Archive for the ‘LMU’ Category

>Abandon sageliness and discard knowledge, and the people will benefit a hundredfold.
Abandon humanity and discard righteousness, and the people will return to filial piety and care.
Abandon skill and discard profit, and there will be no thieves or robbers.

These three sayings:
They are are not yet sufficient for forming a pattern,
thus they shall be connected with something.

Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness, have less desires,
abandon learning, have no worries.

The Dao De Jeng Chapter 19

(Special thanks to Dr. Wong.)


>I am about to finish college 2.0, and I am remarkably unstressed. That is, I am unstressed at the moment I am writing this. I could be losing my mind tomorrow. But for now, I’m good.

I am, bluntly put, resigned about academia for the time being. I am not expecting any of my papers to be stellar, propel-you-into-PhD, or present-at-conference quality. The learning curve for my Kierkegaard class and my Aristotle class is simply to high for me to accomplish that. My paper for the Pascal class -which I really hoped to do well in- is going to suffer as a consequence. Yes: all my papers will be of “promising start” quality. They will not be superb quality. They will, however, be finished.

For the remaining weeks I plan to dedicate a certain amount of time each day to my writing of these papers. I find that simply petting my iPod timer to something like ninety minutes at a time, ignoring everything else, and just writing takes away a tremendous amount of stress. I will be getting two to three hours of work done each day. That should give me enough time to get the papers done.

After those are done, I simply have to defend a paper in front of three professors. It will be the paper I wrote for my Aquinas class. You know, that preamble to Open Theism I wrote a year ago. I expect that to go evenly. It will be intimidating for sure, but I do not expect a fail.

In the meantime, I am applying for jobs around Los Angeles, renewing my passport, getting materials ready for my applications to Korea, and looking foreward -with great excitement- to my trip to Portland.

>De Res Futuras

Posted: 01/02/2010 in life, LMU

>De res futuras mei scribere dercervi. In kalendis pacuis, iter per Academiam philosophiae perfecta erit. Entonces, illa mons -quae intras me atque alia destinanta mei stat- arrosa erit. Viam scolasticorum nollo premere. Enim, illi scolastici, qui cum me legent et relegent, deliciam premerentis ad illud habeant. Ego in re publica vera malo vivere.

In fact, one of the reasons why I want to get out of school so much -and why I emphatically decided not to stay another semester is the idea of funds and career. It seems like applying for a PhD philosophy program is a kind of cognitive dissonance and self deception that only really smart people are capable of. We all know that very, very, few people are getting accepted. We all know that the job market is a scarce, viciously competitive, zero-sum game. We all know that there are plenty of people who get their PhDs and then do nothing that has to do with the subjects and that they could’ve gotten with their BAs and less debt and more fun. I don’t want to be in school anymore. I look foreward to teaching someday, but right now, the only research I care about is more like the arts and outright sophistry than philosophy.

Plato would kick me out of his academy. How could I ever hope to get into a PhD philosophy program? I can imagine writing that on admission essays, “Plato wouldn’t want me. Can you give me funding to study at your lovely school?”

So what do I care about right now?

Over the summer, I look foreward to preparing for NaNoWriMo. Over the summer, I hope to purchase a few books on creative writing at the recommendation of an old instructor. Though it apparently follows some silly new-age stuff, I need to get a copy of Writing Down the Bones and read through it. Hopefully then, I will have some ideas of how to get into my characters heads better.

It is like method acting.

I also realize, that in order successfully complete a novel for NanNoWriMo, I need to spend some time planning ahead and finding ways to stay motivated. This probably means finding ways to spend time with other future NaNoWriMo people. That can be approached another time. I know that there are other people who are thinking the same kinds of things right now anyway.

Of course, I need to put together the actual outline for NaNoWriMo novel. I have to think of the subject matter. The most obvious is to work with the characters from my webcomic. I am thinking about their mutual lives a few years outside of graduation. Or, the novel could be a long brainstorming session of a complete re-imagining of the whole comic. I was even thinking about telling how Ian and Andy meet.

Ahh well. That’s what’s on my mind right now. Leaving LMU and pursuing other interests.

Thanks for reading.

>In hindsight, I think I had a pretty rockin’ labor day weekend.

