It's been a relatively good week, teaching-wise. My class covered the Apology and the Crito, both of which have to do with Socrates's trial. We had some great discussions about the nature of atheism, whether anyone really knows anything, and also when it was okay to disobey the law (and how). This semester for the first time I'm requiring my students to comment to our course blog before class to show they've done the reading, which means for every class at least half the class has actually done the reading and thought about it enough to give a drabble's worth of reflection. That seems to be making a real difference in the quality of discussion.
Or maybe it's just the fact that Plato's political and ethical material can be so fun. We'll see how it goes when we get to the more difficult metaphysical material next week. But I have high hopes for this group, and now that my head cold is clearing I feel more competent than I have in a long while in front of a class.
(Btw: if anyone's interested in following along, the course site is http://www.mlayton.net/ . My lecture notes are posted under the "Course Business" section.)
Research is going well, too. I haven't actually made more progress this week, but it's in a more definite, feeling-accomplished way than I've experienced in a good while. Makes me want to go into Manhattan tonight and go to a movie. Shall have to see if there's anything worth seeing - maybe Extremely Loud and Extremely Close? Though I'm reluctant to spend big screen bucks on something without the SFX and action sequences to make the most of it. Mostly, I'm happy because it's sixty degrees, not quite as wet as it was this morning, the week is over and I feel clear-headed and free for the first time in a long time.
Fun stuff I've posted over at FB:
1. From the "S**t my students write" website:
Biblical cats - In Egypt, cats used to be seen as the symbolic and sacred animal. However scholars who have read and analyse the Bible claim there is never a mention of cats throughout.
2. This cartoon. Because bunnies make everything better.
3. This little guy is too cute for words. Was going to write fanfic about Elboron and his sis finding him escaped from a Fourth Age menagerie, but it keeps trying to turn into something Serious and Meaningful. Which this wild cat just isn't, on either count...
Also, two things unique to this LJ post. Dan posted a map of what America looks like to a New Yorker, which reminded me of this New Yorker cover. (Dan's original, and to be fair how the rest of Americans see New York.
And finally, the Latin version of the Toy Story theme from #3. Because it always makes me smile.
Off to wrestle with the Timaeus!