Feb 9, 2011

ONE OF THESE DAYS I'M PRETTY SURE THEY'RE GOING TO ASK ME TO GIVE THE DIPLOMA BACK

It's absolutely no secret whatsoever that I am about as bright as a bag of doorknobs. I don't say this as a means to get you to say "Oh no, Spinster Stitcher. You are so smart and funny and pretty and wonderful."...but rather as a simple statement of fact. I've never really been smart, actually, so rather than try to hide it and be ashamed of it, I figure I'll put it right out there in front so that the world will know not to expect too much of me.

Yes, it's true that I graduated from the University of Notre Dame (which I'm pretty sure doesn't say too much about THEIR brains in admitting me in the first darn place), but what's more important to me is the fact that I graduated from the Great Books Program, or as it's more commonly known, the Program of Liberal Studies/PLS at the University of Notre Dame.

I'm proud of this for two reasons, actually.

The first is that I was able to go to school with the idea that just getting an education was enough for my parents, and that if I wanted to study underwater basket weaving it would be fine as long as underwater basket weaving was what was going to make me happy. (See, Dad was actually a genius, since he figured that I wouldn't TAKE underwater basket weaving because I'd want to impress all of my high school buddies back in Lima by taking the most ridiculously hard classes that I could find...and he was dead on.) So I scoured the university and came up with this major that meant I would have my nose in a book and my fanny at a seminar table for the better part of four years. (I just never realized that faking it wouldn't be an option.)

I'm also proud of the fact that despite my idiocy, my manners and personality were such that my professors didn't ask me to leave the room or to declare another major. They let me stay in the ridiculously hard classes, and some of them didn't even bat an eyelash when it was all I could do to sit in a corner with a coloring book and some Crayons so as to not interrupt the fascinating and heated discussions about the ontological realization of one's self through the actualization of one's psyche as it relates to Homer.

So today I got the email that comes every year announcing the line up for the Summer Symposium. This is a week long event that gives PLS majors an opportunity to return to campus each summer and stretch their brains around a selected topic of discovery. Sadly, for me anyway, they've yet to come up with "An Exploration of the Effect of dietCoke and Specialty Fibers on the Mind of a Rather Unsophisticated Spinster Who Should Probably Stop Telling People That She is a Graduate of our Program". So until they do come to their senses and find a week in which I can go over to Notre Dame and sit and stitch, I guess I'm going to have to figure out if I can do....this:

ANNOUNCING THE THIRTEENTH ANNUAL
PLS/GP SUMMER SYMPOSIUM
JUNE 5-10, 2011

“THE HUMAN ODYSSEY”


This year’s annual PLS Alumni/ae Summer Symposium will be held from Sunday, June 5 to Friday, June 10. We took our cue from suggestions we received from last year’s participants that we include both Greek and contemporary writings in the next symposium. Accordingly, we have organized the readings under the theme of the human odyssey – a term that can refer both to a journey filled with adventures and to a process of development and change. The focus of this year’s symposium will be a week-long seminar on Homer’s Odyssey led by Professor Steve Fallon. Some of the other seminars return to the figure of Odysseus as he appears in later writings. There will be two sessions led by Professor Robert Goulding on Odysseus in classical and late-antique Latin poetry and one session led by Professor Krista Duttenhaver on the treatment of Odysseus in the writings of the twentieth-century philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno. In addition, Professor Bernd Goehring will lead two seminars on the human journey to God as St. Bonaventure understood it. Time and again, the human journey unfolds with a conscious looking backward. Professor Pierpaolo Polzonetti will lead two seminars on the representation of ancient Rome in eighteenth-century opera, specifically Handel’s Giulio Cesare. The journey also unfolds with very deliberate efforts to move forward. In his seminar, Professor Clark Power will juxtapose Platonic and evolutionary accounts of moral knowledge. Professor Tom Stapleford will lead two seminars on contemporary views of homo economicus. In their two sessions, Professors Felicitas Munzel and Matthew Dowd will venture once again into the fascinating encounter of quantum mechanics with consciousness. Professor Henry Weinfield will bring the symposium to a close with two seminars that return us full circle to the understanding of human life in some of the earliest myths of the West, in this case as we find them recorded in Hesiod’s poems, the Theogony and the Works and Days. As always, we promise a very rich week of stimulating conversation on great books and important ideas.







Stay tuned, kids! I've got a few days to ponder whether or not this stitcher of very little brain has it in her to accept a challenge....

