Wednesday, September 06, 2006

One of those days

Today, I had ample opportunity to realize how incredibly, stupidly lucky I am in life.

Today, I had ample opportunity to feel completely helpless to meaningfully help friends who need real help. I'm too self-protective, sometimes, I think. I think it may be time to just take a radical step and maybe change things. Or try, anyways. I can't meaningfully change things for one friend. But I could for the other.

I read a great entry by Maggie at Professorial Confessions, about getting students to ask a central question by way of starting a class for the semester. I love what I teach, but it's hard to imagine my questions getting at the most profound questions of the universe. Well, okay, maybe if I framed my questions in terms of how humans make meaning and such. I don't know what Maggie teaches, but one guess was philosophy, and she says no. I'd guess physics maybe, or astronomy, since both of those seem to really get at some deeply profound questions about beginnings, especially. I can imagine important questions coming out of lots of fields, but not mine right now.

I'm tired and empty tonight, coming down from teaching my night class. I have no answers for even the easiest questions. All the factoids and dates I've spent so much time learning seem meaningless right now.

And I have a weird desire to learn something about the life of Henry VII's elder son, Arthur. Go figure.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you're feeling a bit better today, Bardiac. Those kinds of days really beat you, don't they?

    I - though admittedly having only read a few of his plays - think you could easily make a case for Shakespeare's engagement with the "big questions", couldn't you? Even just in terms of reception - people have historically responded to him as if what he's talking about is the most pressing questions. So I think you're firmly planted in the realm of the biggies. Your work and your discipline matter!