Welcome to class

That was a nice long winter’s sabbatical, much of which we enjoyed spending with Older Daughter’s new pup Scooter. (The old pup Angel was less thrilled to welcome the interloping lapdog.)

 

But Scooter’s gone off to college now, out of state, and it’s time for me to get back to school too. Happy Opening Day! Three sections of Intro (CoPhilosophy, I call it, or just CoPhi) and Bioethics. Also looking forward to a directed readings course in Metaphysics and Epistemology, and a senior Honors thesis.

What to say on Day 1? Just to strap on sturdy shoes and prepare to entertain lots of questions-and-answers. I’m still peripatetic, and it’s gonna be unseasonably warm in middle Tennessee all week.

And, let’s look to our Bibliophile-in-chief (for three more days) for inspiration, while we still can. In college “he spent a focused period of deep self-reflection and study, methodically reading philosophers from St. Augustine to Nietzsche, Emerson to Sartre to Niebuhr, to strip down and test his own beliefs.” That’s it: we’re here to strip down and test our beliefs, to challenge ourselves to think for ourselves, to open ourselves to a wider universe of humble hopeful reflection.

Maybe I can also squeeze in a little inspiration from one of my own favorite authors. He was addressing newborns, but aren’t we all newbies on Day 1?

“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

I actually have a couple more rules, in my classes, but they’re all in exactly that spirit.


Kurt said something else that seems quite timely this week too: “So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”

And so it goes. Hi-ho. Let’s go!

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