Reprieve Amidst Insanity

30 Sep

So, I forgot how ridiculous school is!  Last week I wrote a paper and this week has been non-stop, well wait, ever since school has started there hasn’t really been a free period of time where I’ve thought, “I have no work hanging over my head.”  Don’t get me wrong, school is awesome and I’m loving it, but it’s a little crazy.

Today I took a written exam for my Aristotle’s politics class and realized how much I’ve learned about that work in the past couple of weeks.  That knowledge, coupled with the fact that Dr. Maurer didn’t give us a greek quiz on Friday, has given me both, on a beautiful day, the feeling of accomplishment combined with the possibility for a little rest.  I even did laundry!  And it wasn’t like that, oh shit I’m completely out of clothes, laundry.  More like, hey I’ve got time, why don’t I avoid falling into that oh shit I’m out of laundry trap?  I’ve already made next week better.

After class Ian, Matt and I spent time talking about classes and thinking about next semester, which holds some pretty promising classes.  After Ian is finished with his class were going to get some translating done for tomorrow, by then people will be in social mode so I’ll go out for awhile.

Oh, I should certainly tell you about Dr. Maurer.  He’s incredible, a little ridiculous, and certainly crazy but in the best of ways.  To begin, he’s quite old, probably about 6’2″, and very skinny.  Every class he saunters in wearing a brown suit but he is always in the most dishevelled of states.  He’s one of those scarecrows whose pants will never fit such a thin waist and therefore must hold them up by cinching up his belt as tightly as possibly.  His collar, always ruffled, helps show off gaunt cheeks and sunken eyes.  I don’t think his impeccable tied tie is ever pulled all the way up.  All of this helps the air of disdain, which he feels for anyone taking his class, “unwilling to learn greek.” (by which he means, slave like dogs to keep up)  He looks down his nose, through those black, thick rimmed spectacles and makes you wonder if you’re his next victim.  But goodness the man is passionate, he even professes a hatred of philosophy to protect his beloved poetry.  We translated Solon’s fragment 1  and he told us at the end, “many people go through life having no idea what they love.  This Solon, I know, is beautiful.  Here we cannot make sense of the why; here is a man before philosophy and before revealed religion who struggles with the injustice of the world and is unwilling, that is certain, to let go of Zeus’ justice.  He has no philosophic tricks or religious mysteries, he must face the injustice of the world and understand how Zeus remains just in spite of it all.   But he doesn’t despair and that is beautiful.”  While this sentiment would normally disturb me and would resonate with the “spiritual, not religious” crowd, that would be their own mistake in thinking him kin.  This man is too much, there is too much in him, to associate him with those fools.  Furthermore, his disdain and love of truth sets him apart and above.  One beautiful thing I heard him say was, “If any of you are interested in the word truth I have done an etymology that I’ll send to you.  It turns out, rightfully so, that truth is not like a butterfly but like an Oak. Massive, deep and unmoving.”  And that’s why I’m here, no?  That big oak has drawn me to itself and is generally something terrible that hangs over my mind and drives me to despair, that is, the truth of myself!  But today I get to rest in the shade; if only for awhile.

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