Thursday, April 6, 2006

Thinking, as I have been of late, almost exclusively: "What am I going to write my course papers about this term?" has kept me from something suitable to post, though I have been meaning to for several days. Because we want to keep this blog accessible and about our LIFE (this is not MyMolseyThoughts, afterall--though that might be a future development...), I have hesitated sharing with all of you what I have been THINKING, though in light of experiences yesterday, and Michael's and my conviction that philosophy (and thinking about philosophy...) comes out of life and experiences, I now write. Whether it lives up to my lofty expectations, well, that is for you to decide.

As I mentioned in opening this post, my life (and dare I speak for Mike's as well?) has been preoccupied with my thoughts--an occupational hazard, I suppose, for graduate work in philosophy--of my coming papers. Since we would really like to have them (eight between the two of us...) done before we head back to Illinois in the beginning of May, I am beginning to feel the crunch. For those of you that don't know me well, this usually means that I become singularly focused to the extreme until I meet my goal. My agenda for yesterday, as should therefore be no surprise, was packed to the limit with visits to numerous of the University of Toronto Libraries, reseaching articles online, reading and taking notes on various texts, etc. I am proud to say in retrospect that I accomplished very few of those lofty (yet important) goals. I started off fairly well, but upon visiting the Institute for lunch and Wednesday Worship, I "fell" into several exceedingly "unproductive" hours of not visiting libraries, not reading, not taking notes...

I put the two negative words in quotes, since I refuse to see those hours (as I am tempted to) as wasted. In fact, I am convinced now that my very attitude that my conversations yesterday afternoon were more important than any textual work I could do gave these many conversations the fruitful quality that they ended up having for me. Instead of (alone) researching paper topics that I was confused enough about, I talked to, engaged with people that were essential for me to clarify what I really wanted me to do, thereby giving me direction for the solitary research work that was to come. By sticking to my singular focus (Research, Read, Write!), I would have not only damaged relationships with people I care about, but also would have actually (ironically, or maybe not so...) wasted time, by direction-less-ly pursuing papers that I had no idea how to go about.

I am not going to sit here and tell you that I am ready to go, write my papers and be done (as one part of me still secretly hopes). And, I am not going to tell you that this was an easy realization to make (how often have I neglected relationship to pursue my GOAL?). I am going to say, however, that this relational learning together, this kind of practicing of philosophy, is something that I want to keep practicing, beyond paper-writing season (is there a beyond?), and through the rest of my life. As I am reading currently in Hannah Arendt, thinking is essential in its culmination in moral action--getting stuck in thinking for the sake of thinking more (as I was in my focus on finishing papers) is of little worth if it is not connected to others and action.

I realize with this post that I am risking turning this blog into a therapeutic tool (as Mike seemed to begin last post...what's wrong with that?), but for those of you who care enough to have read this far, you deserve to know our life, which for now, will be some of our thoughts as well. We are not always on the grand Toronto adventures of last week, or the traveling adventures that are past and coming soon again. But we are still here, thinking (actively!) and writing, wanting to be in connection to all of you. So, till next time, Y


Kidgit said...

We are truly opposite sides of the same family. Whereas you may sacrific relationships for goals I sacrifice goals for relationships...or movies. I'm not really selective there. Just know I love you and that won't change no matter how much I think you're crazy.

Ryan said...

quote: "I realize with this post that I am risking turning this blog into a therapeutic tool (as Mike seemed to begin last post...what's wrong with that?)"

There's nothing wrong with it. Blogs often turn into that, which is kind of why they can become addictive. I'm not sure how much feedback you are getting with this new method of communication.. thought I'd let you know I find it nice to be able to get the periodic updates.

M&Y said...

"Empty is the philsopher's argument in which no human suffering is theraputically treated"

If theraputic activity is addictive, pass it around, because I need some-o that.

True, there hasn't been the participation we had hoped for, but for some reason we find this formatt less intimidating and a bit liberating. We can post more frequently about different things, and there are fewer complaints about these being too long. That's probably because not as many read it... but maybe that's us plaing a bit hard to get.