Sunday, May 6, 2007

Chicago, New York, Toronto... Our life in April

Dearest Friends,

I know it has been awhile since we have posted anything, but I so much wanted to share our pictures with you, and was so reticent to fight with Mike's laptop to download them, it has taken me till now--in high thesis writing and apartment packing avoidance mode--to actually do it. I am hoping for another post later (sooner, rather than later, though...) about our current plans for the summer and the fall, so I will just stick with the fun stuff for now.

Two weeks ago, just a day after the ICS spring retreat, Jeff, Angie, Mike and I headed down to Chicago. It was a whirlwind trip where I got to stay with my sister, Katrina, on her wonderfully comfortable futon in the (almost) only current TCC dorm I had never before stayed in. This was my homebase for the couple days of non-stop interviews all over the city (more on the results in the coming post...) Mike stayed with various friends around Chicago--shadowing Bob Phelan at school and attending class at the University of Chicago (If you want to know more, you'll just have to ask him--I really wasn't there most of the time!). Anyway, we got back after a couple of days and I promptly got sick--really sick. Not that I minded so much, yeah I had a course paper to do, and the ever-present thesis to write, but I had just received from my sister-courier a book that I had been dying to read: *French Lovers* by Joseph Barry. So good. I didn't mind a bit staying in bed and reading more about Heloise and Abelard, the courtly love tradition, and royal scandals with Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poiters.

Just about the time I was getting better, I was packed off and heading to Syracuse, NY with Jim Olthuis and his wife, Arvilla for a conference put on by their good friend Jack Caputo entitled "Feminism, Sexuality and the Return of Religion." What an awesome trip. As an added bonus, we made a stop off at Seneca Falls, NY on the way to see where the Women's Rights movement really got started, and the current National Women's hall of Fame. It was amazingly empowering to see all the women that had come before, making it possible for me to attend a school of Higher Education, vote, and have so many other opportunities. (Pictures here--Me and Jim outside the National Women's Hall of Fame, and the plaque commemorating that important day in 1848 where Elizabeth Cady Stanton called together the first women's convention in the US.

So, from there it was off to the conference. It was somewhat of an ICS reunion, that I was honored to be a part of, meeting current students who are living outside Toronto, and re-connecting with ICS graduates that I had known before. (To the right is a picture from dinner on Friday night--from left, Clarence Joldersma (Calvin Professor and ICS senator), Neal's friend Will, Neal DeRoo (ICS grad and current Boston College PhD student), Yours Truly, RuthAnne Crapo (Current ICS PhD student and Professor in Kentucky), Beatrix Prinsen, Dianne Bergsma (Current ICS PhD student and Professor at Brock in ON), Christina DeGroot (Chair of the Gender Studies Department at Calvin College), Arvilla Sipma, Jim Olthuis (ICS emeritii professor).

The speakers (well, most of them) were also fantastic. They had been brought in from all over the world from prestigious institutions of higher learning, and it was very impressive. As a result of Sarah Coakley's tantalizingly brief reference to Simone Weil at one point in the question part of her talk, I couldn't help talking to her afterward, and find out what she really did think about this woman who was becoming such an important part of my life. We had a good discussion (if you really want to hear about it, please ask me!). (See Sarah's picture to the right--->) Another of the interesting lectures was Judith Butler's. She couldn't make the conference, so they piped her in by interactive video. People got to ask questions still, and we all could see her face on the giant projector. (See picture to the left <--- of her on the screen and people coming up to ask questions) Such a great presentation! I also got to sit down to dinner on Saturday night with Jack Caputo, Merold Westphal and Jim Olthuis. Nothing like feeling like the little kid at the grownups table!

Well, I hope to write an update soon of work and housing plans... Enough for now.


sara without an 'h' said...

good update. thanks for the pictures!

Chris said...

Wow! Dinner with the great minds of our age: Jack Caputo, Jim Olthuis, Merold Westphal, and Yvana Mols. Knowing that these thinkers actually eat makes them seem more human.

M&Y said...

Oh, Chris--you have never accused me of being a human before... I am so honoured. So glad we get to see you one last time. Now I know it is just because you think I'm famous :(