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January 14, 2011

True story: Last night I had a dream in which Calvin of “Calvin and Hobbes” fame was acting in Shakespeare’s Richard III. He began with a speech:

Is now the winter of our discontent? How ‘bout now? How ‘bout now? How ‘bout now?

* * * * *

I stayed up past 1 working on a chapter that I still didn’t finish. I was hoping to polish it off on the train to the university this morning, but when I checked my email at 6:30, my advisor had sent me a few comments on my last chapter. One of the things he asked was for me to elaborate on some of Habermas’ philosophies that I cite near the beginning of the chapter to lay out the structural framework for the dissertation. This is a perfectly reasonable question. The only problem is, I wrote this a long time ago and my command of the Frankfort School was always a little tenuous (I’ve still got a dent on the wall of my office where I once hurled a copy of Max Weber’s Basic Concepts in Sociology in frustration). I took what I needed from The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere and got the hell out. I knew a day of reckoning was coming. I just thought I’d have a little more advance notice.

And so I’ve been reading German philosophy since 7:30 am. With no coffee or breakfast until 9:30, I might add.

Actually, Habermas is pretty readable as German philosophers go and some of his ideas really set my mind reeling in a good way. But even in English translation, it’s a little like reading in a foreign language. Habermas is very careful about language (as is the translation) — he uses evolution of language in part as a marker of social evolution, which, I think, makes sense. But reading outside your home discipline brings with it a whole vocabulary of terms that sound very specific but, when linked to my own lesser knowledge of them, end up seeming quite vague. It takes a while to immerse myself in the culture. Maybe the second cup of coffee will help. I’ll have to let you know.

* * * * *

I have it on good authority (i.e., random blogs by people I don’t know) that today is national delurking day, an annual event in which blog authors like myself encourage readers to introduce themselves, all friendly-like. I myself am a veteran lurker and completely understand the impulse to read and not get involved. But at the same time, I love to know who’s reading. So if you are so inclined, say hello and let me know how you got here.

* * * * *

And finally, if you’re interested, I posted a clip of the recording that was broadcast yesterday. Click back one post to find it.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2011 11:36 am

    I’m here, but you knew that. I think that the Frankfort school is down in Kentucky, where der Oberst sells Gebratenes Hähnchen.

  2. Angela permalink
    January 14, 2011 12:24 pm

    I’m not sure how I first read you (maybe a link from Nobody Sasses a Girl in Glasses??).
    I got my BS in math from UofC (1982) and a little dip into grad school in the later ’80s. I don’t play anymore (and never was serious about it) but I’ve always enjoyed music and theory. I have 3 kids (19, 15 and 13) and went through a lot of what you’re going through now with your son with my youngest.
    I really enjoy your blog, and thank you for opening up your life.
    — Angel Johnston
    I’ll go back to lurking until next year, I’m sure…..

  3. January 14, 2011 1:19 pm

    I think I found you through Magpie. I read both your blogs because I’m interested in higher education and gifted education, and I have a kid a little younger than yours. (I’m lucky — I live in NYC and he got one of the coveted spots at one of the city-wide G&T programs. But still.)

  4. January 14, 2011 3:04 pm

    I chuckle because Calvin has been popping up all over the place here in my home (my 7 year old is an enourmous fan)– I haven’t yet dreamed of him, though!

    I found your blog after you commented on mine–so glad you did, as I enjoy seeing your writing come up in my feed reader!

  5. freshhell permalink
    January 14, 2011 4:30 pm

    Well, you know me. I don’t often lurk. But today I’ve been too busy to play. Sigh. Maybe later.

  6. January 14, 2011 6:31 pm

    I haven’t been a good commenter lately, but your blog keeps my Google reader happy. I’m still here, procrastinating about my own doctoral work!

  7. Alice permalink
    January 14, 2011 9:13 pm

    Hello! I found you through Blighty & Teranika, maybe a year or ago or so? I’m here because AJ sounds so like my 9.5 yo son, and your stories of his daily life are so familiar to me! I’m always interested in hearing other experiences with gifted kids & programs; our gifted program is all enrichment, which is fantastic, but leaves much to ask for the remainder of the school week and it seems that the challenges regarding testing and placement and classroom solutions are common. I really enjoy AJs clubhouse as well, and have found some of your links there quite interesting & useful. Thanks for sharing!

  8. January 15, 2011 9:54 am

    Thanks for delurking, everyone! It’s nice to meet you all officially.

  9. January 16, 2011 1:43 pm

    Your Calvin dream made me guffaw.

  10. January 16, 2011 1:51 pm

    Oops. And you’re right Hugh. I can’t spell.

  11. January 16, 2011 1:52 pm

    In my defense, I’ve been quizzing AJ on his state capitals this week for an upcoming test.

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