All Science, No Philosophy

This weekend I:

  • Re-wrote some handouts for an Excel 2010 class to reflect the course material I’m now using.
  • Cleaned All the Things
  • Gave myself manicure. (I wear a French. This actually takes a while.)
  • Gave my hair an olive oil treatment.
  • Continued re-reading Shōgun. Oh stop laughing at me. I love the book.

No, I didn’t do much else. Yeah, I know, wild times at the Figart household, huh?

My son has informed me that his school is offering a new language and that instead of studying Spanish next year as originally planned, he wants to study Greek, because he sees a lot of Greek letters in Doctor Who, and it seems cool. Me? I think that’s as good a reason as any to choose a language to study, as long as he’s studying one. I took French, because my Dad insisted that the top students studied that or Latin, but what I really wanted to study was Spanish. My second year in high school, I had to fight to do that, because I was told that studying two languages at once would confuse me. My thought was that I had to be at least as smart as European kids, and they seemed to handle the multilingual thing okay. I don’t know if my parents got involved in this debate, but I expect if they did, it was along the lines of, “What? She’s excited about something in school? Dear Lord don’t discourage her. Are you crazy?”

Next week is a busy week. Classes, meetings and writing, oh my! I’m even dusting off my web skilz to do a webdev job to earn some gym time for my family. I know it doesn’t sound exciting on the outside, but I’m having fun.

Though, isn’t it goofy that I feel some need to apologize for enjoying myself. As if I have some responsibility to have a life that’s “cool” from the outside. I expect at least in part because I do have an alternative lifetstyle voice, I feel a bit weird at how quiet my daily life is. I almost feel like fraud because I don’t have much of a rock star lifestyle.

My son and I got to talking about something tangentially similar this morning while we were Cleaning All the Things. I had kind of hurt his feelings by playing The Knack for him. I meant it as gentle teasing, but it turns out he’s a bit angry at how little general culture values science and engineering – the very thing that keep such large populations as exist on Earth… well, alive! He didn’t even realize that in general, engineers make pretty good money, and that in the US, we’re hurting for people well-educated in the sciences.

I explained that yes, the sciences are incredibly important, but that no, they’re not going to be valued like being a rock star in terms of admiration, and that yes, it’s human to want that admiration, but that real, tangible value to the human race is important. It’s why studying the arts and the sciences are sooo important. (Yes, I do think the arts are important, which is why I encourage his musical studies in Chorus as well. “All science and no philosophy?”)

I just hope the boy doesn’t grow up with the level of rage I have at our self-defeating cultural values. It might mean I’m a thinker, but I can’t say it’s necessarily contributed to any real good.

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