Friday night was the meet ‘n greet night for the new graduate students. There’s nothing like drinking with your fellow students and your professors. It think this is by far one of the most interesting things about being a graduate student. I do this far more often in grad than I did in undergrad.

I met a few of the new students and re-connected with the other second years like myself. I especially liked meeting Valerie’s boyfriend whose name I can’t remember. He recommended to me some obscure BBC sci-fi series: truly, we are kindred spirits.

Saturday, I actually had nice productive day. I worked on comics, artwork, reading and re-reading. I sadly did not have the money to go bar-hopping with Valerie et al. I am, after all, trying to save cash. I am getting sick of going to places that try to separate me from my money anyway. Saturday evening I had the chance to meet with my roommate’s parents and watch “Tropic Thunder” instead. That movie is awesome.

Sunday, I took one of the new students, Jenn, to Mosaic West LA. It is was an “experience.” We later ate some chiptole and talked about our mutual, and fairly similar, experiences with evangelicalism. It seems that we both went to evangelical Christian colleges and found out that we weren’t evangelicals by the time we left. (This is the price of being philosophers). I struggled to explain my reluctantly Keirkegaardian reasons for being involved at mosaic. I listened to her talk about her gripes about hell and sex. It was good meal.

Monday, labor day, I again worked on my comic all afternoon. About 2:00, Adam came over. We prepped meals for the night by shopping. We watched “Hackers” and reminisced about the 90s. Later, Josiah came over and brought some filler for the Vodka I had. I made some Vodka Collins’ and White Russians with Soy milk from the fridge. Our conversations ranged from politics to religion to relationships in the most amicable and honest manner. It was an evening well spent.

What is the moral of the story? Well honestly, I think it might be this: I don’t need to go out and drink anymore. Having been formally trained and practiced as a bartender, I can actually mix whatever I want. When I see the price of liquor, even good stuff, I realize that the mark-up to order a drink at a bar is obscenely high. Furthermore, I realize that the bar atmosphere is not actually conducive to what I want in a evening, which is good conversation maybe followed with some music if there is more than one musician around. I think from now on, I will arrange parties and shindigs in which I buy some Vodka, Rum, etc and ask others to bring the soda and the filler if we want to drink.

Seems a lot more fun that way.

>The Passive Agressive Blog

Posted: 06/05/2009 in LMU, rants

Once upon a time there were four graduate students who lived together. Three were wise but one was not. Now, I am not saying any names but you might know someone like one of these graduate students. Of course, this blog is just a bunch of silly fun. Totally! I love silly fun at 1:00am on finals week.

Anyway, the wise graduate students came to school to study. They wished to expand on the wisdom they gained throughout undergraduate. They were hard-working, although perhaps overachieving, students. Though the wise students certainly had their faults, they were all respectful to each other. They also understood the priorities that were important at this stage in their life.

One of the grad students was not wise. He behaved foolishly and sought the company of other fools. Now, he’s really not that bad of guy, but wow; did the foolish student ever know how to be inconsiderate. He came to grad school because he wanted to keep living life like it was a van wilder movie.

But I remind the reader that this is just something I am making up nothing I am typing here is based on reality.

The wise students were putting themselves through the academic rigor. For they wished to advance their lives and continue to grow in adulthood. One of the wise students had a major test the next morning. The two other had recently turned in one of the most intimidating papers of their academic career. It was the middle of their last week together, and they knew they needed to sleep.

But lo, the fools came into the apartment. It was after all, Cinco De Mayo. Not that any of these fools -who I am totally making up- where Mexican or that Cinco De Mayo is a holiday that means anything, and the fools began drinking. They had deep conversations about who knew more about trivial matters. Then they drink some more. After they drank, they started talking about the last time they were drinking.

One of the wise students texted the third wise roommate, warning him not to return to the apartment. This same wise student politely told the fools that he would like it if they were quiet, for he and the other wise students had politely endured many late night parties. Now it was the end of the year, and would really like to sleep. Yet an annoying sack-of-garbage foolish girl mocked him in her drunkeness. She declared him too old. Yet it must be known that she looks older than the wise student, who maintains his health by not drinking himself stupid every fucking night.

Alas, the wise student did not even know her name or what the fuck her businesses was in this apartment, in which she didn’t really belong in. A second of the wise student was busy cleaning dishes and packing up the kitchen. Yet none of fools took the subtle hint that maybe this wasn’t the best place to party. The two wise students realized that many of these fools were undergraduates. Yet even other undergraduates they knew were wiser than these.

