Thursday, April 28, 2005
So I'm doing it again..
Or, at least, almost. I'm on the verge of accepting to help run the 2005 Ancient & Medieval Philosophy conference. Except now it's not part of my job as a graduate assistant, but a whole separate task, on top of teaching two sections of the freshman course on Human Nature (I'll be teaching Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, a section at 10.30 and a section at 11.30; the classes are 50 minutes apiece; in addition to Plato, Descartes, Aquinas, and Augustine, I want to include a bunch of literature & non-philosophical works-- all suggestions are welcome. So far, I think a chapter of Dallaire's Shake Hands with the Devil, and Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Illych". My freshmen won't know what hit 'em!)
I've been offered a small stipend of $300 for my work, which really is too little, given how much time it'll be and how much money my time is technically worth (goddamit, I have a master's degree now!), but if I get it over the summer it'll really make a big difference. Dr. Tress wants me to take it, but she's also said that she has a "pedagogical responsibility" to tell me not to take it if I think it'll interfere with my academic responsibilities.
Which include, this fall, scheduling a date for defending my proposal. Which hopefully I'll have finished this summer. Very, very scary. YES, two days ago, I registered for "proposal development." That's officially what it says. I handed in my incomplete paper from last semester and, other than finishing off my independent study with Dr. Tress, I'm finished coursework. crazy. very crazy.
I've been reading Alastair Macintyre's Dependent Rational Animals, which is quite fun, although I disagree with him on a few points (he characterizes our care of others in terms of paying off the debt that we owe to the others who took care of us; I don't like that structure), it's very good. (Robin, you would probably particularly like it; skim over some of the technical bits about agency and decision-making -- they're a bit boring and not really necessary to his overall point -- and look at his stuff on dependency, disability, and animals)
(In other news, I assume y'all have heard about the woman on hunger strike for better health care in Alberta?)
Anyway, the overall problem is that I can't back down from this particular challenge, even though deep down I'm not really sure I can do it. But I don't want to say no! Not only do I want the money, but I kinda like the stress.
Of course, I'll also be helping Stephen Minister (a fellow graduate student in the department; he, Jared Woodard, and Adam Konopka have just had a panel on Levinas accepted to this coming year's SPEP conference -- SPEP being the big continental philosophy conference. very very imppressive) plan for our Spring 2006 Graduate Student Conference, on "The Future of Philosophy". We've got Alain Badiou coming from France to talk about philosophy & anti-philosophy, and John Greco from our own department to talk about skepticism. I'm really looking forward to helping with that (partially because I want to see cute Penn State boy again, and I think he'd be likely to come to this conference), but it means I'll be helping with two conferences. Oh well. I think the bulk of what I'd told Stephen I'd help with was some promotional stuff, and accepting & formatting the papers we receive for blind review. How much work can that be? (she laughed maniacally).
And no love-interests for me. I'm going to break things off with James (I've barely seen him in the last month or so, and I told him I'd be busy for the next month; he's hardly still in the picture); and my other crushes are kind of played out -- the friendship is just more relevant than the crush. So that's OK.
So that's my life. Oh, and Megan is visiting in a few weeks! yay!
jane 10:22 AM [+]