Sophomore

They don't call us that here. We're just "second years". I love the word "sophomore" though.
First years are freshers, but in US it's "freshman".
Sorry, I'm just blabbering about words and stuff like the good linguistic student I am haha.

About my studies - I get to choose a couple of courses this year. I get to choose a lot more next year. I've chosen Phonetics Analysis and Crosslinguistics Variation as my optional courses :) Studying the former this semester and the latter the next. So far it has been really challenging but super fun; it's the kind of thing I don't mind doing for the next ten years even if I'm not crazy good at it from the get-go. Maybe I've found what I love?

Basically phonetics is the study of sounds in languages, and I really like it because it's fun and there are three assignments and no final exam. best thing ever. It's completely not as easy as it sounds though. I've had a class test on transcription, which is basically transcribing words spoken by a professor live in Japanese, Tunisian Arabic and English into symbols into the following IPA chart. It's like spelling test but using IPA chart.

The project I've just finished was a project on acoustic phonetics and connected speech. We had to use Praat (a software) to transcribe waveforms and spectrograms. If you think they give more accurate information than transcribing by ear, you're right. If you think that means it's easier, you're wrong. I spent two weeks doing it. I can write a proper essay in 3 days and a crappy one in half a day, so that's really, really crazy. I get so angsty about whether I got everything right and if it's perfect enough. I think mostly the stress came from the fact that there are probably correct answers and it's not too subjective. And also the fact that I'm not confident about my answers. It's also much harder than the previous test because it's connected speech (a sentence spoken naturally and quickly by a speaker) instead of citation form (a word pronounced by a speaker exactly as it is), and there is so much messing up of what should be.

The next project is a more conventional one, some kind of report lab-style. It's a lot like my psychology lab reports so it's not too bad. I haven't started it yet but I'm not expecting it to be difficult and too out of my depth as I've done similar ones and the statistics are so much easier than my psychology one.

Speaking of statistics, I'm being forced to take stats for the next two years. :( -sigh- it's much more preferable to calculus and shit like differential equations and linear algebra but I just don't math man. I mean it's definitely easier as a psychology module but still. Bf has been trying his best to help me with it (can I hope for a better guy??? He doesn't even do stats! He's much better than me in math so he's reading it up and helping me with my homework) and I'm super grateful because it's not very often I have homework help (usually the other way around lol). Also I got 100/100 twice in homework so I'm just super happy haha.


Which also comes to the point that I might just be regretting ever taking psychology. I took it as a double degree because I was afraid I wouldn't like linguistics (I took psych in IB) and I would mess up my future. But now I love it so much that I just don't really care about psychology anymore lol. I mean reading about it is fun but the exams and all are so dry. I especially don't like the theoretical stuff. Or maybe the lecturers just suck. The tutorials suck too.

I LOVE my linguistics lecturers. I have two courses this sem (one compulsory and one option) and I've had five so far and four of them are just awesome. Their humour styles vary a lot but they are all funny and deliver effectively. I swear lecturers make or break interest. Also because I love the phonetics and phonology part so much I'm writing an essay on a phonology topic in the compulsory linguistics core course. (it's a bit of everything: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics).

So far it has been okay! There's a bit of pressure as I need to get at least 50% across all courses this year in my first sitting to progress to Honours. It's a bit high as 40% is the pass mark lol. And I cannot resit. So it's do or die, although it's not that different from the public exams in Malaysia. Getting >80% in my first sitting in at least 9 subjects was a lot more pressure than this lol.
Honours in Scottish unis is the fourth year. So if I don't get to Honours it's goodbye after my third. JK, I will get to Honours.

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