A Wonderful Night

7 Aug

Yesterday two UD students became Doctors of Political Philosophy.  After their defenses they delivered short lectures on their theses, which I had the privilege of attending.  I only knew a handful of people at the event.  I was extremely impressed by both the two students finishing up and the company they attracted to their dissertation.  The two new Doctors were a young married couple and it seemed most everyone in attendance was married and about to finish up.

To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed and kept thinking that these people really have their lives together.  Will I ever have that confidence of having a thoughtful and pretty wife, an appointment to a university outside of Chicago and the admiration of so many professors and young stylish intelligentsia?  I was thinking all this while Andrea calmly and articulately delivered her lecture; I was sitting behind her husband Paul.  At the height of my being overwhelmed I noticed in the space between the cuff of Paul’s pant leg and the top of his shoe showed a sock with a hole in it.  I found this immensely comforting, “they’re people too.”

After they finished their lectures I hung around and talked with a couple of the professors I’ll have next year (such interesting men!) and met other students from UDallas, University of North Texas and UT Austin.  Everyone was going out to dinner and I was invited to come along, so I did.  The conversation was amazing and I was really enjoying myself.  Now, whenever someone brings up UNT one name is always the reason, Dr. Ruderman.  He was a Chicago graduate and has put out some good work over the years and made UNT’s political philosophy program a fairly popular destination.  So you can imagine my excitement when he came to dinner!  Unfortunately, he was too far away from me to talk to him at dinner.

After dinner we walked down the street to a bar called “The Old Monk” and that’s where we were to spend the remainder of the evening.  By this time I had finished two bourbon and ginger’s; I felt grand.  I found myself at a table with Dr. Ruderman and four other students and we eventually fell into talking about Locke and Rousseau.  The conversation was brilliant and exciting, very lively.  One of the girls was writing her dissertation on Rousseau so we came to focus on that and then on his relationship with Voltaire.  We came to focus on Voltaire because a fatty, who I decided I didn’t like, came in and talked endlessly about Voltaire.  At first I found it very interesting but interest turned to disgust as I realized how much of this guy’s thinking was about the person of Voltaire.  We weren’t wrangling about Voltaire’s ideas but about the person of Voltaire and long after anyone had stopped asking questions the fat man rambled on.  I left the table.  Austin’s wife, Laura did so as well and we got to talk about Nietzsche and Rousseau (she’s the one thinking about writing her dissertation on Rousseau) and then about Nietzsche and Paul.  She even knew about Mr. Grenke (she called him the large man with black hair who’s interested in Nietzsche and works at the Annapolis campus.)  Our conversation was wonderful because I was getting the chance to explain the harmony I saw between Nietzsche and Paul and she was asking very good questions that made me think new things.  Then the fat-man came over and started laughing at me because I liked Paul.  It was really shocking to both Laura and I and thankfully he walked away.  I learned that he wasn’t a UD graduate, but had graduated from somewhere else and was dating a UNT girl.  I’m happy to know I won’t share the same degree as him.  But by this time I was becoming self-conscious.  I had been talking to Austin’s wife for some time and didn’t want him thinking low of me so I drew other people into our conversation and felt much better.  And that’s really how the night went. I really enjoyed wearing nice clothes, drinking bourbon and talking with such wonderful people.

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5 Responses to “A Wonderful Night”

  1. CrystalSpins August 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    I recall something that my Philosophy of Western Religious Tprofesser mentioned in one of the lectures toward the end of the semester. He mentioned that toward the end of his life Martin Luther was again rethinking what should be a part of the Cannon — and everything by Paul was off the list.

    • CrystalSpins August 7, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

      “Philosophy of Western Religious Thought” — sorry for the typo…but, since I’m back, I think it’s hot that you were digging on the smart chick. A lot of smart men that I’ve run into don’t seem to value intelligence in women.

  2. Cole August 7, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Whoa, not diggin. She was married. They were all smart married chicks. There was one that wasn’t but I never got a chance to talk to her.

    • CrystalSpins August 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

      There’s nothing wrong with diggin a married chick — as long as you don’t make a move on her. That’s uncool. but thanks for the clarification. 😉

      • DBP August 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

        Cole’s too virtuous to even consider coveting another man’s wife.

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