Monday, October 18, 2010

End of the World

Days with class are always interesting -- I wonder if the other groups in International Relations feel exhausted when they leave class or if they feel like they've learned something and built upon new idea. We yell. And argue. And most classes I leave feeling exhausted and wondering if anything was actually gained that I didn't have beforehand. Hmm.

But it was Augustine, and I'm familiar with Augustine, and at least can join in with some of the yelling, even if I hate that it had to be yelling. And next class is Aquinas, so we're good with that as well.

It is classes like this that make me miss the Religion classes from my undergrad. It was a big debate in my mind if I wanted to go back to grad school, would it be for Religion or Politics. Politics, or at least Political Theory, won out because all of the Religion programs are housed within Divinity programs who are looking for people who want to become pastors. As I have absolutely no desire to become a pastor and whose interest is in the academic study of religions and their impact on societies, there's doesn't seem to be any encouragement of that in Divinity programs. So IPT seemed to be the best fit.

Alas, each time I tried to bring up his gnostic heritage, or the importance of his theories of grace and predestination and the elect, and the fact that the City of Man can't be Rome because neither of the Cities are earthly cities and are ideals and consequences, I get shot down.

Victory in class is the victory of the loudest, or victory of the most bullheaded. I'm not sure that's a victory I can attain.

It's the after class that's most interesting -- usually a most of us go for a drink, but with the main coordinator of that out, three of us went to get a bite and some tea after class and again end up talking about the victory of the loudest. All philosophical discussion should take place over food and drink, I think. It helps people lower inhibitions and maybe not be so uptight about being 'right'.

In the food and drink and discussion we learn that one of the girls hasn't actually seen the sea here yet. Which is boggling for me to believe because I go down there most evenings, and am only a couple streets over. But then, I guess that's what you get when you don't actually live in town. Which meant that I got to show off the sea. And the most beautiful part about water is that if you go a bit into it -- down a pier, out in a boat, in the right spot at a cliff -- it feels like you're standing at the end of the world.

I think it's one of the things that people who grow up someplace other than near water have a hard time understanding. Standing out on a pier, or sailing out in the sea/ocean/whatever, that's freedom. That's feeling that you could just keep going. It's much more than just an open road. An open road has an end, a destination. There may be another shore, but that's not the sea's destination -- that's just where a few waves crash up when they get too close.

And that makes up for a hard class any time. At least I think I got a few points across, even if they were drowned out and quickly forgotten. At least I got a few.

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