Monday, September 29, 2003

It all begins again...

Today was the first day of classes back here at the University of Chicago. I’m on a kind of manic high right now, from all of the overwhelming geekiness surrounding me.

For example: The introductory session of Biology 101 devolved into a debate on whether we can create a reasonable criteria for “life” which excludes such things as certain computer programs. Reproduction, use of energy, growth, interaction with the environment- these things can happen in computers too!

For example: The reading list for my European Civilization class comes to 18 books for 10 weeks, with five full textbooks, source documents like “The Rule of St. Benedict”, “In Praise of Folly” by Erasmus, and Marco Polo’s “Travels”. This is hard-core Core class reading. If only it weren’t quite so expensive.

For example: I just finished an office-hours session with five first-years desperate to figure out Proof by Contradiction. I love teaching, or even this facsimile thereof. I’m worried about the students, as the instructor has serious problems with intelligibility and pace. But I’ll help the best I can.

For example: Today, I heard one of the most enlightening theological homilies, as the priest read from St. Gregory the Great on angels. We have so often represented angels in art and culture that we have this warped halo-and-winged idea of what Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are. Read this for the best philosophical explanation I've ever found (scroll down to the second reading).

I’m all unpacked and ready to roll, except for the backpack that I left at home. There was a lot of confusion when packing, and we didn’t leave for Chicago until 8 PM. In the driving rain. I’m glad we made it safe.

And thanks to all who have been praying for my family. My grandmother’s in the hospital, and we’re all very worried for her.

Gotta help cook dinner now. Peace.

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