Posts Tagged teaching

Week in . . . Aw, let’s just catch up, shall we?

10 April 2012

Well, that didn’t last very long, did it? In my defense, this last week might have been the first in several without a sick child in the house. If you’ve never had small children, their colds are likely demonically inspired. However, as sleep is for the weak, we shall carry on.

The Chaos, my oldest daughter, was off from school last week, which means I got almost nothing accomplished. My Librarian will be out of town tomorrow and the day after, which means pretty much the same thing, though I might get a few paragraphs scrawled in Living Theurgy during the two hours the Chaos is at “half-day” pK4. I do not know in what world two and a half hours is half a day, but there it is.

I am on what may be the last chapter of the first main section of Living Theurgy, the Human Soul. I say may be because I’m not sure of the placement of one chapter yet. The chapter in question is on the curriculum of Iamblichus’ school of Neoplatonism, and possibly a general sort of curriculum for Neoplatonism, and whether it should go in the introductory section, along with the introduction and history chapters, or if it should go in the philosophy section. Either way, it is the next chapter to be written.

In various other parts of my life, I currently have four books sitting on my desk (well, okay, on my bookshelves) for review. Two of them will be reviewed for then ext issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition and two are through LibraryThing. I promise to find time to read these. Honest. Also, we are now in the last week for submitting an abstract for the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition Conference. If you, or anyone you know, has any interest in presenting at this conference, please get your abstracts in no later than April 15th.

Tomorrow is the fifth class of the seven week course I’m teaching at Viterbo University. It is a small class, which is something I’m not quite used to, but it has been a good one with a good group of students. I am finding that I rather enjoy teaching an ethics class, though I am not certain how much my students enjoy me presenting far more questions than answers. Or that I keep saying it’s not really about what is quantitatively right and wrong but what leads the enquirer to a better life. However, as I typically teach religious studies rather than philosophy, this is more or less par for the course for me. That being said, in three weeks I’ll have over a dozen 8-10 page research papers and just as many 6-9 page final exams to read. As I’m the one making the assignments, I suppose I shouldn’t complain about that.

Oh, I also got to go gaming with friends with only one child. Which was cool. More gaming in a few weekends, this time with no children (thanks, Mom!) and with my Librarian, as a sort of early anniversary gift to ourselves. It’s the little things, you know?

So, how have you been?

Week in Review 3/18/12

27 March 2012

Last week saw a marked improvement in my back. It took all week for that to happen, but it did happen. I’d say I’m at around 85% in those regards. Writing-wise, I finished a draft of the chapter on the gods in Living Theurgy and got some good headway into the chapter on the rest of the superior beings (archangels on down to purified souls). Unfortunately, last week also saw the return of the crabby snotmonster that is my 15 month old with a cold while teething, which pretty much put a halt to any writing from Thursday on.

My second week of classes went well, and so far no one has dropped the class. Give that it is now week three, and I’m used to 15, not seven, week classes, its hard to believe we’re already almost half done. Which means I need to write a final to hand out for next week. Take home essays for the win? Well, the students liked the idea anyway. Then again, they haven’t seen the test yet.

How was your week?

Weeks in Review – 3/4/12 and 3/12/12

19 March 2012

You may have noticed a lacking of a Week in Review last week. At approximately this time last week, I was lying on the ground outside of my garage in something I can only describe as “excruciating pain.” In my desire to shrug off doing something productive for going for a walk, I did, well, something to my back. A trip few hours stay in urgent care, and a prescription for hydrocordone later, saw me at home “walking” with a cane. That’s pretty much what I did last week, excepting for beginning to teach a class on Ethics from the New Testament Gospels at Viterbo University. That, the mind numbing pain thing, not the Viterbo thing, is why I did write about the week before last week.

The week before last I did get some, though not a lot, of writing done. I am currently finished with drafts of the first five chapters of Living Theurgy and am working on the last section of the sixth chapter. I foresee two more chapters before finishing the first of the three sections of the book. The chapters of the first section are, tentatively, as follows:

Introduction
History

Section I: Theologia
First Principles
The Spiritual and Natural Realms
The Demiurgos
The Greater Kinds: The Gods and Theology
The Greater Kinds: From Archangels to Heroes
The Human Soul and its Vehicle(s)

How were your week(s)?

The Week in Review – 2/26/12

5 March 2012

Let’s see, what did I do last week? Mostly, I prepped for class. That’s not particularly exciting. It basically means I read two books on philosophy and took notes. I think I have about 50 pages of typed notes. I have to keep my students occupied for seven weeks, after all.

I also finished the Demiurge chapter of Living Theurgy. At almost 6k words, it’s the longest so far. That’s actually pretty exciting, though, because it means the Theologia section of the book is about 3/5s finished. The book is also at over 20k words and the next chapter is almost at 6k words, too. That may mean a very thick book indeed, at least if the Philosophia and Theourgia sections follow suit.

I’ve edited everything I have for the next issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. We should be set for the equinox, though I still need to write (or con . . . vince someone to write) the editorial and come up with cover art.

Finally, besides a handful of migraines, which suck if you’ve never had one, I managed to throw my back out Saturday night.

Did you do anything interesting last week?

The Week in Review – 2/19/12

28 February 2012

Tuesday is better than Wednesday for a week in review, right? Anywho, last week was taken up by more prep-work for the class I begin teaching in two and a half weeks. I talked with my department chair. Which was good. I have a lot more leeway in how to set up the class than I had thought. So I’ve re-written bits of the syllabus and course units and will re-write all the quizzes. I also dropped a book that drove me crazy by combining history, myth, allegory, and speculation and then claiming “all of this really happened.” I also took some 40 pages of notes from the two books assigned for class reading.

Beyond the realm of pure academia, I started, and finished, a little painting project: two engolpions of the Neoplatonic noeric Demiurgos, variously identified with Helios, Christ, IAO, YHVH, etc., etc., etc., for a nascent, ecumenical, Neoplatonic ekklesia. The whole painting process can be found here.

I am hoping to have all my note taking done this week so I can go back to writing Living Theurgy. As always, you can follow the bouncing ball of my writing projects at my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreySKupperman. I am also considering starting a FB page for my painting. What do you think? Some of that is for sale, such as the Christian Rosenkreutz icon, and I also take commissions. While my style is generally that of an Orthodox writer, I do not limit myself to Christian figures. I am as happy to do an Odin or Thoth icon as I am to do one of Dionysius the Areopagite.

Anyway, how was your week?

The Week in Review – 2-12-12

22 February 2012

Yes, I know, it’s Wednesday. So let’s just hael Woden and move forward, okay?

Last week was supposed to be a writing week. I think I got about 2,000 words down in Living Theurgy. Maybe. The Demiurge chapter is seeing a lot of citations, which is always time consuming. It is turning out to be an interesting, and probably so far the longest, chapter in the book, though I expect the next chapter on the gods, reconciling poly- and monotheism in Iamblichus, and the greater beings (all those spiritual beings above the human soul) to be as long if not longer. A few more chapters and the theologia section will be done, then onto philosophia. There is a whole lot written about Iamblichus’ theology, but not so much about his out and out philosophy, so it should be an interesting section. Then, of course, comes the theourgia section.

Mostly, though, I spent the week emailing my department head about the class I’m teaching next month. That took more time, and a lot of mental energy. Which is probably more of an excuse than anything else, but such is life. I spent about 45 minutes talking with him in person today, but that will have to wait until next week’s check in.

How was your week?