09 October 2010

from an internet cafe on the via Nazionale. . .

The Angelicum's server was shut down on Wed. the 6th in order to replace it. 

Because this is Italy, this process will take an entire week.  Apparently, it never occurred to anyone that waiting until the week before classes start to overhaul the univ. server is not the best idea.

So, no posts until Wed. the 13th at the earliest.  I'll eat a pig raw if they have the work done by Wed. 

Oh. . .I forgot to mention:  it looks like I passed the French exam.  Several friars have congratulated me on passing. . .however, no one in the department has notified me yet.  Makes no difference in my timetable anyway.  I couldn't get the license exam material prepared in time to take the exams, so I'll be returning to the US on Dec 18 for Christmas break and then moving to a priory somewhere in the US.  I'll come back to Rome in Oct 2011 and take all the license exams and complete the doctoral seminar. 

Oh. . .I forgot to beg:  I haven't begged for books lately.  Now that I am back in Rome. . .the Wish List has been updated.  Check it out.

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06 October 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

An omen?  Presidential seal falls off the podium during B.O.'s speech.   Heh. . .even the symbols of his office are running from him.

ROTC programs are needed at our nation's universities.  Universities extol their racial, cultural, ethnic diversity but that diversity rarely extends to ideology/politics.  U.S. campuses are nearly monolithically leftist, especially among the faculty. 

Catholics who complain that our bishops play politics with communion. . .play politics with communion.  This is beyond despicable.

40% of the Supreme Court cases this term are appeals from the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit.  So, what's the learning curve on the left coast?

Fr. Z. links to a. . .I don't know what to call it. . .a "musical" setting for the Gloria.  All I can say is:  NOT if I'm the presider! 

B.O. cut a secret deal with hospitals to drop the public option in his grab for domination of the health care system.  And here I thought Big Medicine was the problem! 

Franciscan friar botches basic theology:  no, pets do not go to heaven.  The fact that all of creation will be redeemed does not mean that all of creation will go to heaven.  There may be some sort of "doggy heaven," but it is not the Beatific Vision that God's human creatures will enjoy.  This sort of Oprah-ish theology sentimentalize serious spiritual issues.

Anna "Red Boots" Arco notes that the Proto-Nazi, Patriarchal, Dissent-suppressing Rottweiler of God, Pope Benedict XVI wants an empowered laity.   Hmmmm. . .sounds like he's trying to pull a fast one.   Can we really trust someone who wears red footwear?  Oh, wait. . .

Call me a modernist, revisionist heretic, but I just can't work up the energy to get worried about questions like this.   My student master used to ask me every time I complained about the craziness of our seminary professors, "Philip, is this the hill you wanna die on?"  No, not even close.

Lefty lawyer defends the Pope!  Obviously, someone bought him off. . .

He-Man does disco. . .I'll never be the same.

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05 October 2010

Par lay voo fron-say?

Aight. . .the French exam is done! 

I got a paragraph from Merleau-Ponty's essay, "Cezanne's Doubt."  It was slightly less convoluted that the Descartes passage from June but still a challenge to translate in 30 minutes. 

I looked up a published English translation and my poor attempt at rendering the French. . .well, leaves something to be desired.

Many thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. 

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So, here's the deal. . .

Geez, I have really messed up this time!
Yesterday the philosophy dean tells me that the university secretary has been trying to reach me all morning.  When I turned in my thesis back in June, I failed to include a C.V. and a pic.  I also failed to turn in the 20 page paper on my oral exam topics.  This paper is due ten days before the oral/written exams for the license.  I didn't understand the implications of this failure at first.  Then it hit me:  the license exams are THIS WEEK!!!  Great. . .so I have a twenty page paper to write before Thursday's exams.  Oh, and the thesis defense is Saturday.

Just to add to my stress:  the French exam is today not Wednesday.  For some reason known only to God and His angels, I listed the exam for the 6th in my diary.  

These screw-ups happened for two reasons:  1). all this scheduling info is on the university website in English and Italian; however, the process for completing the requirements is available only in Italian. . .and it is incredibly confusing; 2). I have always had a very weird relationship with time; that is, I find it difficult to conceptualize step by step processes in a temporal fashion.  The only way I have ever managed this flaw is to write out a process in my own words.  

Is there such a thing as Temporal Dyslexia Syndrome?

Needless to say, I am panicked. 

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Coffee Bowl Browsing (is back!)

Ladies and Gents, I give you the secular wisdom of England's Brights. . .when you don't believe in God it is much, much easier to pretend to be one yourself.

More on those terrorists threats/warnings for Americans living in Europe.  I'm gonna ask Mama Becky for a .38 holster for Christmas. . .Santa will bring the .38.

. . .and a warning about Islamic ideology:  Islam is more than a religion; it's a political revolution.

Tea Party produces video that depicts the murder of children, grandmothers, teachers who disagree with their small gov't/fiscally conservative philosophy.  GOP and other groups affiliated with the T.P. largely silent.  Oh, wait. . .

Final exam or no final exam?  I've been teaching college students for almost 25 years.  Lots of lessons learned in that time.  Probably the most important lesson:  exams do not work.  In my courses at U.D., I give students five comprehensive essay questions one week before the scheduled exam period.  On exam day, I randomly assign each student a question.  Students report that they spend more time studying for this sort of exam precisely b/c they know what to study.  I absolutely hate GOTCHA exams!  Oh, and "hoop jumping" exams are worse. . .

And speaking of loathsome academic practices. . .students are given class credit for attending that Lefty rally in D.C.   Did Beck have to bribe people to attend his rally?

ACORN nemesis, James O'Keefe issues a statement on the CNN "prank" that has him roasting over conservative coals. 

The truth about birthdays:  a somewhat cynical view.

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03 October 2010


I managed to dodge any terrorists who were lying in wait btw Oxford and Rome!

There was a 20something Middle Eastern guy sitting across from me on the plane.  I didn't think much about it 'til I noticed Arabic script tatooed on his arms.  That made me just a little twingy.  Then I noticed that he was wearing a band new Ramones tee-shirt! 

My laptop had to be reconfigured for internet access at Blackfriars, so it is not configured for the Angelicum network. . .which means who knows how long it will be before regular posting begins again. 

Anyway. . .mille grazie for the prayers!

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Commies and unions and Marxists, oh my!

Finished packing and now waiting for Lauds. . .I ran across a lot of blog coverage of the Lefty rally in D.C. yesterday.  Here's a link for good pics of the participants, including socialists, communists, Black Panthers, slavery-reparationists, American flag desecrators, assorted anti-family groups, lots of union people, lots and lots of anti-Tea Party folks.  
N.B.  1). the trash they left behind for real workers to clean up and 2) the sheer inanity of the signs.  My fav:  "More Education Means Less Republicans!"  Um, that's fewer Republicans, Einstein.  

Check here for a comparison btw the cleanliness of the Beck Rally and the trash heaps left by the Left.   Very, very telling.

Heh. . .Gateway Pundit caught C-SPAN using a photo from Glenn Beck's rally in a story about the Lefty rally.  Good catch. 

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