Tuesday, August 24, 2004


This was a long day. A few days a week I've started staying at work super-late. I bring my laptop and try to squeeze in an hour or two of my own writing (must stay on the Five Year Plan) after finishing work I get paid to do and before going home. I make quiet time to get things done this way and I can cruise on home after the horrible bridge traffic has abated. I think this schedule is going to work out for me.

This contracting situation has been interesting. I had some reservations initially because I wanted something permanent right away; however, I also wanted 1. not to move and 2. to do something with linguistics that was applied and interesting. It was certainly a good move to take the position, and it's giving me lots of ideas for extensions for the work I'm currently doing, either in this group or in another context. It's one of my first experiences on the product (e.g. not research) side of things, and I'm learning a lot from it. In thinking about whether research or application is a better long-term match for me, I'm not 100% sure, but I do think that my best match for me is likely to be right at the intersection of the two -- either as the researchy theoretical person in an applied product-oriented setting or as the applied person in a research setting. I like working with people who know about different stuff than I know about; they know a lot that I can learn.

One thing I've realized is that this group and a few other groups are seriously underlinguisted. I'm finding that I get a lot of general questions that it's outside my job description to answer, but they're (mostly) really interesting questions and in many cases it seems like people have been trying to find answers for a while but haven't had anyone to ask. This is both true of some people I'm working directly with and of some people in other groups entirely, for whom word has gotten out that I like to talk about linguistics and I answer e-mail. It's a pretty interesting state of affairs. In a lot of these groups I actually think there's a need for a sort of linguist-at-large position, at least if my experience in the last couple of months has been any indication. I'm really enjoying this aspect of my job.


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