Saturday, May 24, 2008

Portable Professor

Update: For anyone interested in the discontinued Portable Professor series, they are all available under new titles at The Modern Scholar.

I think I may have mentioned previously on this blog a series Barnes & Noble has called the Portable Professor. From the Barnes & Noble web site:

PORTABLE PROFESSOR™ is a series of exciting and informative lectures recorded by some of today's most renowned university and college professors. Each course introduces listeners to fascinating, and sometimes startling, insights into the intellectual forces that shape our understanding of the world. Each package includes 14 riveting lectures presented by notable professors as well as a book-length course guide.

I have four of them. So far I've listened to What Would Socrates Do? The History of Moral Thought and Ethics by Doctor Peter Kreeft, and I'm in the middle of Masterpieces of Western Music: Classics from the Baroque to the Modern by Doctor Jeffrey D. Lependorf. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this series. Ever since high school, philosophy has interested me, but I never really tried to learn it. What Would Socrates Do? has inspired me to finally begin. Not only do I want to learn who taught what and when such-and-such an idea was dreamed up, but I'm interested in the great themes of philosophy. My last post mentioned on in an off-hand way: how is chastity positive, and how is it positively lived out in one's life?

After I finished the lecture, I picked up Philosophy 101 and a copy of Plato's Apology of Socrates. Both Doctor Kreeft's book and Plato's Apology are designed to help one begin being a philosopher. The things I'm learning! Not just about philosphy, but also about Socrates. I hope that when Christ descended to the dead and declared Himself the hope that the righteous dead had been looking for, that Socrates was among those who went to heaven with Him. It seems Socrates really wanted to know the truth. If so, how could he not have followed Truth to heaven? We don;t know for sure, of course, but we can hope.

Doctor Lependorf's Masterpieces of Western Music is very interesting, as well. I've always enjoyed Vivaldi's "Spring" from the Four Seasons, but now that I know a little more about it, it's better! This series is making the music more enjoyable and also teaching me how to pronounce the names of certain works (e.g. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik). Tonight I begin Lecture Seven: How to Make a Piano Sing--Chopin's Nocturne in D-flat. (Yes, it's Saturday and I won't be hanging out with friends. I work from 7pm to 7am [insert sad face here] and so will listen to the lectures.)

After this lecture series, I learn about economics because I have no idea how an economy works. C.S. Lewis apparently didn't either, so I don't feel too bad about that.

New Insights

On Wednesday evening, Father John Riccardo was on the radio. I was making deliveries at the time, so didn't get to hear the entire program. But I did hear something that really got me thinking. Father John related how, on a regular basis, he meets with a group of young adults (how I envy them!). The last time they met, he asked them if they view Christianity primarily as a list of do's and don'ts or as a positive option for their lives. I've been a Christian my whole life. I know the answer I'm supposed to give: positive option, of course. I'm not sure how I apply it to every area of my life, but as regards to my sexuality, I view my faith primarily as restrictive! I was shocked to realize this, but it's true.

The view I have of my faith in Christ as applied to my sexuality is entirely negative. That is, my faith in Christ means I cannot have a boyfriend. I cannot have sex. I cannot look at pornography. I cannot masturbate. Why do I not see chastity as a positive? I need a whole new perspective on this issue, as well as to see people positively applying it in their lives. It doesn't help that our entire culture throws sex at us all the time. We never see in the media people who live chastely. Indeed, we're told that to do so is abnormal. Lack of example does not provide us with an excuse for bad behavior, but it does make it more difficult to know how to live. Anyone else have any thoughts?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The annual COURAGE conference.

It's about two months away. I'll be driving there, even with the high gas prices. I'll be heading over to Lansing, MI to pick up a friend and then proceeding to Medway. If anyone else needs a ride, I'm willing to pick you up. I can take either a route through Canada, or travel through Ohio, etc., and am willing to travel a few hours out of my way. You can contact me via the e-mail in my profile.

While visiting my parents' house on Sunday... was rather warm in the kitchen where I was sitting with my niece, so I opened up a few windows. About ten minutes later my mom came into the room and started shutting the windows.

Mom: "I'm freezing."

Me: "I'm burning up."

Mom: "It's cold!"

Me: "It's hot in here!"

Mom: "How come you're so hot and I'm not."

Me, giving the response that question called for: "I'm hot 'cause I'm fly; you ain't cause you not!"

Niece, laughing: "Word!"

Of course, my mom had no idea what where that came from.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tips for your blog.

I have learned there are two things you should mention on your blog if you want to get a lot of people to look at it--

One: Hallelujah Chorus Nuns

Two: Numa Numa

And link to a few Doctor Who pictures.

You would not believe how many Google searches have found my blog based on those posts!

I remember where I was going with last night's post!

Life without a computer:

I used to tell people I can live without a TV, which is very true, but I can't live without the internet. Turns out, I can live without the internet very easily! My life was much more productive in the last few weeks offline. I missed my blog and e-mail, but spent more time reading regular books and the Bible, praying, thinking, journaling, etc. If my work schedule was other than it is, I'd have spent more time with real, live people. Indeed, if my work schedule was other than it is, I'd be spending more time with people anyway. It gets rather lonely getting off anywhere between 10:30pm and 7am in the morning. And while I meet many people as I make my deliveries, that's not the same as hanging out with friends. Most nurses are too busy to chat with after the delivery is made. There is one nurse at a particular hospital (in fact, the hot nurse named Anthony mentioned in this post) that chats with me. I like the fact that he'll sit and talk with me. For one, it's a nice bit of socializing. And second, since I have a crush on him, getting to know him as a person is helping me to break the crush. He's married and has three boys. Sometimes I pray for his family. It also helps to remember he's a married man!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Life without a computer.

For slightly longer than a month, I had problems with my computer which prevented me from getting on the web. They were minor problems I could have fixed easily, but I was too lazy to do so. As you can see, I finally got around to it.

Many people are shocked to learn that I don't own a television. One of the guys at work has a TV in every room of his house, except for the bathroom off the guest bedroom. He graciously offered me one, but I don't own one out of choice. Not only is does the immorality it pumps into one's home offensive to me (and a temptation -- there are lots of hot, shirtless guys on the tube!), but I deplore the effect television has on our attention spans. I avoid temptation on my computer by using a program called Covenant Eyes. It comes in two versions. One is a filter version. The other, the one I use, doesn't filter anything. Instead, it monitors every web site I visit and sends a list to my accountability partner so he can check out what I'm viewing. My roomate is hetero, so he's not tempted by what I'm tempted by. It works out good. Covenant Eyes even monitors my searches so my roommate can see what I'm looking up, too. It's a good program for $8.00 a month. More people should use it.

So, anyway, this isn't really where I was going when I started this post, but now I've lost my train of thought, mostly because I looked up the latest Fred video on YouTube. Fred is very distracting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm still here!

It's been awhile since my last posting. My computer was down, and I was too lazy to fix it. It's up and running again, and I will be posting real messages soon.