Haven't updated in a while -- it's been a busy week.
Last weekend, James, Meredith, & I went hiking in the Open Space area -- mainly in Monte Bello. Beautiful sunny day, and it was lovely to be outdoors enjoying it. And no mosquitoes! On Sunday we went to the farmer's market, and I bought a bouquet of greenery for my new vase... the bouquet is currently hanging upside down to dry (I wanted something fairly permanent). Desperate Housewives was excellent, and we're expecting an even better episode this Sunday, as it seems everyone who shouldn't be sleeping together, is... Classes are interesting, I was reading Marx this week, and last night I treated myself to an evening of Middlemarch. I'm currently about halfway through, and thoroughly loving it.
I'm finding that this quarter is much more about independent reading and thinking. Perhaps after an entire summer of fairly solitary work, I'm just more invested in finding what I want to get out of my classes, reading group, etc. Or maybe it's because this is the first quarter that I'm actually doing "just for me" reading on the side. Or maybe it has something to do with developing my PWR course. Not sure, but I hope it lasts.
This week I had a presentation in my seminar on the 18th century essay form... I was looking at contexts for the debate around animal cruelty. Some Bentham (what's important in making moral decisions about another creature isn't "Can it reason?" but "Can it feel?"), some children's lit., some Hogarth prints (The 4 Stages of Cruelty), etc...
So to conclude this update on what I've been doing this week, I'm going to quote from Marx's "On the Jewish Question." Because in the margins on one page I wrote, and I quote: "Wow. Repubs & Evangelicals" and "YES!! faith-based office." Marx is discussing the problem of the imperfect state claiming religion as its basis. This is one snippet of what I felt was incredibly pertinent to U.S. politics right now, especially in the wake of David Kuo's book Tempting Faith:
"The so-called Christian state, on the other hand, has a political attitude towards religion, and a religious attitude towards politics. It reduces political institutions and religion equally to mere appearances."