Monday, December 22, 2008

A few updates

School has ended so I am enjoying my first leisure day of the December break. Since there are no leisure weekends when you have young kids as I do, a leisure day, which comes once in every three months or so is most welcome. Tomorrow I will be back to the grind battling some challenge that has reared its ugly fret though its all good...I am very grateful to be in the overall life situation that I am.

I have been tutoring externally a bit this semester mainly in Mathematics and Physics but also in Chemistry. While the added income is most welcome what I have found most useful about these sessions is that it allows me to keep sharp in material that I am not teaching per se in my regular class. As a teacher who loves the subject matter of these disciplines this is vital to me. I am always on a quest to expand my knowledge base while consolidating the fundamentals at the same time. In a sense I am old fashioned in that I believe students are best served by teachers who show high levels of competency in their subject matter. Just as I like to challenge my students intellectually I welcome the reciprocal...My regret at the moment is that in my current teaching position I have received too little of the latter. Although I suspect that the potential for such outcomes may emerge soon.....

At one time I swore I would never join Facebook but like so many others I have been drawn into this universe of friends and updates. Nobody is to blame, the ultimate choice was mine, and the decision to set up shop has been fruitful. I have made numerous connections with forgotten names and contact from a wonderful childhood in South Africa....a walk down the hall of nostalgia that has served as a worthwhile distraction during these snowy months.

Liverpool are leading the English Premier League (as of this time of writing) but the key word that I forgot here is barely. The Reds are drawing too many games to make life easy for themselves and my fear, like so many fans of the game's-greatest-team (no bias there), is that this will haunt them in the future. I don't have a good feeling as the season carries on. For some reason as well I have been less enthused by the league race this year. Maybe its a realization of the futility of it all...perhaps its a reaction to Man U's successes in 2007/2008 I don't know. It could also be the onset of my maturity (it took me forty years but better late than never) and the fact that my mind has been more focused on issues of philosophy and spirituality.

My personal philosophical concerns have centered on several issues:
  • an analysis of what is meant by the political right and left (the grand ideologies of rightism and leftism) and a study of how these terms have evolved over time from their original manifestations;
  • a composite theory of knowledge that links together both scientific and extra-scientific knowledge (if the latter is indeed relevant) and
  • a meaningful reformulation of the purpose of life within my own framework of theistic and rational inquiry.

Not easy topics but certainly ones that reach out to me to wrestle with.....

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