Most of the courses being offered this term are in a seminar format, which means both smaller class sizes and higher expectations for enrolled students. A difficult choice looms: I have room in my schedule for two seminars, but there are three relevant options:
- An intensive course on disgust. Fascinating and exciting material, taught by an intimidating (but wryly funny) professor who has leveled some very serious demands regarding course attendance and preparedness. I expect it'll be engaging and a lot of fun. The only question I have, the one preventing me from locking it in to my schedule, is: how relevant would this be for my thesis?
- The Husserl Archives Seminar. This would probably be the most directly useful for my research, but it will also probably be the most dry and boring of the three. Might just have to bite the bullet and take it anyway, my apprehensions about reading large quantities of Husserl notwithstanding.
- Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. This class will meet for extended sessions once a month until the summer, and promises to dig deeply into the later work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. He's the original reason for my philosophical interest in language; I would love to deepen my acquaintance with him, but given his location in the canon (he has primarily been appreciated and appropriated within the analytic tradition in philosophy), this seminar would probably diverge the most widely from my current philosophical interests and research.
As you can see, concern for the thesis provides this semester's dominant theme. Hopefully my research panic doesn't edge out my commitment to classes for this term; it will probably be important to come up with both a sense of boundaries and a regular work schedule in order to avoid dropping any of the various balls I'm going to try to juggle.
Bonus round: here's a picture of me and roommate Dan at the Eiffel Tower just over two weeks ago:
"Look, my cowlick is gone!"
Write us letters and emails; we are hardy boys but it is going to be a tough fight, and our souls are sensitive to the rain and the slush and the existentialism that apparently soak this town during the winter months.