Sunday, February 25, 2007

Final Oscar Picks 2007

In preparation for tonight's Oscars, here is the quick review of my picks for the awards. I hope to beat my 7/9 from the last two years, and to finally correctly guess Best Picture, but we'll see what happens.

Best Picture: Babel
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Best Actor: Peter O'Toole, Venus
Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Departed
Best Original Screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine
Best Animated Picture: Cars

Bonus Picks:
Best Foreign Language Film: Pan's Labyrinth
Best Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth

Other predictions:
Ellen bombs, the telecast is the longest ever at over four hours long, and at least three people get cut off in mid-speech by the musicians. It should be a fun night!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Foreman, Marsh, and myself

This one's 'bout a concert I saw last night. Although, as with several of their albums, I have had difficulty figuring out what I think about it, Oh! Gravity has grown on me, and its true nature was revealed in last night's concert. The band played half of the songs from the new album ("Oh! Gravity", "American Dream", "Dirty Second Hands", "Awakening", "4:12", and "Faust, Midas, and Myself", and thankfully omitting the utterly forgettable "Amateur Lovers")as well as many hits taken almost exclusively from 2003's The Beautiful Letdown ("Meant To Live", "This Is Your Life", "Ammunition", "Gone", and "On Fire") and 2005's Nothing Is Sound (set opener "Stars", "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine", "We Are One Tonight", and "The Blues"). There were many highlights to the show, but the back-to-back crowd-chosen songs "Learning To Breathe" and "The Blues" were very good, as was a Mute Math-esque breakdown after "Dirty Second Hands". The encore featured John singing "Only Hope" solo on the guitar, as well as beginning "Dare You To Move" by himself before being joined by the rest of the band halfway through the song. The set proved three things to me: that despite some weaker songs on the albums (1-2 each album), the best songs pass the test of a live performance; that Jon Foreman is one of the best combinations of songwriter and performer working in music today; and that Switchfoot is a band that everyone should see live to really appreciate. Opening band Copeland also played an amazing set, though most of the crowd was either ignorant of or indifferent to their music, and they should be commanding much more attention within a year after recently signing with Columbia. And getting to interview both Foreman and Copeland frontman Aaron Marsh was the icing on an already-delicious cake. Last night's concert may not have been "More Than Fine" (the most glaring omission from the set list), but it certainly was my Canadian dream.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

At the theatres in 2007

2007 should be an interesting year for movies. There are over twenty titles already scheduled for release this year that I want to see (the number is usually around ten), and that does not include movies that will come up during the year. It is going to be a busy year for me at the theatres. Here are some of the highlights of what I am looking forward to in theatres in 2007. There are elatively unknown sci-fi movies that have a lot of potential, including Danny Boyle's Sunshine (Mar. 16), 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to 28 Days Later (May 11), Matthew Vaughn's Stardust (June 22?), Next, which is based on a story by Philip K. Dick (Sept. 28), and an adaptation of Richard Matheson's classic novel I Am Legend, starring Will Smith (Dec. 14). There will be sequels, sequels, and more sequels (some of which may really be not very good, but would still be interesting): Spider-Man 3 (May 4), Shrek the Third (May 18), Pirates 3: At the End of the World (May 25), FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer (June 15), Evan Almighty (June 22), Live Free or Die Hard (June 29), and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (July 13). (Notice how Ocean's Thirteen and Rush Hour 3 are not on this list?) There are cartoon adaptations, like TMNT (Mar. 23), Transformers (July 4), The Simpsons Movie (July 27), and family fare movies like Brad Bird's Pixar flick Ratatouille (June 29) and the Dreamworks Jerry Seinfeld vehicle Bee Movie (Nov. 2). And then there are other interesting projects, including: Amazing Grace, the biography of William Wilberforce (Feb. 23); Hot Fuzz, a buddy cop comedy from the makers of Shaun of the Dead (April 13); Shoot ‘Em Up, an action movie starring the combo of Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti (Sept. 7); a big-screen adaptation of Beowulf (Nov. 16), and new movies from Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind stars Jack Black as a movie store clerk who has to act out scenes from famous movies after accidentally erasing the tapes) and writer and now director Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a director who is building an exact replica of New York City for his production). It should be a busy year at the theatres!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Deconstructing character

