Thursday, June 26, 2008

one semeser down!

I have finished for the semester! YAY! I'm FREE!

Thanks to those of you who proofread drafts. My papers were definately better for it.

If anyone is curious to read my term papers, strange as they are, just let me know and I'll email you a pdf of the paper(s) of your choice. On the menu are three options:

1) Developing the Integrity of Conscientious Dissent. Strongly flavoured, with a slightly nutty, patriotic, Thoreauian overtone.

2) In Defence of Irrational Reasons: Endorsement and its lack in agency. Slightly dry, with a fruity, pointless aftertaste.

3) Twice as Green: Poverty Relief through Knowledge Production through Carbon Offsets. Earthy, anthropological, highly situated within the unusual sub-discipline the History and Philosophy of Science.

I'm off to the City Library now to check out a stack of braincandy and buy a really big piece of pie (there's an excellent bar/cafe IN the library--how I love this city!). Hooray!

Monday, June 23, 2008

the sweet sunny south(ern hemisphere)

It’s well and truly midwinter. The few decorative European import trees have dropped a few brownish leaves, the temperature has plummeted to a frigid 50s-70s during the day and 40s at night, and it’s drizzled a bit. Today is 55 degrees and sunny. This is dire weather, let me tell you. Hand-rubbing hunched-shoulder bundled (‘rugged up’) people at the university clutching their steamy cappuccinos discuss how hard it is to get up from the warmth of their beds in the face of such a chill. I kid you not. Walking outside requires some combination of scarves, hats, gloves, multiple sweaters for most residents. The radiators at the uni are cranked up, plus space heaters have appeared, and the preferred seats during class are those right next to the heaters. When I show up in a t-shirt and jeans and ask if I can open a window (who can hold a class in a sauna?), they think I’m off my rocker. I think I’ll keep the fact that we haven’t turned on the heat at our apartment to myself.

And I'm happy to say: two papers down, one to go! I'll be rejoining the living in four days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

term papers

In case you were wondering why the blog silence, I'm writing my term papers. I have three subjects this semester, so that's three 5,000 word term papers*: one for Moral Psychology, which I'm writing on integrity and conscientious dissent; one for Value Theory, which I'm writing on the role of endorsement in an account of agency; and one for Ecology and Environmentalism, which I'm writing on the views of nature enacted through a particular carbon offset program. Anyone feel like helping by looking over drafts in the next few weeks?

*I know, 5,000 words is pretty short. That's the problem. For instance: the rough draft of my Moral Psychology paper was 12,000 words, and I've only managed to cut it down to 7,500 so far. Philosophy professors like challenging their students by giving a really short word limit, and then forcing the students to condense their arguments on these really huge topics until they are practically black holes of rationality. While I appreciate tight rationale as much as anyone, I think this short-length practice leads to more inaccessible, dichotomous, argumentative, rigid, and unrealistic thought than is necessary. How can you reflect the messy realities of life in ten pages or less? I had to cut my entire section on oppression from the Moral Psychology paper, which pained me. And I'll have to leave out an explanation of how carbon offsets work from my Ecology and Environmentalism paper, making what I write understandable only to someone who's already familiar with the process. But that's all a discussion for another time.