Friday, June 7, 2013

Reclaiming Academics

This isn't a grand, sweeping post on how awful the educational systems in this country are, and what I would suggest to change to "Make Our Universities Great Again!"

It is mostly not that because four years in higher education doesn't give one enough perspective on what's wrong and how to make those wrongs right. I'll leave that to professors and grad students.

It is also not that because, while I did have experiences that I wish would have gone differently, I really enjoyed college. I hardly use any of the "teaching stuff" that I learned, and I don't really subscribe to the mainline view of literature that I was taught (post-modern, deconstruction, etc.), but I liked it.

One thing I really liked was the library, and all the stuff I was able to access through the library. I miss being able to get the full Oxford English Dictionary on-line, and I miss access to all the weird academic journals I got there.

I was listening to a lecture on Corey Olson's The Tolkien Professor podcast by Michael C. Drout, who I had heard before through the Modern Professor series. He was talking about Tolkien's background as a philologist, and fun things you could do with words, mostly centering on the OED and its etymological information.

This made me miss college all the more.

But then I remembered that I have a new Clemson ID because of my volunteer firefighting, checked it out, and I can get in to everything! I've been playing around with the OED a bunch, as well as reading abstracts and saving articles to read in full from Drout's journal Tolkien Studies. 

It should then be no surprise to any of you that I'm geeking out like crazy over here. I'm also in full-blitz planning mode for next year (more on this later), and so, concurently, my reading list keeps growing. I'm now going through Aeneid, Gilgamesh, Herodotus' Histories for school, plus Orthodoxy, and will be starting Perelandra for my own entertainment.
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