I'm taking two classes, currently. The first is Varieties of English, with Dr. Bert Vaux, a big deal in linguistics. His specialty is dialects of English, so much of what we learn is directly from his research. Which is pretty cool. I love the class. It's really fun to hear what marks a person as a Scotsman or an Irishman (because they're similar but not the same). We get to sometimes hear speakers of different dialects, as well. We've heard a Welsh accent, Received Pronunciation, and South African. My professor and I got to talking (since I sent him this clip about the "Albuquerque accent"), and he mentioned that Sign Linguistics (what I love and want to study) is the future of linguistics, since they're fully fledged languages that aren't going away and haven't been studied properly. Talk about validation.
Then, I met speculative fiction author Graham Joyce, who is a great writer and also a good speaker. We discussed how stories work, on an organizational level. For example, how can you play with plot? What the necessary rules for plot, and how can you bend them to your favor? I got one of his books, and it is fantastic. His writing comes highly recommended.
Also, here is a picture of a few of the people in my group out here. I haven't asked their permission to give any information, so I won't talk about them too much. But in this group, there is a person from Sweden, Hong Kong, and one person who likes to take creepy pictures just to mess with me.