I like birch as a collective noun. I think that it expresses the unity that exists in a monoculture - the beauty in it, rather than the mundane. I also just like collective nouns.
Today was a day of finding out what section of Spanish 105 i'll be teaching (starting on wednesday!!), of bureaucracy and excitement. A high summer day where everyone wears sweaters when it dips into the sixties.
To show all of the incoming TAs how scary it is to learn a new language, one of the professors in the department, who is from South Korea, gave us a 'shock lesson' in Korean. So I can say hello! and that I'm american, that I speak english, that I speak spanish, yes, no, and pleased to meet you! I don't quite remember how to say the numbers, or the formation for question asking. The cool thing is not, however, a few words in Korean (cool as that is), but that he taught an entire hour without using ANY english AT ALL, talking to people who had never studied any Korean (except for one of our lovely incoming PhD students, who is from South Korea) - and it worked so well. I was so impressed. It's so different than any beginning class I've ever seen, even those that pretended on the first day that they would be taught only in the target language. And yes, it was only one class, and if I were truly trying to learn the language, I would have had a lot of questions that I would have probably needed to ask in english... But if that had been the first day of a class? I would have been so very psyched for the next one. I can only hope that my students feel a fraction of that.
There's a melon tasting at the Farmers' Market tomorrow. Fancy some local cantaloupe?