Casino Royale is a great movie - it has depth, character development, nuance, subtlety, and intrigue - all of those characteristics which had so long been absent from James Bond movies. The way they re-visioned the character of Bond made me think about how that trend has developed over the past few years - Batman, Rocky Balboa, Ethan Hunt, and even Superman have been given new life through rediscovering the essence of the character, and John McClane will likely receive the same treatment this year in Live Free or Die Hard, as will Indiana Jones and Wolverine in years to come. It is interesting how in the a decade ago many of these characters were more like caricatures, and that now even the most iconic movie figures must be developed and explored for the movies to be successful. I think this is indicative of a post-modern perspective in which experience becomes the most important factor; no longer is glitz and show sufficient, but everything must be deconstructed and reconstructed with meaning and depth to be relevant and relatable. Even if the situations are unbelievable, the characters are not, and thus the viewer can share the experience of the character regardless of their predicament. This de/re-construction of character is the antithesis to that 90s emphasis on overproduction, in which the product was the most important factor, rather than the process. Jack Sparrow was the ultimate example of both product and process in the first Pirates movie, and it was the lack of awareness of this fact that was the primary downfall of the sequel. Unfortunately, there is still much money to be made regardless of character development, but it bodes well that several of these long-standing franchises have been willing to deconstruct - and reconstruct - even the most iconic of characters for not only the sake of the franchise, but also of the movies.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

2006: The Year In...Turner!

Time to finish off the 2006 Year in Review with a quick recap of what happened in my life in 2006. The year started off relatively quietly in January and February, which was good considering the craziness of the rest of the year. I spent most of March and April dealing with the Sheaf cartoon scandal, a personal conflict with a professor that ended with me not completing the class, and finishing my other classes before the end of April. I also decided to end my membership at Living Hope Church when I left, but not before my dad was finally baptized. At the beginning of May, I left for Glad Tidings Bible Camp, where I worked as the LIT Director, but also got opportunities to lead a cabin, teach skills, and even preach for a week. Though I was at camp during the week, I left almost every weekend for some kind of wedding (nine in total from April to September) or other social activity, mostly located in Regina. It was good to renew a number of friendships in the Queen City, and also to spend lots of time with my mom who was working in Regina for the summer. At the end of August, I made the transition back from camp and into teaching, as I moved to Humboldt for my internship. After an initial month of commuting for weekends, I stayed in Humboldt for most of October, November, and December, and really had a positive experience at the school. I taught grades 9 through 12 in English and Social Studies and I also had the opportunity to work with the drama production and the debate team, as well as running an ultimate frisbee intramural program. Humboldt was a great community to be in, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I enjoyed 2006, and though it was very busy, I had a lot of great experiences and developed or continued to cultivate many good friendships. So far in 2007, I have moved back to Saskatoon, I am finishing my B.Ed., and working part-time at Scott's Parable. I do not know what rest of this year holds, but I imagine that there might be some fairly significant developments. Just stay tuned to Life of Turner and keep up with the changes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

2006: The Year In...Music!

It's time for installment two in the 2006: The Year In...Review! series here at Life of Turner, and this is perhaps my favourite one: music. In past years, I have attempted to do a much longer summary of the music of the year - stories, disappointments, shows. But this year I went to only two shows - Mute Math/John Reuben in Febuary and Underoath in September - and there were not many relevant stories to share. I did do more research than I ever have into albums this year, and this was a year of discovery of new music. I had the fortunate opportunity to work at camp with two other audiophiles with similar tastes, and I was able to take the time and listen to a lot of new bands this year (several of which would cause me to rewrite the 2005 best of list). But in the end, I tried to list the albums released during the year that defined the events of the year; these are the albums that I could not have lived without in 2006 (in alphabetical order).

