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Showing posts from September, 2007

Three Cheers for Pederasty!

That is, in World Literature, we finished Plato's Symposium last week. Reading through the Symposium made me wish that I knew classical Greek and that I could read it in the original language. That said, I can sense through this translation (Jowett) Plato's genius in constructing his dialogs between Socrates, et al. The pederasty issue distracted form the beautiful things the characters had to say about love, but it made for really interesting classroom discussion.
Symposium: A

SC Update

Now that I've had two full weeks of classes, let me tell you how they rank:

World Literature: Simply the best. Class (and online) discussions are exciting, even vibrant. We are tracing love through literature (currently reading the Odyssey).

Greek: Foreign languages are exciting. 'nuff said.

Foundations of Servant Leadership: It meets only once a week, but the people truly make up this class. It's filled with the honors students, and there are some truly great people in this class. We just took the Gallup strengths quiz, and I got completely different answers from when I took it two years ago. Oops.

Basic Philosophical Concepts: The only thing that saves this class is the interesting readings. So far we've covered basic logic and metaphysics. Classes are a toss-up: sometimes interesting and sometimes dull.

Introduction to the Old Testament: The book we're going through is fairly interesting (The God of Promise and the Life of Faith by Hafemann), and the lectures are alw…

My eyes! Oh! My eyes!

So I've had glasses since my Freshman year of high school. This last December, I made the leap to contact lenses. For the first month or so, they worked out great. Then, in California, my left contact started freaking out. Long story short, I didn't wear my contacts much while in California. When I came back to Kansas in May, I went directly to my eye doctor, and he gave me some antibiotic drops. I've probably pumped around 10 gallons of fluid into my eyes by now, and the problem doesn't seem to go away. Oh the frustration!

The Compleat Gentleman

Although Brad Miner did not intend it, I think he may have written one of the best books on sexual purity. The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry is loaded with history, wit, and lots and lots of G.K. Chesterton quotes. He gives the modern gentleman three archetypes to aspire to: the warrior, the lover, and the monk. All of these attributes are topped off with what he calls the art of sprezzatura, which speaks more to the gentleman's conduct of life than to his character.

I think every other book that dealt with this topic (at least that I saw) gave you a list of things a gentleman should do. Always walk on the side of the sidewalk closest to the road when walking with a lady. Always precede a lady when going upstairs, and let a lady precede you going downstairs. Listen to jazz music. Learn these facts. Say these things in those situations.

Brad Miner does none of this. He shows you what a true gentleman is at heart - let the specifics work themselves out - b…

College Update

Well, I'm moved in! My room mate is nice, my dorm would be nicer if it had air conditioning, and my classes all seem fun! I'm currently working with a couple of professors on campus to formulate an interdisciplinary major, geared towards the great books. It looks like it will work out nicely.

In World Literature, we are reading such works as Plato, the Odyssey, Dante's Vita Nuova, Medea, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and Metamorphoses. We will be following the theme of love throughout all of these works. In fact, our first reading was C.S. Lewis - The Four Loves. I found it a delightful little read - very insightful.

I decided to join the symphony band and start taking piano lessons. I'm rather more excited about the latter. However, we do have an interesting band mix this year - half of our performers are saxophones! We'll have a sweet sound.

I also finished Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation a little over a week ago. I found the book troubling. Many of the thing…