More photos post 2010. Life only gets harder yet also more interesting.
Beijing, Summer 2007
In Summer 2007, I studied at the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) for a total of four weeks and thoroughly enjoyed being in our historical, cultural and political capital. There I was, contemplating deeply in one of our classes,
LSA Summer Institute 2013
I attended the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute at University of Michigan in 2013, and I particularly enjoyed meeting and chatting with the resident and guest syntacticians, namely Professor Sam Epstein, Professor Mark Hale and Professor Norbert Hornstein, all of whom inspired me in one way or another. I also enjoyed our sociolinguistic classes, especially the ones organised by Professor Julie Boland and Dr Lauren Squire. The highlight of my experience at LSA 2013, however, had got to be meeting Professor Noam Chomsky, greatest linguist of all time and one of the most influential (and controversial) academics/intellectuals in history. He was invited as guest speaker at our formal syntax course where he gave us his most recent theory of formal (Minimaist) syntax. He then gave two plenary lectures in which he talked about the history of linguistics and contemporary Higher Education (as usual, a mixture of linguistics and politics). I got to meet him afterwards and managed to ask him some hard-cutting questions, as well as snatch some photos with him. That was definitely the highlight of my summer.
I have a lot of sentimentality for Manchester, since I spent several formative years of my life there where I completed my postgraduate training (M.A.) and worked for several years where I launched my career as a professional linguist. Decorating my flat was an ordeal, since I seriously did not know what to put in it. Given my education in classics, however, I decided to find some souvenirs of a Latin/Roman flavour and give my flat a 'Roman' feel. Alas, it was not a villa (Latin: luxury countryhouse) but an insula (small block of flats). I went back to Manchester briefly in Summer 2015 while I was transiting via Manchester Piccadilly and there I re-visited the magnificent Piccadilly Gardens right at the centre of Manchester which was very close to my former abode and one which I used to frequent everyday.
Trade Union Meetings, London, 2016
As a member of several trade unions in London, I was invited and participated in several big political events in 2016, namely the annual Marxist festival, which was especially good that year given the political climate and controversy (Brexit, US presidential elections), and the trade union conference in the Congress Centre on Great Russell Street, and our guest speaker was none other than the one and only Jeremy Corbyn who walked past me in haste and I managed to get a close snapshot of him. This is probably as close as I'll ever get to being the leader of the UK Labour Party. Surreal.
International Conference on Ancient Chinese Grammar at the University of Humboldt, Berlin, Germany, July 2016
In Summer 2016, I attended a very big international conference on Chinese historical linguistics in Berlin where I met some really big names in our field. This photo pretty much contains all the major living figures in Chinese historical linguistics, and I am very proud to be in it. I mentioned before that it has been strange for me analysing my native language and applying theoretical analyses to it, since this is something that I do not usually do, but learning Classical and Medieval Chinese has been like learning a whole new foreign language for me, since the historical stages of Chinese are significantly different from Modern Chinese (yet not totally different, since there are some (many) strikingly similarities, which makes Modern Chinese an invaluable asset for learning and analyzing historical Chinese, though one still has to learn Classical and Medieval Chinese properly and thoroughly since one can easily assume too much and form 'false' connections between Ancient Chinese and Modern Chinese). It was a fun conference, and I look forward to the next one in the series in 2019 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong which I can easily reach from my home in less than an hour. Such is the size of Hong Kong.
Balliol/Harvard reunion/networking dinner:
In November 2016, I was invited back to a Balliol and Harvard Joint Alumni Event which took place at our old college (Balliol). It was a fantastic event, and intermingling with Harvard alumni opened up my horizons since most of those I spoke to seemed to be really interesting people. It is always great to go back to Balliol. It is my second home.
Going back to school (Diocesan Boys School, Hong Kong)
In April 2017, I attended a public lecture at my old school in Hong Kong, Diocesan Boys' School (DBS). I had not been back in years and going back there brought back some funny emotions in me. It looked very different from when I had last been there, but seeing some old places reminded me of my time there. I hope to go back again, perhaps in a more important capacity like as a guest speaker or presenter at some important event, since although I only spent one year of formal study there, the time I spent there was hugely pivotal in my personal development.