My new Masters program is two weeks old and I have totally bonded with it already. I get teary just thinking about watching it grow up into a toddler, go through the occasional awkward stage and finally graduate in 9 months time. I’m so happy about it that I don’t even mind putting my name to such horribly mish-mashed metaphors.
My first class last Tuesday was about creative thinking. I had expected something a bit light and business-student-esque so was bowled over with my own excitement when it turned out to be an exploration of Nietzsche’s thoughts on ideas and our relationship to them.
I’ve touched on bits of philosophy in my previous studies, and I’ve spent more time than I wish to recall reading pages and pages of text and understanding none of it, but this was my first experience with philosophy as tool for self-reflection – conveniently taught by a man who fits the stereotype of the Oxford scholar so well that you can’t even wonder if it’s a put on. His title is philosopher in residence. What’s not to love?
Oh my god, I loved it so much. As can be attested to by Ro and Nicole who copped my enthusiasm when I got home (and the next day and the day after that and the day after that etc).
And it wasn’t just a fluke. In week two we had another excellent class, this time exploring the relationship between ideas – the whole thing made me think of the post hoc ergo propter hoc episode of The West Wing so how could it be bad?
I’ve often wondered why I’ve had an unusually high ratio of friends who were philosophy majors and how they all slightly irritated me. Why would I be friends with people who slightly irritated me? I suspect it was because I was attracted to philosophy but didn’t want to get lost in philosophical quicksand and never see the light of day or a career that pays well again.
So my former love-hate relationship with philosophy is now a purely love-love relationship. Not because I understand anything much, but because I’ve had more revelatory moments (Ah! yes! I thought that but I couldn’t articulate it! or Really? I can think about things in that way and it’s legitimate? The possibilities are endless!) moments in the last two weeks than in the past year. I suspect that now that I can relate it to a firmly practical career path also helps to ease my uptight soul.