(Please pardon the poor quality pics. My phone takes terrible pics, and I didn’t have my camera with me.)
When my brother Andrew was first going to the Summer Institute of Linguistics six years ago, Uncle Dennis teased him that there really is no North Dakota. “Have you ever been to North Dakota?”… “Have you ever met someone from North Dakota?”… “Have you ever seen a North Dakota license plate?”, etc. We concluded that there is indeed, no North Dakota, yet somehow my brother has gone every summer for the past six years! He is almost finished getting his Master’s in linguistics. Currently, he is writing his thesis.
I was thinking of going to SIL to study next year, so I wasn’t planning to visit this year. However, since it’s the last year, I decided to go. It was very tricky trying to find a weekend that worked, mainly because of my school schedule (in which I have an exam every Monday), but that particular Monday, there was no exam, so Paul booked my flight and off I went! (Oh, and did I mention that it was my first time flying alone? And my layover was really short…)
I arrived safe and sound, and Andrew picked me up from the tiny airport in Grand Forks. We got to campus just in time to catch chapel, which on Fridays is just music. It was lovely, though I must admit I think I paid more attention to the sign language interpreters than the music. 🙂
I got to sit in on a syntax lab, and much to my surprise, I was able to make sense of most of what went on, which was really fun.
I had to see the Coolie, which supposedly is the source of many jokes around here, as well as dunking threats.
And it just so happened that my brother’s skit night was this weekend! He had a great role, and much laughter ensued. There was some sadness too, because this is the last year that SIL is being held.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the linguistics nerds, hearing conversations about grammar, syntax and languages going on everywhere, and singing in the tunnels. Oh, and of course seeing what my brother has been up to for the past six years was great. 🙂