Or at least that is what might’ve happened if I wasn’t making this story up. I mean, nothing like this could ever happen.

The two wise students eventually left the apartment for a short time. For they needed to console eachother with wisdom and banana milkshakes. The wise students consoled eachother with the knowledge that they would live in different apartments next year. They further spoke of how they wanted to think the best of the foolish roommate, but were finding it increasingly hard to do so. One wise student said to the other “this will all be in my webcomic” but of course he did not mean the Uberbean, as I am totally making all this up.

This student texted many friends. He also carefully caressed and polished his set of Cutco knives and noted that the handles are specifically designed not to absorb blood.

>LMU Year 1, wrapping up.

Posted: 21/04/2009 in LMU

>My first year at LMU is wrapping nicely. I am working on my two papers for this semester. I have completed most of the mental work that goes into them, and now just have to diligently write each day. Both papers present challenges, but I am glad that I only have two classes this semester. In one paper, I contend that the animal liberationists do not give good enough reason to give up on animal testing for medicine. In another, I must show that one of the greatest philosopher/theologians in history was wrong about something. I can’t tell you how much I love that challenge.

By the first week of next month, I will be exactly halfway done with my graduate program. I will have completed five classes, and will have five to go. If I complete the class on Augustine this coming summer, I will be ready to have two more “easy” semesters of two classes each instead of three in the first, two in the second. That is a very good thing to look forward to. Though I constantly question the utility of my graduate degree, it is good to know that “the end” is within my grasp.

My summer has a few plans, but one thing is up in the air. As many of you know, I have no idea where I will be living. In a way, this might be a good thing. It might give me an excuse to get out of California for a summer. I am not particularly happy living in Los Angeles. Just about anywhere else will be cheaper (even, God forbid, moving home again), and I do not have a job here that I couldn’t easily find somewhere else. Some place where I can get around easier, meet more granola people, and is perhaps cooler would be nice.

On the other hand I would like to stay in the general “area” for a couple of reasons. One, is that I am trying to get plugged into Mosiac West LA out here. Most of you know me are justifiably surprised by this. However, a significant amount of spiritual reflection, prayer, and conversations with my peers have made me confident that this is a good place for me to sojourn. Basically, I need to serve a church again in some capacity, and Mosaic is the best opportunity given my talents and training. Also, that Augustine class is something I don’t want to miss either. What happens if my next job is teaching at Christian/Catholic high school? Surely, knowing the background of a great Saint will be important.

Although I do not know exactly where I will be for the summer, I do know how I will decide it. Wherever I will be and whatever I will do this summer will be whatever is the most cost effective. Unfortunately, neither the Augustine class nor Mosiac is worth taking out loans to live. In fact, I really want to minimize “rent” expenses. Whatever happens, will be decided by what job I have in the next couple of weeks.

That’s the update on my life. Thanks for reading

>Loyola Marymount so Far
It should be known to all by now that I live in West Los Angeles and I attend Loyola Marymount University for graduate work.
I am still doing graduate school, despite all the second guessing I’ve had about the subject. I had to turn down two good job offers in order to take out more loans to get a degree that won’t pay for itself. I am also forgoing the opportunity to travel abroad, which is something I still wish to do. I am not in a position to save as much money as I would like to, which is very bad for the time being.
Still, I like LMU. I enjoy academic life enough that I can stick with it. I remember when I attended a class last year (before I decided to go through with it), I felt that I was “home.” I feel utterly comfortable and in the right place when I sit in classes here. Even when the reading gets boring, I enjoy the overall process. I still love studying Latin and brainstorming paper ideas.
I also like the other students I am around. Philosophy students know how to party. We had a party a few nights ago, and we sat around talking. I had two beers! Isn’t it crazy?! Seriously though, it’s great to be around people and talk about literature, the problem of evil, traveling to Germany, etc.
Of course, when Philosophy students do get boring, I have many of my film students. They play beer pong. I also performed a guitar piece for them. I even got to help out in one of the movies. It’s a great serious drama about a student who chases down the tooth-fairy for her money.
Yeah, so that’s Grad school so far. Now will the powers that be PLEASE post this so they know this is not a spam blog?