Saturday, August 04, 2007

Now I'm excited

I just emailed with my prof from the philosophy class and it turns out that my Gadamer paper can be quite creative. I wasn't sure how to write it at all (he gave basically no guidelines), but I knew I wanted to relate G's hermeneutics to interfaith dialogue, because it's a great recipe for success in that arena. So prof said I could write it as a training manual for dialogue, using the Gadamerian hermeneutic for my model. Isn't that cool? What a fun, creative assignment. I now think I shall enjoy it quite a bit.

Another school has entered the running for the PhD business -Catholic University in DC. I don't know why my mentor wants me at Catholic school (he's still pushing Notre Dame on me, too) but he recommended it, and I got in touch with their religion and culture person, who said I sounded like just the kind of student they'd like to have. So that is nice. I now have people at 4 schools who've specifically shown interest in working on my topic with me. I think that is a good thing.

I am putting off the inevitable, though, which is signing up for the GRE. I think I'm reticent because I know once I sign up, I have to start studying, and that means re-learning math. Ew. I haven't done math since high school, so that is now nearly 15 years. I was always pretty good at it, I just didn't enjoy it - it's that deadly combination of being good enough at something that you can score high on the AP test and therefore never have to take it again if you don't want to. Oops. Anyway I highly doubt that part will make any sense to me. Hoo boy. If any of you local friends have study materials you can loan me, I'd be most grateful. The most helpful thing when J took it was a practice cd they sent him, but we can't find it anymore. I s'pose I'll hit the library too and see what resources they have. I just want to take some practice runs so I can determine how much I need to study. I always pretty much could rock standardized tests, but it's been ages since I had to think that way.

So once I have those scores I feel like I'll be able to better determine where to look and apply. I actually have wanted to give up several times this week, but I think I am just very tired and also scared of the GRE. If I have good scores, somehow, I think I will not be so anxious anymore. Right now I am just concerned that nobody will let me in. I'm not scared of getting in, I'm scared of not getting in. If I get in I think I'll be really happy.

And nobody will let me give up - well, one friend suggested it. He thought I should just try writing my food spirituality ideas down into a proposal for a book and see what happens. And I should do that anyway. But most of my mentor people are like, Nope, you are doing this. I guess I'm academically curious enough that they think I have the right qualities. Plus I pretty much always speak out about why i think something I've read is right or wrong or how I would finesse it, and apparently that's a sign that I need to do a Phd because I must think I have something to add to this world. :)

Today I am going to a museum, the Norton Simon, which will be so lovely. I love their collection. And I'm extra psyched to look at their Asian art b/c now I will know who all those gods are. And then for dinner, our favorite french bistro. This will be a good day. In fact, because the Gadamer paper is not so scary anymore, I think I'll take the day off and enjoy my radio shows (This American Life and Good Food).

Ooooh, except it's pledge drive time. I'm so happy we got to pledge again. We finally could afford it, thanks to J's job. I hated not being a member of KCRW. It's just an important thing around here. It's a status symbol, in our house at least. Plus we got some new cds, which is always fun. Don't seem to have won the iphone they were giving away, though. Oh, well. So we got the Shins, Lily Allen, The Bird and the Bee, and a sounds eclectic covers project. Apparently it's a bunch of girl bands and pop music, much different from what we usually order (which tends to be techno since we're not great at choosing that for ourselves). I don't even know this music, but if their djs like it, it's got to be good. J describes it as "girl bands with explicit lyrics" like "I want you to be my fucking boyfriend." We've come a ways from Spice Girls.

Well here is an interesting article. Overall it is about Korean missions, but there is one part that is a little scary - the zeal for dangerous missions work: "The harder, the farther, the more dangerous the place [of mission destination], the more evidence that you are doing well". Not necessarily a good move, and interesting that there are now apologies flowing. I think it's horrible what's happened to the missionaries, there, but I also think it may have not been the best choice for a trip location. Not that many places are safe these days. I dunno...I often think it's best to just find a way to serve in the community God put you in already. But that's a whole long other topic.

I'm going to go now and start my day o' fun. Hope yours is o' fun also.


Anonymous said...

A paper on Gadamer on interreligious dialogue would profit by engaging David Tracy: Dialogue with the Other, Plurality and Ambiguity, and the Analogical Imagination.

Anonymous said...

As for graduate schools (and I don't know all of the 4 you're considering), I don't know if they have one, But what about Garrett-Evangelical Seminary. My grandfather received the first traveling fellowship from Garrett Seminary - in 1914 to Germany. It is Methodist, so it's probably pretty strong on the social justice stuff. And, I believe it was, and, may still be, connected to Northwestern University. Then, there's always the stuffy University of Chicago.

Stasi said...

We have Plurality and Ambiguity, but since my assignment only requires interaction with Gadamer (it's not research-based) I think I will cheap out and just do the minimum.

As for Garrett, I don't know if there's anybody there who would like to follow my topic. I like the Chicago area - and Leon Kass, author of the Hungry Soul, is at U Chicago - but I haven't found any potential mentors at the schools you mentioned.