Friday, I attended a Linguistic Anthropology conference - Sandrizona: a joint project between UC San Diego and University of Arizona Linguistic Anthro grad students. The research in the anthro department has been incredibly impressive, and participating/getting involved in this department has been such a great experience this quarter because
1. the PEOPLE are incredibly supportive. Professor Kit Woolard, all the grad students in my seminar, made time today to listen to my feeble undergraduate research project, give me excellent feedback and wow...I'm ironically speechless about this, haha. It's just amazing the extent to which professors and grad students make themselves available.
2. their RESEARCH is so cool! Anthro is all about people - most/all of the research is fieldwork, intensive interviews. listening to their research is like getting a 2 hour window into a world (Cartenega? Barca? Estonia? Yucatan?) that I otherwise would probably never know about.
Also, today while I was presenting my latest project on Minorities and Nationalisms in Egypt, a grad student in the lit department, Nadeen, came to listen to my presentation since SHE is a COPT! Woot!! I was in the middle of saying, "Hmm, I am still working on grasping the extent to which Coptic is spoken at homes, in business, etc." when Nadeen raises her hand, chimes in and goes, "I can answer this question, I am a Coptic Egyptian."
I freak out with excitement/nervousness. You always get nervous with these things because of course you don't want to get it "wrong" - you are studying someone else's culture, language, identity, history, and you are certainly at risk of messing it up. But she was so kind and helpful.
Ok that's enough ranting about how great people are in this department! I'm just happy to have found them :).