Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 23 January 2007

Whew! I survived

“Taught” my first philosophy class today-Philosophy of Art.  My professor has a family emergency. [Taught is in quotes because I basically used his notes.] Still it was not a ‘lecture/presentation’ like the one on art and consciousness that I gave to the ‘Minding the Body’ Senior Honors class.  That was my stuff.  On that I can talk for quite a while, in fact did since that class was over 3 hours long [Hey! why was I nervous about this one?] Well, it was a class section on actual philosophy[ers].  I was nervous because I knew I would actually have to pull out of my reserves basic philosophy of art…history-the section was Plato through the 19th century and he had already covered Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke even.  Ugh! Who does that leave?  I wasn’t comfortable until we got to Hume and Kant [maybe Baumgarten and Schopenhauer were OK-Schopenhauer has that Buddhism thing going, so yeah…].

Of course, a couple of students left and two didn’t come in when they saw that he wasn’t there. Oh well.

It was kind of a queer thing.  That’s the challenge of teaching, I suppose.  I have basically dismissed some of these philosophers in my head and having to teach them was a combination of “Oh yeah, that guy” and the effort to not put too much of my personal opinions into the equation.  “Oh yeah, there’s a reason I’ve forgotten about that guy.”  I didn’t have a reasonable answer to a question on Hutcheson and for the life of me I couldn’t remember the solitary, short, nasty, brutish quote from Hobbes. [I really don’t like that snivelling little weasel. Hey, he’s dead.  I’m allowed to talk about him that way.  Hmmm, or is it because he’s dead that I shouldn’t talk about him that way?  I just couldn’t remove the picture in my head the entire time I read him of someone psychologically damaged who constantly fussed with his clothes while never looking anyone directly in the eyes and hated his father because he was not loved enough by his mother.  The epitome of a soulless bastard.  Of course, I’m sure he’s nothing like that, takes gumption to write something coherently, but Ugh! Let me relieve you of your misery, Mr. Hobbes.]

All in all, it wasn’t that bad.  There were a bunch of Philosophy students in the class, which might have given me more reason to be nervous, but actually didn’t and helped because they were interested and asked questions.  As I was talking to my sister, she mentioned that sometimes you don’t reach students at all-and they just stare at you with blank faces. Crikey! If that thought had occurred to me I wouldn’t even have showed up. 

BTW, Disinterestedness is VERY difficult to say repeatedly…I finally just started saying Dis, you know.

So, the surreal moment was when at the end of class a few students converged in front of the podium and were asking me questions. Although it could mean otherwise, to me that meant I didn’t suck…

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