2014 :: 2013
2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009
2008 :: 2007 :: 2006 :: 2005
2004 :: 2003 :: 2002 :: 2001



Some days, class is really rather inspiring. Yesterday in Argumentation, for instance, we managed to connect ideas from most of my favorite books, all the classes I'm currently taking, books we're reading in class at the moment, etc., all in one 1.5-hour class. I simply sat there and basked in it, forgetting to do much besides write things and draw arrows and lines between concepts I was so psyched to hear discussed. I came up with a list of topics/concepts I'm interested in writing about and discussing, whether to a small or large extent:

-evolution of language
-Latin vs. Germanic words in English
-Buddhist psychotherapy -liberal vs. conservative
-as Larsen would put it, balance
-Lost in Translation -cultural radicalism in all its forms
-New Left damage/innovation
-Brave New World, 1984, dystopia
-continuity of experience across situations
-true self vs. Buddhist no-self (anatta)
-Castaneda, Epstein, Huxley, Bach, Rand -religion vs. agnosticism
-bohemian vs. modern
-conservatism vs. cultural radicals
-New Left vs. Objectivists
-Latin vs. Greek culture
-relativism vs. objectivism
-self-help, self-reliance, Emerson -gnosis, bohemian revelation/insidership
-lesbian/gay psychology
-libertarian, "keep the state out of it" views
-independent politics
-the contortions we resort to when pressured
-Turner's frontier thesis—what to do when there's nowhere to go
-the game with no rules (big ball)—A Separate Peace -broken movements in dance
-the ultimately broken/incomplete self
-Japanese literature
-R. Bach vs. established religions/religion creation
-Wicca/pagan movements

I write down lists like this in the golden glow of the moment, then later look at it and think to myself, "Well, aren't you pretentious?" This is pretty comprehensive as far as listing ideas I've been interested in since I was awakened at MSA goes, though, and in that rare brilliant class, the professor managed to hit upon almost all of it. I don't think my rambling after class really explained fully why the class worked so well for me, but hopefully he's noticed that when I can't lift my hand from compulsive scribbling the entire class period, I've been in some way inspired.

It occurs to me that the line of things I've been doing or gearing up to do lately culminates in one thing, the acquisition of power. It seems like a logical progression, but I do find it odd to think that perhaps really what I'm seeking is 1. status, 2. the secret gnosis of leadership, 3. recognition, and 4. power, plain and simple. The people who I tend to think of as seeking out such things are smarmy socialites, university parents, international business/politics/law majors, campus Greeks, etc. The power-hungry have their own ways, and I leave them to their self-destruction. I'm more subversive than that, I'd like to think. I don't always consciously seek out leadership roles; rather, it seems like I just naturally end up in them as a result of my directness or strengths of some sort in whatever area of expertise is needed. Despite my foibles in the area of, say, maintaining interest in 9 a.m. classes, I'm not doing too badly for myself. I'm building a foundation for something, learning the intricacies of all these disparate discourse communities—I just don't yet know what it'll all end up leading me to.

I've also realized that if I really want to live somewhere besides St. Louis for the rest of my life, I'm definitely going to need to travel a bit before settling somewhere. As it stands right now, I have little idea of what various places are actually like. I've been to both Columbia and Kansas City now, and I find both quite charming—but even if I decide to stay in-state, I really need to check out some other parts of the country, so I can at least know just how miserable they are before settling somewhere in Missouri. I've never even been outside of the country, for that matter—I've read a lot, so that makes up for a bit of it, but I've never actually stood on the soil of some other country and let the microbes there attack my feet. I've never choked on the industrial air pollution produced anywhere besides Illinois. I'm missing out, people!

1:22 pm, November 14, 2003 :: the jablog years

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