Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Second Quarter


HOLY COW. (Get it? Holy cow...?) This quarter started out CRAZY. I am taking a class on Asceticism right now. (Asceticism is basically the religious practice of reducing your consumption of worldly comforts. Examples would be fasting, long periods of meditation, monastic silence, etc...) It's pretty intense. I'm reading about three books a week for the class, but I've enjoyed the readings so much that it's really been an enjoyable experience. Basically the readings are what are known as Hagiographies. That's a big word that means a book about the life of a Saint. The first was Athanasius' book on St. Antony. The book is filled with demon fights, out of body experiences, healings, and raising people from the dead. After that, we read "Sayings of the Desert Fathers", and "Lives of the Desert Fathers", both of which are about the monks who followed St. Antony out into the Egyptian desert. Basically, if you thought Antony was cool, these guys are awesome. There are just as many demon fights, but you also get crocodiles who eat themselves, black smiths who see demons, monks who can pull loaves of bread out of thin air, and lots of flying. Then, we read the life of St. Francis of Assisi by Boethius. Not as many demon fights, but St. Francis talks to animals, there's some more flying, trips to holy mountains, healings, raising people from the dead, and a handful of pope rebukes. We also read a book by Carolina Bynum called "Holy Feast Holy Fast" that was pretty interesting, though was a somewhat one dimensional examination of women during this time. But you still get cool stories about women eating scabs and getting puss stuck in their throats because in order to alleviate the suffering of others, they would eat it. That was the reading for the first two weeks, so I think you can tell it's keeping me busy.

I'm also taking Hebrew again, and I'm starting to feel more comfortable with it. We still haven't gone any further than the Qal forms (for those of you who know anything about Hebrew) but it's still interesting.

I'm also taking New Testament with Margaret Mitchell. In case you're wondering just how cool that is, her name is on the back of my Bible. That means that someone edited a study Bible, and then asked her what she thought about it. So yeah, she knows her stuff, and as an added bonus, she loves the material. She is so excited to talk about the New Testament every week, I'm really blessed to be in the class. So far the topics we've discussed are fascinating to me. We've basically been asking questions about Paul this far. It's an interesting examination, I'm glad to start the Intro to the New Testament by looking at Paul instead of Jesus, not that I'm opposed to looking at Jesus first, its just that this is my second intro to the New Testament class, so I'm glad to mix it up a bit.

Until yesterday, I was also taking a class on German, but the class was structured to go through all the German grammar in six weeks. And the lectures weren't lectures, basically we would get together and go through worksheets for three hours. So, I'm going through the book with some other people who dropped the class, and I'm not taking it any more. That means that I'm only in three classes now, and I'm glad for that.

I don't really have time to write much more, and since I'm pretty much only doing school and nothing but school, that's really all I have to talk about. I have so many thoughts in my head about my school right now that I don't really even know where to start. So, I'll just leave it at that.

Finally, in an attempt to keep people reading my blog, I'll post some pictures of Norah.

What can I say? It was -20 last week.

Who loves bubbles? I DO!

This is Norah's fishy face. If you're really lucky, she does this and it means she wants a kiss.

This will be Norah's Album cover as soon as she learns some words, and starts playing music that our neighbors won't hate us for playing. (Right now, all she does is slam huge metal bowls on the floor, and I'm pretty sure the people who live beneath us hate our guts.)


And finally, this is one of my favorite pictures to date... just because she looks so sweet! This is the Norah we all know and love. Man, she's awesome.

4 comments:

Carrie Babcock said...

My brian hurts just reading about what you have been learning the past few weeks. Sounds like a lot of information in a short period of time. Ah German...Takes me back to when you would fight with Erin in German/Spanish! Can't wait to see you guys in a few weeks.

Tim & Deane said...

We are so happy for you. You are exactly where the Lord intends, and you have all our support and love.

Give that Norah a big kiss from her Grandma.

Deane said...

That holy cow has a really big booger coming out of its nose.

Norah looks ADORABLE in bubbles! And everything else. Give her a huge smooch from her Grandma.

Jenny and Matt said...

Holy cow, that sudsy fish face is the cutest thing I've seen today (and there's been a lot of competition, believe me). Sounds like school is nuts and perfect for you!