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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where Are They Now?

I mean my fellow graduate students in philosophy, comrades from Gregory Hall. Back in touch with a few of them, I posed the question, "What are you reading these days?" Here so far are answers I've received:

L: "I've landed in a book club of physicians and psychologists reading Foucault, which is a hoot. History of Madness, of course. The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver is next on regular (fiction) book club list....”

L2: "I've been reading Hannah Arendt's Rahel Varnhagen in an attempt to polish as essay to send out. I plan to reread the 2nd and 3rd volumes of Foucault's History of Sexuality for a couple of conference papers. Oh, and the Sookie Stackhouse vampire novels. Hee hee."

D: "I loved The Lacuna. FWIW, I'm reading the latest one by Alan Bradley, who wrote The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a mystery of sorts whose main character is a 11 year-old girl chemist."

B: “Reading? What's that? The small ones have effectively curtailed my recreational reading - professionally, I just finished reading a collection of one dead guy's writings on the doctrine of Scripture, and am looking over another dead guy's essays on the Reformation, and am trying to get caught up reading past issues of our seminaries' journals.....”

P: "Internet protocol standards documents. It's all I read anymore. I do have a copy of Wittgenstein's Poker sitting on my table, and a James Thurber collection, but the bindings are barely cracked."

S: “I've been reading Mark Twain's irreverent essays and stories, Bart Ehrman's books on Christian origins, and various works of poetry. I'm also reading a book on the history of Afghanistan, and Christopher Hitchens' edited collection of atheist writings.”

It's obvious who is the IT person and who is the minister, but would you hazard a guess on the professions of the others?

One thing you wouldn’t guess from the horror story I shared recently is all the wonderful times we had in graduate school, along with the drudgery and misery. Together on the prairie we wrestled with questions profound and trivial over pizza and beer. "Bob Dylan's Dream" said it best:
I wish, I wish, I wish in vain

That we could sit simply in that room again

Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat

I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that

It would be a dream to be together again! Only--instead of "that room," I'd have, if I could, my philosophy friends gathered here at my old farmhouse, where we would drink wine out by the meadow and once again argue over interpretations of the song "City of New Orleans" (as many interpretations as philosophers in the conversation) as the moon rose over the woods.


Gerry said...

I thought of playing "What's My Line?" but the vampires defeated me straight off. ;)

I suppose everyone reads in fits and starts. There are a lot of demands on our consciousness. It comforts me to see The Lacuna and Mark Twain's essays on the lists. Maybe I'm not a complete . . . what's the word I want? Oh dear, there goes another one.

P. J. Grath said...

You're a complete--WHAT? I don't know where you were going with that one, but I'm sure you not, whatever it was.

Gerry said...

Let's go with chucklehead. Chucklehead works for me, and it has the advantage of being a word I can remember just now.

P. J. Grath said...

That settles it. The answer is definitely "Of course you're not".

Lynette Reid said...

That's so sweet Pamela! Only according to my map it has to be Dave's porch--most centrally located NS-ME-NY-MI-IL....

P. J. Grath said...

I'll bet Dave's porch has a lovely view, too. Well, as long as I'm dreaming, how about an annual pilgrimage, every year a different spot? I'd love to visit Nova Scotia someday!

Steve said...

When you plan that Gregory Hall philosophers' reunion, count me in!

Anonymous said...

While it will be spell yet before our ankle-biters allow us a pilgrimage, I will one day like to be able to join you all and say "I was one of them..." brief, and inappropriate as my sojourn finally was... ::grin::
Cheers! Barry (the minister)

Dawn said...

Lovely thought. I have a group of 6 college friends. We have all kept in touch and seen each other periodically over the years. Sadly the times we are all in the same place at the same time was for two our our groups funerals. Makes you think.

P. J. Grath said...

Steve and Barry, so far the "plan" is only a dream of mine. Wouldn't it be great, though, if we could pull it off someday? Just thinking of seeing you again--just thinking of you!--makes me smile happily.

Dawn, it's hard to get a group together in the same place. That is sad. On the other hand, keeping in touch isn't easy, and when we can do it, isn't that something to celebrate? Pollyanna tells me so. :)

Dawn said...

Agree...when my parents died two of them, the two that live the closest got in their cars and came. Just like that. And the one in California called every single night and listened to me sob incoherently. Can't beat good friends.