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End of the First Week

The first week of Grad school 2 is over. I must say that with the dread that I experienced before classes started I am nothing but pleasantly surprised. A little disappointed because I was wrong, but that pales in comparison to how relieved I am. I’ll run this down by day:

Monday is the marathon day. I have Philosophical Anthropology at 11am, not a bad time but you have to factor in that I drive just over an hour to get there, then spend twenty minutes circling the lot looking for a parking spot. In an ideal world this won’t be necessary all the time as most students will have learned to drop the more difficult classes thus rearranging their schedules so that this time period isn’t so crunched with people. It’s always going to suck, but it shouldn’t suck as much as it did on the first day of class.

Then I walk to the mailroom, see that I have no mail, and go to the classroom. Philosophical Anthropology is not about anthropology, this class is about the third (lesser known) world that Kant postulated between the world of substance and the world of ideas. So it’s a Kant class, which sucks, but it’s not about his ethics, which is good. I mean seriously, fuck Kant’s ethics they are as consequential as Utilitarianism only without the honesty. I’ve already found two of the books that i need for that class on the internet for free. I’m working on the other three but I’m not holding out hope for it. The assignment list is pretty standard, one long paper, one presentation, and some smaller assignments. Those familiar with humanities graduate school understand that while this seems light, it’s potent. That little paper counts hard, usually between 60-80% of the grade.

Then there is the three hour break. I plan on using that time to do class reading, and eating. A two hour class may not seem like a lot but at the end of it I am drained of energy. I can also use the library and do whatever for that time. It won’t be fun, but I should be able to make it productive.

Biomedical Ontology is my second class that day. This class is being taught by two people and although it is within the Philosophy department our Professor has repeatedly reminded us that the class is “not Philosophy.” Ontology is the study of being, applied to most things it means that it is the study of what it means to be something. In other words, what makes up a “cup.” At least I think, I’m not too sure what we do in this class just yet, but it will come to me. The priority of both the Professors (there are two which is a weird experience) is to come up with ways of defining biomedical concepts so that they can be programmed in such a way that one hospital will be able to seemlessly transfer information to another with nothing lost in the translation. This could literally save lives, which makes me excited to work on the class. I just hope I can figure out how to write the paper for it. Best part: no books, everything is based around articles which are free on the net.

Tuesday is a day off.

Wednesday my first class, Applied Ontology, begins at 3pm. This day is much more relaxed because of the lateness of the start and the fact that I am only on campus for four hours straight (two classes). This class is much more like the late one on Monday without the specialization, I just wish the order of the classes was reversed since this serves as an introduction to Ontology. Best thing about this class is that it is on power point, which makes it easier to print notes instead of furiously writing them down as the Professor runs right through them.

Then is the last class of the week, Existence. It’s very crowded which makes me almost happy that this is back to back with the previous since it means I will not have to fight for a seat. It will probably be the best class I have because it’s more along the lines of stuff that I have been reading already in my last couple years of ozio. Financially I can find most of the books at the library so this is a bonus, but I fear that I will have to buy Being and Time. Damn Germans and their hyphens.

As long as I discipline myself I should be able to stay on top of the reading and the writing. Hopefully I will be able to keep writing these updates but they are definitely going to take a more philosophical spin as I work out problems in the class material along with early drafts of the papers that I will have. It’s going to be a fun couple of years.

Categories: philosophy
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