Audioslave - Revelations: The album was unexpectedly released just over a year after Out of Exile, but it hearkens more to the band's debut. Revelations is a combination of guitar-driven classic rock and social commentary that cements Audioslave's place among the better rock bands of today.
Johnny Cash - A Hundred Highways: Cash's voice is more frail and fragile than ever before, but it's surprisingly strong considering how close he was to death at the time of the recording of this album. His rendering of "God's Gonna Cut You Down" is chillingly powerful, but it is his final song ever written, "Like the 309", that steals the spotlight on this posthumous effort. And Rick Rubin is working on other tracks from the same recording session to release American VI sometime in 2007.
Evanescence - The Open Door: I found this album difficult to get into at first, but I think it is a better album than Fallen. The songs are a little more lyrically vague and musically experimental, and I doubt that this album will expand the band's fan base, but there is a sense of identity and confidence that permeates this record.
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere: If I had to choose an album of the year, I would be hard-pressed to argue against St. Elsewhere. "Crazy" is the best song to come along in years, but the rest of the album provides surreal trip-hop vibes that are innovative without being off-putting. Plus, the promo pictures are just plain cool - Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse as Walter and The Dude? Pure awesome.
Keane - Under the Iron Sea: I finally discovered Keane this year, and I am sure glad of that. Iron Sea is the poster boy for underappreciated albums that will have staying power despite lack of radio success or huge promotion. Take some Brit-rock flavouring, a healthy dose of Edge-like guitar, some broken and lost relationships, and a dash of melancholy, and you have Keane's captivating sophomore effort. "Is It Any Wonder" that they are in my top ten?
Mat Kearney - Nothing Left To Lose: It took me until the end of the year to finally start listening to this album, but Kearney's effort (which is currently getting massive airplay for the title track) is fresh and very well put together. There's a certain honesty to this record that is difficult to find in any area of the music industry, and Kearney seems to be managing success well.
Muse - Black Holes and Revelations: It has rave, ballad, trance, rock, Brit-pop, and a rollicking Flash Gordon-era Queen-esque Western track to conclude. Some might call it camp or gimmick - I call it some of the most unique music produced nowadays. BH&R is easily the best album of 2006 that I do not yet own.
Mute Math - Mute Math: Their show at YQ06 in February left me breathless, and their album is equally amazing. Despite all of the lawsuits and issues and everything, Mute Math is still a band on the rise, and the best is yet to come.
Switchfoot - Oh! Gravity: For a while, I was not sure what to think of this album, but the more I listen to it, the more I think it might be their best yet (with the exception of "Amateur Lovers"). It has enough mojo to deserve a top ten spot for the year.
Underoath - Define the Great Line: This album still blows me away every time I listen to it. I can only hope that Underoath is planning to capitalize on the album's success and release another album in '07. Wow.

Honourable mentions: In Flames - Come Clarity (a metal tour-de-force), Jonezetta - Popularity (Killers meet Blindside), Robert Randolph and the Family Band - Colorblind (Funk, soul, rock, and a little bit of the blues), The Elms - The Chess Hotel (really pulling off the 70s rock feel), and David Crowder Band - B Collision (the perfect companion to 2005's A Collision.

I feel that I grew more as a listener in 2006 than in any other year. I diversified my musical tastes a lot, and I know that I am now the better for it. But I also bega to realize how much work it can take to keep up with music, and furthermore that I need to be more selective about what I listen to (because of time and money constraints). My tastes went mellower as well, which is more of an indication of a general lack of really outstanding hardcore albums in 2006 other than Underoath. 2007 should be a good year for music, as a lot of my favourite bands will be back in the studio once again. (More info in an upcoming post). And don't worry...I remember when, I remember when I lost my mind. Does that make me crazy?

Monday, February 12, 2007

2006: The Year in... Movies!

(Note: This is the beginning of the long-awaited year-in-review I have delayed since the actual end of 2006. That said, I think the delay has allowed me to make a better judgement for my year-end best of lists. Enjoy!)

Some movie critics have condemned 2006 for its myriad sequels and hackneyed attempts at getting money from unsuspecting consumers with reused plots and characters, and have gone so far as to say that 2006 was a "bad year for movies". In similarly obvious news, the Pope is Catholic. The fact is that '06 churned out its garbage, to be sure, but as always, there are some films that stood out from the pack this year. Of the 26 films I saw this year, six stood out above the rest. I realize this is a decidedly limited number compared to the 150+ wide releases this year, but keep in mind that my "bad movie alert" radar is generally fully functional (only one got through this year), that I generally avoid a number of genres (with great success, I might add), and that I would have to watch at least two NEW movies a week to watch all of the movies I might think of seeing (and I just don't have the time or willpower to do so). With that caveat in place, as well as the assurance that I still have a "2006 movies to see list" included, I have grouped the movies I have seen into award categories for discussion. Enjoy the year in movies according to Turner!