29 comments:

  1. well I understood ever other word of that ..lol..... and I think you can do it girl :) go for it and pack a stitching thing just in case ..lol love mouse xxxx

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  2. I would rather go to prison for a week than take that class.

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  3. A root canal with no novicaine sounds better. Equally as painful but for a shorter amount of time.

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  4. WAIT novocaine. I can't even spell. So what do I know? GO FOR IT!

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  5. What lecture is Stewey going to be involved in?

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  6. ROFL!!! You are on an odessy yourself woman! Isn't your blog one? The adventures sane or otherwise of a woman stitching and corrupting others along the way?? My god, you give Homer a run for the ode! LOL

    Hugs and Love,
    Jen

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  7. Actually...I'm jealous. What a fascinating seminar! Unfortunately, my simple English Degree from Montclair State University (it was only a college when I attended) probably would NOT grant me admission to such a course.

    Do go, and then summarize it for us!

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  8. mmmmmmm, well, I know you should do it because I think your brain probably needs the stimulation, I would probably just schedule a colonospy that week..... @@

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  9. My brain hurts just thinking about it. I have my BLA and was thinking of getting an MLS, but my poor old brain just can't retain anything anymore...

    But if there are no tests involved.....you just might have a good time!

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  10. OMG...I'd kill to be able to go to this seminar. Well, maybe not kill. I might actually think about moving to Hoosierville to go. Well, maybe not. I don't want to trade my Tucson desert heat for the frigid cold of the north. But if I lived where you live and I got the invitation you got, friends wouldn't see me for the dust. I'm jealous--positively GREEN. Coni, GO!! Go revel in the readings, the environment, the discussions. What an opportunity. You must keep us posted. I'd love to hear all about it.
    Pamela, Tucson, AZ

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  11. That sounds dreadful. Save the money and go to a class you would enjoy. Take something Ruth S., Amy B., Tony M. or go to any other shop that strikes your fancy. Go to ANG or EGA seminar. You would have so much fun and stretch brain and fingers.

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  12. I read the first two sentence and then had a brain cramp.

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  13. "The fascinating encounter of quantum mechanics with consciousness"? Really? I believe that you should take your stitchy stuff. If stabbing yourself with your laying tool doesn't get it, you are bound to have a pair of scissors that will open a vein. Well, just in case. Maybe I am too old, or the University of Texas just didn't adequately prepare me...:-)
    Deby

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  14. That would stretch your brain! Go for it!

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  15. Riiiiiiiiiight...

    Let Stewey stand in for you.

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  16. Are we talking about Homer Simpson? That's the only Homer I know...

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  17. Ummmm yeah I understood none of that. I think I would rather spend a week counting the blades of grass on my lawn. Of course I could only attempt to do that after I had removed the two feet of WI snow from the top of it. Good gosh if this would make you happy, I guess go for it. LOL

    But still, ummm yikes.

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  18. Well... if your gut instinct is to go, go and enjoy every minute but please keep blogging to let everyone know how it is and pack some stitchy stuff if you should have some spare time.
    Will Stewey stay with Aunty Chrissie and how does he feel about all of this?

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  19. Oh...my GOD!!!! You actually can decipher the class description???

    You are to he** and gone ahead of me then. I`m glad you are looking forward to it Coni...

    Now if it had been a lecture on the paralells of antique samplers to womens social position in the 17th century, i`d be there with bells on!

    Kisses to Stewey...

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  20. This is hysterical - you are a genius. I went to Reed - enough said. Our comments are pretty funny too. I'm still laughing.
    Cheers

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  21. If I could understand what I just read, perhaps I could give you some sound advice, but I didn't get my degree from Notre Dame, perhaps it's ND speak? 'Fraid you're on your own on this one. :-o Cathryn ;)

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  22. I'm just going to smile, nod my head and pretend that I undertood every word!

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  23. You must must must go! What a fabulous way to keep the alums active with the University. Sounds incredible (and educational!). GO!

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  24. Sounds like Garrison Keillor wrote that! I'd spend an equivalent amount of $$ on yarn-y goodness instead! (krayola, BA, MBA) :)

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  25. It sounds like it'd be a terrific course! Do they offer it in something other than Klingon? ;)

    I can picture Stewey in the chair next to you embarassing the class with his astute observations. (They are embarassed because they could never be as astute as he.)

    I think I will forever associate a winter sky comment with that piece of needlework. How gorgeous!!

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  26. I look forward to reading your full book report on June 11!

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  27. Sorry, my mind glazed over on about the fifth line of the symposium description - but, I don't think you should go. I don't think they're in your league.

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