Monday, September 26, 2005

I thought boils were extinct. Owe, Owe, it hurts so much.

Now this is my idea of a perfect class, it has no lectures. In fact, all we do is read, write essays and get together about six times during the term with the coolest proff ever, drink beer over lunch and talk about each others’ papers (which we all read before hand). It couldn’t get much better than that in my opinion (well, it could, but it will be a few years yet before I achieve the label of “coolest proff ever”).

Now, this is the part where as ask you lurkers to come out of the wood work and share your opinion. It would be especially helpful to me if you have some knowledge of faith. This is an area that I am sorely lacking, and when I am writing about Kierkegaard, that is not a good thing. I want to know what is this “act of faith” which is done through “virtue of the absurd.” SK uses the example of Abraham’s willingness to kill his son because he believed both that god would not really take his son and that god wanted Abe to kill his son. I can see why it’s absurd, thought not for the reasons SK gives, but I don’t see how Abe’s choice to kill his son just to prove his own faith to god, and for no other reason that I can see, is done by virtue of the absurd. Please share your thoughts; it might help to shine some light on this issue.

On a side note, Descartes makes me mad. Here is a short little summation of the 50 odd pages I’ve read today: I’m Descartes, I’m really smart. I’ve just proven (again) that God does indeed exist and that the soul is immortal. I’m the first person ever to have done this, but that’s because I’m really smart. The basic result is that we don’t need faith any more and that any atheists out there who can’t see what I’ve written is true are really really stupid. Now, I’m talking to the brightest minds in the (what counts as) the world and I am going to through you a bit of flattery, really I just want money. But if you want to, you can read my paper and help me edit it. There’s nothing wrong with it, but if you wanted to cross some “t”s (don’t worry about the “I”’s I’ve got them covered) I wouldn’t mind. I don’t need your help because I’m so smart, but you know. I don’t want for you to feel left out because you might just be stupid enough to be mean to me and not give me, the smartest guy in the world, some money.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Eris Becomming

Eris flows gently from my fingers like procrastination.
How much there is left to read,
I cannot say.
Only this,
I have not read enough.
But, when I get down to the books,
Eris whispers gently from the sidelines,
“Knit me, and by doing so, you will come to understand all you seek.”
How can I refuse such an offer?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A few clouds tonight,

I intend to take Friday off classes this week to catch up on my readings. Providing the weather is kind to me, I promise I’ll go around with my digi-cam and take some pictures. Let’s be honest people, it’s normally the primary reason why anyone visits anyone’s blog is to get a load of all the lovely pictures.

Eris is almost down to the armpits and she looks beautiful. I had to some creative increasing to make the correct number of sts be on the needles, but I’ve got it now.

Other than that, this last week has been dedicated to my presentation for on of my philosophy classes. It went well enough and I had a lot of fun. Now, I have to read a novel and write a 6 page reading report by Monday.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Only Read Descartes in Bed

I recently discovered that there is a self directed studies class that matches my passion perfectly, but the problem is, these are often only offered once a decade. It is studying Kierkegaard with a Proff that I absolutely adore. To take this new and exciting class I have to drop one of his other classes, yet I’ve already offered to do the presentation for next Wednesday. So, he says, do both this next week and the grade will be taken into account for the Kierk. class. Sounds great to me because the presentation is on phantasia (imagination) which will do me in good standing to get a good grip on. Basically, the result is a huge amount of work this week.

There are other knitters in the philosophy student library. I went there to study between classes, but got stressed out at Plato, so I took out my knitting. A person on the far side of the room jumped up with glee and flew over to my side of the room to show me these fantastic socks she is making. We sat there knitting for an hour. It was great. I was happy. There is talk of a philosophy knitting group. That makes me very happy.

You want to know something else that makes me happy? I got good news from Jenshine last night.

I’m off to read and knit.

The pictures are from London, UK.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I bougt another book yesterday, the problem is, I'm still frightened of the pointy up and down going thing on my sewing machine.

After almost two weeks of knitting, I finally had my evening of wondering around the house with my newly finished Eris Yoke (do I hear oxen?) strung about my neck. I think this pattern has got to be one of the most complicated thing I’ve knitted so far; short row shaping take my needles on a u-turn around the shoulder whilst I try desperately to follow the most complicated (though easy to read) cable chart that’s ever crossed my path (literally). But, you know what? I still love it. This is the most lushish pattern. The cables just pop right out, and the wool is soft and warm. In fact, it’s a heck of a lot warmer than anything I’ll need to wear here where it seldom gets below 10 degrees Celsius in mid winter. I suppose I could always go without a winter coat (gasp!) or wait for one of those really cold mornings in January when there is frost on the ground. Whoever said Canada was the land of ice and snow obviously never visited the West coast.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My university is one of the citie's main tourist attraction. it's due to the rabbits.

The bunnies, the most permanent residents of the university, watch from the lawn as the students scurry about like rabbits for the first week of classes. The week prior, if one chose to visit campus, one could watch the first year students escort their parents for a tour of the grounds. Each parent seriously contemplating the buildings and the trees and slowly begin to nod their head in approval. I heard one father say, “I think you are going to like it here son.”

Now that it is busy again, the rabbits have to be on their toes to avoid the steady stream of foot traffic, which grows larger each year with the demand for higher education, as it travels hurriedly from one building to the next. As usual, there are waitlists for all but a sparse few classes; often times the waitlist more than double the allotted class size. Many of the students don’t want to be there, they don’t come to the ivory tower for the intrinsic value of knowledge. They come because it is the means to a more successful life. Education has become the path for our privileged to have a better chance at life.

This sounds jaded perhaps, but I am not knocking education here. I think a good education is (dare I say) essential to a full life. What worries me is the education system available to me. So, perhaps, to avoid any possible equivocation on terms, I will give distinction to these terms that so far, I have used with little regard to their meaning (only the meaning as it is commonly understood and commonly used). Education; is quite simply the current system with teachers teaching and students learning, memorization, exams, essays and as a means to a career. With education, teachers teaching does not guarantee (is not sufficient cause of) students learning.

What I want is the opportunity to learn for its own sake. The study of wisdom, otherwise known as philosophy, offers me the best opportunity I can find, but it is lacking somehow.

I’ll be talking more about this on my blog from time to time over the next few months (perhaps years). Something I would love to do is to take a look at education systems (cross culturally) and see if there is a solution to the current situation. I want to come at this from a philosophical stand point, but draw on concrete examples of both educational systems and psychological ideas of group behaviour. If no solution can be found (or even hinted at), then at least I could find a way to articulate the problem on hand.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

there is a cricket in my radio

I’ve been spending my blog time knitting Eris. It is such a lovely pattern, but I want to wait for a sunny day to take a picture because the yarn is extremely deceptive. There are all these bright colours inside the strands, but in this rainy day light it looks almost black. I don’t know what is exciting me moor, that it is knitting up so quickly, or that it looks fantastic.

I had my fist manicure yesterday. It was much better than I thought it would be. In fact, I absolutely adore it, and I love how my nails look. Too bad for the cost, or I would get one every fort night. Also, my hair has changed colour again. I figure it’s important to feel that I look good before I head back to University.

Other than that, the only thing I’ve been up to is reading philosophy books. I am feeling very intrigued about free will (again). Dennett really puts a modern light on the issue, he is also very good at citing his sources (which is vital) so I am gathering together a book list of what I want too read next. I’m also fascinated by philosophy of mind. I think I’m leaning in that general direction for my future studies.