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Archive for August, 2008

The day started off cool and overcast, but ended up getting fairly hot after the sun came out in the afternoon. I tried to do some reading (of stories by George MacDonald) on my favorite bench outside, but when I was there, I was constantly finding all kinds of insects coming out and trying to attach themselves to me. I would have to say I caught at least five such bugs in as many minutes.  I came to the conclusion that the rain from the day before combined with the afternoon heat must have made for an ideal climate for the insects and they were out and active because of it. They wanted food, and there I was, all ready for them. There would be no use trying to stay outside with them; I would just constantly have to fight them off, and I didn’t want to do that. So I went back inside, and a few minutes later, I found one small insect smuggled himself under my shirt into my apartment with me.

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Rain and a Movie

For most of the morning and afternoon, we had a constant light rain making it rather miserable outside. Even when the rain stopped, the clouds did not dissipate, and it looked like it could begin to rain again, so that when one went anywhere, one had to make sure they brought an umbrella with them just in case it started to rain again.

I really needed to rest, after all the activity of the week, so I went to see a movie, Babylon A.D. It’s an adventure-based futuristic movie, where Vin Diesel plays a mercenary who has been hired to smuggle a mysterious young woman, who had been raised at a religious orphanage, into America. Along the way, he grows to care for her, and finds out she is an unwilling pawn for a 21st century religious cult (she was artificially created and enhanced by a scientist, who is more or less her father, at the request of that cult, so that when she came of age, she could appear as a miracle to the world to convert people to that faith; her father, however, recanted of what he had done, and was “killed” for it ). I had heard many bad things about it, but I knew it couldn’t be as bad as it was being made out to be. It wasn’t. It wasn’t a great film, but it wasn’t a terrible film (I saw worse during the summer). Certainly there were problems with it, especially the last third of the film and the ending itself, because they left too many things unexplained. Vin Diesel’s character dies, is brought back to life, the girl is found out to be pregnant with twins (that have special powers of their own, capable of preserving her life); after escaping the cult, she dies in giving birth to the twins, and he becomes their father-protector. The end. Why she died, we are not told (I suspect there is some sort of nod to the Buddha legend). Exactly what these twins are, we are not told (but we know that what was done to their mother enhanced them, as well; so I suspect they are a kind of Buddha). How exactly Vin Diesel is capable of raising the children without being found, we are not told. From what I heard, there was much of the film which was cut out by the studio, and I suspect such footage probably would have explain much of this.

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I’ve needed rest, and I know it affected me as I opened up my class yesterday. Thankfully it was the first day of class, so it doesn’t matter too much. But I know I was more on edge (not nervous, just tired) because of how quickly I had to get everything together. I seemed to have many problems in the morning; for example, the copied I used to print out the syllabus started out jammed, and ran out of staples before all the syllabi were printed. Or, when I logged on to my campus account, I found I had yet to be given the class roster, so I didn’t know who would be in my class. I just had to wing it. So I didn’t even know how many students to expect. A few minutes before class began, there were about five students in the room. I was a bit concerned — did everyone drop it because of all the changes? But then there a rush of students came into the room at onces, and a couple minutes later, a few strays right rushed in right as class officially started.

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Putting Things Together

Yesterday, I had to look at the old syllabus for the class and modify it. If I had more time to put the syllabus together, I would have probably changed more of it than what I did. In general, I kept the schedule as it was done before, just fixing the dates to coincide with the class schedule for this year. I decided to label the reading/class schedule as tentative, to give me some flexibility with the class, so that I could change things around during the semester (it would not be by much, but, some things might work better than others depending upon a given group dynamic). Overall, I think I did as good as I could based upon the time limit I had to do this.

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That Was Quick

Well, I got the job, and have my first class on Thursday. Since classes started this week, they needed someone who could take over as quick as possible; and they had to tell the students on Tuesday morning what had happened, before my official hiring. I’m going to be putting together the syllabus today (yesterday, I was too tired by the time I got home to do more than look through the books).

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Might Be Teaching A Course

I checked my CUA e-mail, and was an emergency need for someone to teach a course (Hinduism and Art), and I was asked if I would. I saw the e-mail late in the day, but I said I would, if needed. We will see what happens. I was thinking of doing some part time work at the university this fall; this would count. Plus, it will give me more teaching experience to put on my resume, something which is always good. And I would be able to fix a few things so that I would be able to get to any conferences I need to go to this year.

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The Lord’s Day

Sunday, which is supposed to be a day of rest, really was a rather restful day; after a normal liturgical celebration in the morning (it started a bit late, and the whole service was about 1hr 20 mins), I took the rest of the day to do some more reading. I tried to do some of it outside, but it wasn’t as comfortable as it had been lately, so I wasn’t able to do as much outside as I would have liked (I’ve been trying to see if getting all the fresh air this summer has any positive effects; although, if it does, I’m not sure if I will be able to tell).

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