Best "family fun movie":
Cars and Over the Hedge were the best in this group this year. Although these may not be the best releases from Pixar or Dreamworks (respectively), they are still very entertaining fun movies. Ice Age 2 and Night at the Museum, while entertaining, were not nearly as memorable nor as engaging. Nice diversions, but not much more than that.

Best "Somewhat fresh but still kind of tired cop movie": It's a two-way tie between 16 Blocks and Inside Man. While neither movie was great, neither was really bad either. They both had some good ideas, but neither was able to fully realize the extent of those ideas. That said, they were both enjoyable Rainbow viewings.

Best "laugh out loud" comedy: Snakes on a Plane was by far the funniest movie I saw this year. Yes, I know it wasn't a comedy, but trust me - in a group of people in the right mood, Snakes is a very entertaining movie. Nacho Libre deserves some recognition here, especially for Jack Black, who carried that movie. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie lost enough of the "innocence" of the television series to make it not really worth watching again.

The "best of the blockbusters" movie: Let's face it - the older I get, the less I want to see the big summer blockbusters. But I still end up seeing them, regardless of whether they are crass and unfunny (Talladega Nights), a completely unnecessary remake that "sinks" at the box office (Poseidon), or a somewhat entertaining sequel that gives enough dollar value to justify $10 but not enough to justify watching again (X-Men 3 or Pirates 2), or a surprisingly decent sequel with a villain who is more sympathetic and interesting than the hero (Mission: Impossible 3). These movies often draw me in, but they rarely leave me with much in terms of thoughtful content, though that is not their intent. (And I am not watching Da Vinci Code until I read the book!)

The "I am still not sure what I think" movies: V For Vendetta is entertaining, though not in that top echelon of movies. Michel Gondry's Science of Sleep is worth seeing if you like the Kaufman-Anderson school of surreal film-making, but I am not sure that I liked it exactly. And Scoop certainly tried hard, but just didn't work that well in the end.

The "I enjoyed it, but you probably won't" movie: Aside from the aforementioned Snakes, my two winners in this category are Rocky Balboa and Lady in the Water. Though I enjoyed Lady less the second time, I still really enjoy the story and the risk Shyamalan took in making it. And Rocky fighting again? Pure awesomeness, even if some people would never watch it. But part of its appeal is that it is more than a Rocky movie - it is a life movie. With the Rocky fanfare. And constant allusions to the first Rocky film. Okay, so the rest of its appeal is that it's a Rocky movie. But as if any fan could avoid seeing a fight on the big screen again. Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!

The "most overrated pretentious silly excuse for a movie" movie: Babel. Trust me - go rent Traffic or Syriana or even Crash if you have the urge for this movie. They are filmed fairly similarly, and they, unlike Babel, each have a good acting performances and a point. Babel was one of those movies that is so busy trying to be a good movie that it forgets to include little things like character, plot, and empathy. Avoid at all costs.

The "must-sees" (The best six of '06):
An Inconvenient Truth - Al Gore's rampage against global warming may not be compelling for its visual style, but it certainly is worthy of watching for its content.
Children of Men - Alfonso Cuaron's image of the future of humanity is chilling and compelling, and the film's documentary-style footage makes for an unforgettable cinematic experience.
Pan's Labyrinth - Guillermo del Toro brings his twisted fairy tale to glorious life, replete with the creepiest movie creature I have seen since Alien. I am still sorting this one out in my head.
The Prestige - Batman and Wolverine as dueling magicians in Victorian London, with Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Gollum, and Ziggy Stardust thrown in for good measure. Oh, and Christopher Nolan directing. It would have taken a lot for this movie to suck, but it still blew away my expectations.
Stranger Than Fiction - I don't know what surprised me more: the fact that it was Will Ferrell acting, or the fact that Marc Forster's last movie before this was Finding Neverland. A great movie about life, love, faith, art, and cookies.
Thank You For Smoking - The story of one man representing Big Tobacco is presented with the wit, sarcasm, cynicism, and tongue-in-cheek humour needed to make a meaningful film.

Honourable Mention: For Your Consideration - The latest from the Christopher Guest crew includes a lot of Hollywood in-jokes and works, with Ricky Gervais along for the ride. The mockumentary does not belong only to the Borats of the world.

