Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back in Toronto, A week in brief

We are back in full swing now, one week strong! This week was full of first readings for classes, which all met for the first time, extra work for the front desk at ICS, since there are no work study positions filled for new students yet, hammering out a preliminary Thesis bibliography and reading plan for the semester, and enjoying Toronto in its beautiful, warm fall glory. It was a lot for a week, and we come to this Sabbath rest in desperate need of it. This busy week was also a cause for deep thanksgiving, which I will try to capture briefly here:

* The breathtaking Toronto Islands: We spent our Saturday in carefree wonderment, eating lunch outside, walking on the beach, splashing in the lake, cruising down the boardwalk, enjoying ice cream, and spending time with good friends. And we are thankful for the physical stamina to bike the 10-12 miles we needed in order to enjoy it!

* Encouraging advising meetings: While we worked out our schedule for the year last week, our advising meeting on Friday was crucial. In it we talked about our proposed Thesis topics and the texts that we wanted to tackle this semester in order to become fully prepared to start writing. Both mine and Mike's meeting was a success, so far--more on Thesis topics later, you will undoubtedly get sick of hearing about them!

* Stimulating first classes: Since our focus is turning from intensive coursework to reading for theses, we have less courses this semester, and even less the semester after that. However, the two classes we meet this fall are challenging us with new authors to read, and interesting classroom dynamics (team teaching, larger classes, more students from outside ICS) that will be interesting. More on this later, as well...

* Promise of friendships begun and rekindled: Wednesday was the first "Junior Member" meeting of the year, giving us hope about new possibilities this year. The new students are already fitting in to the community here, and seem to be passionate about the work of ICS, renewing our excitement about this unique place as well.

* Challenging and exciting texts and authors: Of course we have to bring up what we are reading now! Mike for his class with Lambert on Mondays has begun *Truth and Method* by Hans Georg Gadamer--it is pretty dense, as you can imagine, or already know, so he has been working on it all week, though he is excited about what it and the class has in store for him this semester. I have been reading more about Simone Weil in preparation for my thesis--*Simone Weil: Thinking Poetically* and *The Christian Platonism of Simone Weil*. These two have got me thinking about possibilities for writing in the coming months, so stay tuned!

* Fulfilling and necessary work: Mike and I have put in quite a few hours this week and last at ICS' front desk, hours that have been fulfilling in their own right, but also encouraging to us by providing a means for us to continue our work here.

Well, that was a rough sketch of the week, backwards--we miss you all and hope that you are finding gratitude in the work set before you as well!

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