Friday, May 18, 2012

Getting Cold Feet

Way back when - when I was an undergraduate student at a certain university, I was one day summoned to meet with an academic advisor.  It seemed that I'd amassed quite a number of credits.  Enough credits to mean that I would theoretically need to graduate the next semester.  But there was a problem.

I hadn't declared a major.

That isn't entirely true.  I had declared a major (music) when I initially enrolled.  But I hadn't actively pursued that major for some time and had actually managed to avoid classes within that discipline for a few semesters.  This had the academic advisor types somewhat troubled, and my advisor told me - without even cracking a smile - that I would need to declare a major immediately or else I would be persona non grata on campus.  She kindly showed me a list of options that she'd pulled together - potential majors for which I'd already satisfied a large percentage of the requirements.  By picking one of these, she said, I could remain in good standing, take the final courses necessary to complete my degree, and graduate.

According to her analysis, I had two clear options available: Philosophy and Linguistics.

I looked at the course catalog.  One of these options gave me the chance to take classes like Metaphysics and Epistemology.  The other did not.  It was an easy choice.

But in hindsight, I think I also would have enjoyed studying linguistics.  I have always found language (and really all types of communication) to be a fascinating topic.  In fact, just recently I spent an enjoyable afternoon discussing with a friend a SETI analysis of the frequency of certain dolphin vocalizations (with the implications that there is intentional content - i.e., meaning - being conveyed among the animals making the sounds).

But linguistics would need to wait for another day - leaving me to explore language on my own.  As part of that exploration I find myself consistently fascinated by idioms.  To say that I use them a lot wouldn't exactly be letting the cat out of the bag.  In fact, I'm on idioms like white on rice.  As a rule of thumb, I use them for the whole nine yards.  Get the picture?  Because I could beat this particular dead horse until the cows come home to roost.

And with that as background, I should mention my most recently completed project: a new pair of socks for Mrs. TSMK.  She gets cold feet.  Literally. 

The yarn is Malabrigo Sock - and the pattern is a slightly modified version of Riff by Lise Brackbill. 

I'm pleased to report that she likes them.  And, linguistically speaking, I'm glad she doesn't seem to be getting cold feet about the whole marriage bit; we're celebrating our 16th anniversary this next week.