From Yahoo: Entry for October 09, 2006
Well, after all the doubt and frustration I felt over the summer, it turns out that I’m really enjoying this quarter. It’s amazing that when I like all of my classes that I like this whole PhD thing in general. No wonder, indeed! Still, I’m glad I let myself doubt, because now I can identify what the real problem is: sucky classes. At the very worst, I will be done with course work in the spring quarter, so there is an end in sight for this particular problem. And it may not be a problem any more, we’ll see.
This quarter I’m taking two seminars in the theatre department—one with my adviser (216A) and one with my favorite professor (216C). In 216A, we’re doing everything from Plato and Aristotle to the Sex Pistols—looking at the nature of Representation and its inherent problems.
216C is on Phenomenology, which is the philosophy of perception—esp. using our entire sensing bodies, not just our eyes. In fact, last week we read Husserl and Merleau-Ponty and our professor had us explain their philosophies to our “13 year old niece” in language she would understand. I’ll post it now just for kicks.
On Husserl: The world does not exist outside of our experiences of it. We each create the world when we come into contact with it using one of more of our senses. This does not mean that objects don’t really exist, but our relationship with them co-creates “the world.”
On Merleau-Ponty: There is a gap between how we experience something with our senses and how we understand it intellectually. This gap is called perception. Before we try to understand something as a sign (something that has meaning), we might try to feel it/sense it/experience it in our bodies.
Moving on. The course that I’m TA’ing, the freshman Cluster Course Intro. to the Performing Arts, is pretty fun. Actually, I’m typing this blog during the lecture because I just have to observe so that I know what’s going on. I am, of course, really active during the two discussion sections I have. I have 18 students in each section and they’re all super-smart, totally together and eager freshman. (update: notice that I wrote this 10 days into the quarter and boy did I change my mind about this cluster course. )A lot different than the students I taught at Cal State L.A. I have to grade all of their papers, read all that they have to read, plus prepare to teach each section. This, along with both my seminars, is why I’m already totally swamped this quarter.
Still, I’ve managed to arrange a quick trip to Portland, OR on 10/24 for just one night. You see, my interest in multimedia theatre is being furthered narrowed into looking at space (ecology is included here) and technology in performance. As a result, Al Gore’s climate change lecture fits perfectly with my interest and I hope to write about it a paper, and maybe include it in my dissertation.
That’s all for now. I hope to update at least a couple of times this quarter.