Monday, October 30, 2006

Bilingual roommates

Tonight, it occurred to me that every roommate I have had while in grad school is bilingual. In the apartments I've lived in, each of us (yeah, myself included) has fit into one of the following three categories:
*Bilingual English-Spanish (native speaker of English)
*Bilingual English-Spanish (native speaker of Spanish)
*Bilingual English-Cantonese (native speaker of Cantonese)

I hope to complicate the language situation by gaining fluency in language #3 as soon as I can manage it. As I've mentioned on previous occasions, it's my ambition to die trilingual or better...

Something interesting: not one of my roommates, past or present, studies anything remotely close to what I do in grad school. In fact, I'm the only one whose field falls within the humanities. I really like this arrangement — among many other benefits, sharing an apartment with people who have very different scholarly interests prevents me from peppering too much of my conversation with jargon and reminds me that while I am gaining some nice, specialized knowledge of Spanish literature, I haven't a clue when it comes to at least 98% of what goes on in my roommates' labs.

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