25 June 2010

Finishing up at Yale

Hello All!

After the absence of a few days (which is not bad, comparing my record before that ...) I return to bid you all farewell again :) Today the program at Yale concludes, and with it concludes any and all reasonable expectation of having internet access, which gives me (and should give you) reasonable doubt that I will blog again in the near future!

I am so very glad I came and participated in this program. Not only did I learn about what libertarians believe, I was under their teaching and that gave the weight of conviction to their arguments. It was good to have the position taken seriously and I learned a lot by having them present many facets of the libertarian argument.

Well - my dad just called. Off I go, for another 2 months of adventure before I go back to college!

22 June 2010

Of Pianos and Bells and Yale ...

Last evening I was sitting in the dining hall here at Yale and debating equality, free markets, and international relations with two of the staff when someone started playing classical piano in the background. I was thinking at the time that it was one of the 'perfect' moments in my life.

After I left the dining hall I was walking to lecture and walked under a bell tower just as a Big Ben copy chimed 7 pm. The tempo was considerably faster, and the sound not nearly as sonorous as the old guy himself. It was close enough that I sat down on on the curb and thought about London for awhile. To be more honest, I missed London for awhile. But then the bells right over me started playing something else (it sounded like a Bach fugue, but I didn't identify a particular piece) and that was quite interesting. I watched for awhile and took some pictures. Throughout the next session for the next half hour or so the bells played a variety of different things. I really like the bells here.

I guess that's it for now - off to breakfast, then lectures for the morning! :)

21 June 2010

Summer Update :)

A lot has been happening in my life recently. That's probably not a good way to start a post; it's practically cliche. If nothing had been happening in my life, I would hope (and I'm sure you do too) that I wouldn't be writing.

My job is still going well, and I really enjoy it. I like talking to people, and having so much interaction with others is a lot of fun for me. I have been somewhat less than well for a week or so of it, (there is no way I'm going to say I'm sick again!!!!!!) which makes all the talking rough, but I still really enjoy it.

At the moment, I'm at Yale University (yes, the one in Connecticut ... and yes, I'm excited!) for a week-long seminar on "Exploring Liberty". We have intensive lectures and discussions, although the seminar has no homework assignments and is not graded, in an attempt to keep this a pure intellectual experience. To date it has been very good (over the last 2 days) and I have learned a lot about not only the details of economics, history, law and philosophy (the basic categories of the lectures) but also looking at the big picture and how they all fit into the American political landscape. Yes, I know that is a big statement, and no, I am not a sudden genius who can solve the world's problems. I haven't gotten that far [yet? :)]. However, I am very glad for this opportunity. Of course, being on the Yale campus is incredible, and walking through the buildings and thinking about the history and who has been here before me is literally breathtaking. (Envision me standing in a hallway gasping for air because I haven't been breathing while thinking ...) This morning the director was giving out prizes for students who arrived for lecture at least 5 minutes early and had their binders and name tags. I happened to qualify in that category, and in the drawing I won a book. It is called "Restoring the Lost Constitution" by Randy Barnett, and I think it will be an interesting read.

One story, then I have to go - last night we had discussion group, and as an ice breaker (well, more like so the monitoring staff person could get to know us; we'd been together as a group for several hours of discussion at this point) she had us state our names and an intellectually stimulating book we had read recently. I was thinking about it as my turn was coming and came to the conclusion that the best answer was the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I got mixed responses, from "good choice" to bewildered, polite nods (others were listing manifestos, Reagan's Memoirs, etc) but I explained that it got me thinking about systems of government, especially the angle of justice in the system, and since it made me think I would list that as intellectual above something that sounds very good on a reading list that I read and got nothing out of. I guess that's just one more example of how my brain follows strange paths ... you probably didn't want to know that, but then again - it was probably rather obvious already. One of my favorite things is taking an argument, even one that I agree with, and seeing if I can get a different angle to prove a point - whether it be the same, or an opposite point. Perhaps that could be called 'arguing for the sake of debate'. I don't know how best to classify it. Perhaps it could equally well be called "the things that partially insane people do to amuse themselves to the terror of solid citizens". That is probably more like it ...

Okay, I ramble. Sometimes I wonder what I was even doing to get a blog in the first place. But then again, this is a free system and I am not coercing you to read the entire blog, an entire post, or even so much as one sentence of the entry! Therefore, my compassion for your plight is small, unless you have a compulsion to read everything that you see when you open a webpage, and in that case I feel truly sorry for you, give you my deepest apologies and regrets, and suggest that you wisely block my blog so you don't have to go through this again. Unless you enjoy it. Hmm. That's an interesting thought. But that's my philosophical/psychological side coming out, and you really don't want me to go there. Trust me. I love my life, but that doesn't mean you love to hear about it! :) I hope it sunny where you are - I am enjoying a beautiful day here. I starting singing as I walked down the street from the dining hall this afternoon. In some ways, it is like being back in London. I saw a bus today. It wasn't a double decker, but it was a bus ...

06 June 2010

Summer Time

Well, I think it is only fair to say that I am no longer in Paris ... hopefully no one was under any illusions about that! I have, in fact, been home for nearly a month now and have settled into the summer routine of beautiful weather, good food, my family, and of course my lovely animals.

My time in Europe - London specifically, because I was there the longest, but all of it really - affected me a lot. I am still sorting out just how much I have changed, but I know it is a lot because there were days last semester when I was walking down the street and could feel myself changing. I would realize that I was looking at a situation from a completely new perspective, and that whatever conclusion I came to would influence me for the rest of my life. I don't know all of what will come of this experience, but I can say with complete honesty that I did not go to London for an intensive semester of learning and living (and sometimes learning about living) and come back unchanged. That, of course, is the point precisely. Nice when things work out like that!

For now ... I have a job, there are sunsets on the hill, my little goats are growing up fast, I miss my friends at school but will see them in a few months, I miss London and that is somewhat trickier since I don't know when I'll go back there, and I am learning about life from home just as much as I did in London, although it is necessarily different since I am not in a college atmosphere but a family one! Sorry for the infrequency of the updates - I must say that I have never gone so long between posts before, and this was not a goal. The reason is rather simple - I do not have internet access at home, and the library I have been checking my email at every once in awhile blocks my blog as 'social networking'. Really. :)

Until I return - enjoy your summer, don't forget to take time to appreciate the little things in life that will not be the same next summer, and God bless!