And finally, the movies I have not seen which could alter this list within mere weeks of its publishing, thus to some extent nullifying the whole process of evaluating the year's "best movies": Akeelah and the Bee, A Scanner Darkly, Blood Diamond, Bobby, Casino Royale, Da Vinci Code, The Departed, Fast Food Nation, Little Miss Sunshine, Pursuit of Happyness, The Queen, Superman Returns, and United 93. I have a few left to go.

The "anticipating in 2007" movie list is extensive enough to warrant its own post, so that will be coming soon. Until then, see you at the movies!

Darkly Dreaming D----

I recently watched through the Showtime series Dexter, although somewhat surprisingly so. The show is about a sociopathic serial killer who works as a blood spatter specialist for the Miami Metro Police Department and diverts his killing attentions to carrying out vigilante justice on subjects that avoid being caught by the system - a premise which, along with the unfortunate presence of some more adult content, would normally cause me to avoid the program. [Please note that this post is not an endorsement of this content]. But something about Dexter - the character - makes the show worth watching, in that he is empathetic. It is ironic that a sociopath can be an empathetic character, but I felt a kindred spirit with Dexter. Much of the show is framed by Dexter's often humourous voice-over which often breaks down the mask he puts on for his sister, his girlfriend, and his co-workers. He is constantly in a place of having to act like something he is not - that is, a normal person - and he has to make a difficult decision when he is confronted with a situation that would allow him to be himself, but in doing so would violate everything he had learned and constructed for himself. There is one other officer on the force who is sure that Dexter is up to something, and there are occasions where he leaves clues behind that indicate his true identity, forcing Dexter to try and make sure things go as planned. Sometimes I feel about my Christianity the way Dexter feels about his life: what I am doing is just an act, and that few people see who I really am. Instead of being guided by relationship, I am guided by a construct of rules and regulations that allow me to accomplish what I want to accomplish. And when anyone comes close to seeing things for what they really are, I find ways of getting around it - I can talk the Christian talk and make it look like I am living the Christian life. I have been doing the Christian thing for long enough that I know how to fake it, and that concerns me. Thankfully, I have the people in my life that know who I really am, who can see through the misleading and lies and help me out of this cycle. But unlike Dexter (so far as we know), I have the ability and desire to change for the better, and to actually live out relationship instead of rules. Life is a process of constant evaluation and evolution, and I need to remember that each day as I seek relationship with God and with others - and not just fictional characters like Dexter.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Moto has mojo

Survivor: Fiji has just started, and it started with some twists: nineteen castaways, two immunity idols, and a tribe (Moto) living in luxury while the other tribe (Ravu) lives in abject poverty. As usual, there are the usual breakdowns of people, although this might be the most diverse cast yet, seemingly with none of the typical Caucasian Americans seen on the show (even in last season's racial experiment). I wonder if Mark Burnett responded to past criticisms about his casting of African-Americans, as this group of that ethnic background is stronger than it has ever been on Survivor. There are some annoying people who will probably stay around far too long - the unfortunately-nicknamed "Rocky" and "Dreamz" (no joke) - and some people who will probably get the boot far too soon for how interesting they could be. The luxury twist will be interesting, as there is a good chance that it will affect the health of both tribes, and also to see what will happen with that advantage as the game goes on. My early picks for the Final Four are Alex, Earl, Erica, and Anthony - three of whom are African-American, and who have already demonstrated the necessary strategy and intelligence needed to succeed. But it could be anyone's game, and who knows how the game will develop in the end? It should be an interesting season!

Adventures in retail

After years of avoiding a job outside of school, I have now been working in retail for a month, mainly on weekends due to my school schedule. I am feeling fairly comfortable in my position (the music department at Scott's Parable), but I find it interesting how draining a shift can be. I do not feel like I am working too hard, or that the work is that difficult, but it is still deceptively draining to work a shift, and I am tired when I am done an eight-hour shift. It is perhaps also due to the fact that my time at work follows a relatively busy week at school that I am so tired. Or maybe just that retail is necessarily tiring. Whatever the reason, I often feel like I need to unwind after a long day at work, which is where a movie or some television comes in handy. Such is the life of Turner at work these days.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Worship

