order to carry my books acoss the frozen tundra of this campus to class. (TWAJS)