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Things have been pretty hectic around here lately. I finally set my syllabus for summer school and emailed it out to my students, plus set up my folder on DropBox where they can pick up their readings and submit their essays and the like.

I’m making less progress getting my lecture notes in order – even though, with two exceptions (excerpts from Aristotle’s Categories; Descartes’s third meditation) I did the same readings last fall. I just need to get Powerpoint slides boiled down into actual notes, since that didn’t really work that well last semester (too much written material means too easy for the students to just repeat what I said verbatim.)

I do feel bad that I haven’t read LJ in ages. I feel like I’m neglecting friends and taking without giving much to you guys. Not intentional, I promise, for whatever that’s worth. Part of it is I’ve been feeling thoroughly wonky. July 16 is a sad anniversary for me, but I’m not as upset as I usually am. I’m actually feeling less depressed than I have in a long time, I think because some metabolic things are more under control so depression is just depression, you know? But whatever the reason I’ve been feeling guilty that I’m not as sad. Actually, I’m really looking forward to the new HP movie, which is released the day before. And that feels like a betrayal of a sort, even though I know it’s not.

What else? I am mainly working on research. I’m looking at different medieval theories of language for my dissertation-prep reading list. Basically I want to look at whether we can name God or describe Him given most religious people don’t think we can get a full comprehension of Him. Which fits in nicely with my previous (and hardly dormant) obsession with the ontological argument – the first half of that assumes we have a definite idea of God in our understanding, or seems to. Anyway, it’s all fascinating if technical, and it’s a very necessary antidote to all the bone-headed things people are saying in the name of religion. It helps remind me of just what I find so appealing about the religious, and in particular the Jesuit Catholic philosophical, tradition.

It’s blazing hot here and I haven’t been able to do much more than pay homage to the air conditioner. There’s a sort of glee whenever I go into some place with central air on, like the supermarket. That feeling is actually quite nice – it’s what I think a foodie friend means when she talks about the frisson she gets heading into a restaurant.

One thing that has been on my mind lately is the question, how much room do we make for religious people to discriminate where we think that’s proper? It’s coming up in the DADT negotiations (conservative clergy want a guarantee they won’t have to marry gay soldiers), and in Illinois as well because Catholic charities want to not have to place foster kids with married gay couples. I actually find myself sympathetic to the Catholic charities, as much as I hate to admit it. I mean, obviously they’re wrong but I find myself thinking we should make room for them through accommodations so far as we’re able, for reasons that are too complicated to go into at the moment. (I will, though. Now that I’ve survived the busy part of the week I think I will find the time soon.)

I have been fighting with the insurance companies over prescription drug coverage. They say I have hit my yearly limit, which I have, but that limit is too low if it can’t cover even basic maintenance medications. But they are helping me work some things out like arranging samples for one of my medications and getting me added to a prescription savings plan that I’m not usually eligible for. Still, it’s beyond frustrating because I have no choice here. You can’t leave your health insurance plan and get your own (it’s prohibitively expensive), so I have no bargaining power with the insurance company. Even if I wanted more robust coverage it’s not an option. This is the great free market economy at work? :-S

Enough of that for now, though. I want to run and catch X-Men. Ciao for now,



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2011 03:09 am (UTC)
One thing that has been on my mind lately is the question, how much room do we make for religious people to discriminate where we think that’s proper?

It's a question that can only come up in a society in which freedom of religion is considered important as are the freedoms and rights fo individuals. How far can you push against one person's right when it conflicts with another person's righ? How do you decide which right takes precedence? Or do you work for a compromise that ends up limiting both parties?

In a society with a state religion, an individual's rights take second place (or even less) to what that religion thinks is the will of God as revealed in that religion.

In a completely secular society, the individual's rights would take precedence over the rights of any religion.

In the US, people are guaranteed BOTH the right to practice their religion without state interference AND the rights of individuals to be treated fairly. It's a built-in conflict of interest-- and yet I still think that it's a good idea, even when it causes problems...

(And I hope you are able to work out your insurance problems. Insurance companies have this country by the short-hairs.)
Jun. 10th, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
Obviously, I don't know what anniversary this is, but feeling guilty more than a month ahead because you're looking forward to the HP movie rather than feeling sadder? That does sound rather as if it were a sacrifice on the altar of the wrong deity. Not that one can always stop oneself from making such sacrifices...
Jun. 10th, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
Sorry, I was trying to not go all gloomy on everyone in a public post. Someone I was extremely close to (kind of a best friend + close family rolled into one) died several years ago in mid-July. The Harry Potter movies usually come out within a week of that anniversary. Something about the juxtaposition of the dates has always affected me strongly on top of the normal reactions. It's the theme of the movies about overcoming death, along with wanting to be swept away in something fannish, I think.

Anyway, this year I haven't been feeling as overwhelmed by it, which should be good but I feel a bit guilty and lonely about it all. The fact that I am excited about a movie is kind of underscoring that dynamic. I can be weird like that - little details, especially ones connected to numbers and patterns, have always affected me very strongly, it's how my mind works.
Jun. 10th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, I see. There was an established link in your mind--no, I don't think that is weird at all, mourning works in complicated ways, doesn't it? I am so sorry for your loss!
Also, very sorry to hear that the insurance problems are still ongoing!
Jun. 10th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
I do feel bad that I haven’t read LJ in ages. I feel like I’m neglecting friends and taking without giving much to you guys

Don't worry about it. We'll still be here when you have the energy to be more active again.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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