It is no secret that for several years I have been pained about the state of contemporary "worship", whether it is the genre association with a concept that should transcend genre convention, the confinement of worship to a musical dimension, or the "bad cover bands" that pose as worship bands (among many others). But one issue came to clarity tonight at a "church" (a so-called emergent and "post-modern" church for twenty-somethings that has all of the same signifiers of Evangelical churchdom, just with jeans and catchy T-shirt slogans) as the singer (not so much "worship leader") was singing that nice song (not so much "worship") "How Great Is Our God." It is a very nice song, but here is what I finally realized bothered me about it: the verses are sung in third person ("The Godhead, Three in one, Father, Spirit, Son, the Lion and the Lamb", etc.), but it shifts to this odd hybrid of first person on the chorus ("How great is our God, sing with me How great is our god"). This adjustment of tense removes the focus from God to "singing with me," and completely undermines the worship experience. I have little problem with "I" statements in worship songs as such, as the first person is a valuable tool for communicating personal intent and devotion (much as I use it in this forum), but what I do have a problem with is when the "I" is brought in unnecessarily, as in the aforementioned song. It creates a nice Christian song, but not one for worship. I think we need to often remove the "I" from worship, and to focus on the object of our devotion, not the subject of our sentence. Let's have "praise ti-" without the "me".

Monday, February 05, 2007

Pop culture 101

I had the chance to lecture in my "Religion and Culture" seminar tonight on the topic of pop culture, particularly as it intersects with religion. It was not an assigned lecture, but the prof asked me to speak on it because I am more of an expert than he is on the concept. I thoroughly relished the opportunity to teach again, and especially as an "authority" on a subject, but it made me think about whether I want to be considered as an authority on pop culture (much as I am). I had my period when I didn't watch any television or movies or listen to non-Christian music, and I am certainly not in that place anymore, but is that a good thing? I have come to the conclusion that it is a good thing, and that I like being an "authority" of sorts. People expect me to be informed on the world around, and I know that I am often regarded as a resource for people to find out what is happening in the world of pop culture, and I like it. But I think there can be a problem, if I allow myself to get consumed with pop culture without making connections to greater issues like religion or art or other elements of culture or literature or faith or my life. It is the act of making those connections that makes it really valuable to consume and evaluate pop culture, though there is occasionally sometimes inherent value in experiencing something popular simply to understand the experience. I believe, too, that deeper and eternal truths can be and are communicated through any culture, that pop culture is not devoid of the presence of those truths, and that part of what I do is to observe those truths and try to bring them out in analysis and synthesis of the culture however I can - especially in this forum.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Groundhog Day

Today marks that oddest of celebrations in North America: Groundhog Day. I do wonder, though, if it would still have the same cultural significance if it had not been immortalized in the movie Groundhog Day, which has to be one of the all-time best Bill Murray comedies (I am aware of many others, but it is terrific). In a lot of ways I feel like Bill Murray's character in that film: just going through the motions, not really motivated, feeling like life is pretty bland and repetitive: school, work, school. Although none of the famous groundhogs saw their shadow today (meaning an early spring is coming), I know that I have at least nine weeks of winter...err, school...left. The trick is to find the real interesting parts of life and to embrace them over the rest of this winter season and to find ways to enjoy it while it lasts, regardless of what the groundhog says.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A love for language

My "Advanced Methods of Teaching Secondary English Language Arts" class focussed on language and grammar tonight, and we talked about a lot of things (that I admittedly knew) that really interested me - origins of language, syntax, morphology, grammar, and transformational generative grammar, and Beowulf. Fun stuff. But I remembered how much I love word games and playing with language and doing linguistic stuff, like learning other languages, and how much I would like to study these subjects more in the future. I want to finish more courses in Greek and learn Latin as well as maybe some Hebrew (just for kicks). I want to learn a lot more about linguistics. I might even do a degree in the area someday. Well, maybe not, but at least the field of language(s) will remain in my sights as a hobby, if not a possible future career direction (not that it is a very profitable or prolific career, but boy would it be fun). I think that if I ever were to look at entering the overseas mission field, it would be either as a teacher or as a linguist (or possibly both), so maybe there is some further application. But for now I'm sure that my future students will benefit from all kinds of useless knowledge in the ELA classroom.

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