12 Oct 2001
|Copyright © 2001-2014 by owner.|| Modified
21 Jan 2018
Me and Miami
Some decades have elapsed since I first enrolled at M.U. Indeed, I suspect my freshman "year" (which I finally wrapped up in the spring of 2002) might well be among the longest on record at that institution. At that rate, I would obtain my B.A. at age 177. Of course, there were a few early detours which are unlikely to recur: four years in the military, an odd job or two, countless technical schools, and a career of thirty years with a major corporationwhile my wife and I raised a family along the way. Now that I'm retired, and my own "kid" is off on her own, there seems a grand opportunity for this young man to finish what he started back in the autumn of '62.
During my initial enrollment years ago, I declared a major in Physics, since that was my primary interest (not counting girls, cars, and food) at the time. At the age of 18, of course, I knew everything worth knowingexcept that I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to be. My future livelihood seemed to lie somewhere between "neurosurgeon" and "welder." This probably explains why I later became a communications technician, a position demanding some of the skills of each of the aforementioned, butalaspaying considerably less than either.
Now that I've had a little time to think things over, I find that although I still have an interest in science, it's not what I really want to do when I grow up. Sometime during the mid 1980s, I discovered a new interest when I first got my hands on a word processor. Previously, I'd thought that technology was my calling, and I was smack in the middle of a solid, if less than hugely fulfilling, technical career. Suddenly I encountered a magical device that caused ideas to pop out of my fingers and onto a screen.
I've been writing ever sincebut seldom about physics. Strange to tell, the topics that have captured my greatest interest are those I would have shunned earlier: politics, philosophy, and religion. Imagine my shock upon discovering, at the onset of middle age, that the motivating and guiding voice within me is not that of Albert Einstein, but of Bertrand Russell. Egad! I'm not even a "people person," and suddenly my head is full of ideasnot of vectors and stresses, but of humanity and ethics. What am I to do with myself? I've never studied such things. What are these ideas doing inside me, of all people?
I still haven't completely figured that out, but at least I have an idea what I can do about it. I have a little catching up to do; in fact, I might as well start over. It's never too late to become a lifetime learner.
My current program of study has no particular pattern or objective, other than general enlightenment. At best, it might transform me into a vague approximation of a Renaissance Manwhich is an admirable and valuable thing to be (in my view), but one in rather low demand in this age of specialization.
Collectively, the courses on my docket probably would not significantly enhance my résumé; they are spread over too broad a range of interests to bolster my marketability in any specific field. They are simply topics which I find interesting and challenging. My reason for learning is simply curiosity. I enrolled in a degree-seeking program only because the government is willing to pick up part of the bill for the earning of collegiate credentials—even in such a "non-profit" field as philosophy. Indeed, I cannot imagine how my particular course of study would be of interest to anyone, save perhaps a psychologist. But if you happen to be one of those, here it is, tastefully presented in anally-retentive tabular form. Pray enjoy!
Since I wrote the foregoing paragraph a decade or so ago, it has occurred to me during my final undergraduate years that the study of philosophy is not as frivolous as it at first seemed. Granted, there isn't much information of marketable value in the subject matter of some of philosophy's branches. However, some key subfields, such as logic, ethics, and epistemology, are of as much practical value in making sense of the natural and social sciences as semantics is in literature and aesthetics in the arts. And, perhaps most important of all, the probing, methodical study of abstract concepts, even in a branch as devoid of material significance as metaphysics, nurtures and develops critical evaluative and reasoning skills that can be applied to advantage in virtually any serious field of endeavor—as I myself can attest in applying such skills to the unusually broad curriculum I have undertaken.
DECEMBER 2012: ACCEPTED B.A. IN PHILOSOPHY—WITH ZERO DEBT!
C U R R E N T L Y O N S A B B A T I C A L
|Civilization of the Middle East||ATH207||3||Where the action is.|
|Problems of Metaphysics & Knowledge||PHL221||3|
|Ethical Theory||PHL311||4||Why should I? Why not?|
|Philosophy of Religion||PHL392||4||Mirth to infidels!|
|JUST FOR FUN|
|Intro. to French||FRE101||4||Folks to our north speak it.|
|Intro. to Italian||ITA101||4||Folks at La Scala sing it.|
|Intro. to Japanese||JPN101||4||A non-European language.|
|Intro. to Spanish||SPN101||4||Folks to our south speak it.|
Associate of Arts: Humanities
(complete, 8 May 2004)
Credit hours 95 (64 required), grade point average 3.272 (of 4.000 possible)
|ARTS & CULTURE|
|History of Western Art, Post-Renaissance||ART188*||3||2003.2||Dessert!|
|English Composition||ENG111*||3||2001.1||Both challenging and confirming.|
|English Literature||ENG112*||3||2002.1||Sophocles was English?|
|German||GER101*||4||2002.1||Eins, zwei, Polizei...|
|German||GER102*||4||2002.2||Drei, vier, Offizier...|
|German||GER201*||3||2004.1||Fünf, sechs, alte Hex'...|
|German||GER202*||3||2004.2||Sieben, acht, gute Nacht!|
|World History before 1500||HST297*||3||2001.2||I told my mummy I would.|
|World History after 1500||HST298*||3||2002.2||As a basis for art appreciation?|
|Intermediate Algebra||MTH102||4||2001.1||Oiling rusty mental mechanism.|
|Society and the Individual||PHL 103||3||2003.2||Dealing DesCartes|
|Formal Logic||PHL273*||4||2004.2||I've always wanted to debate with penguins.|
|Dynamic Earth (w/lab)||GLG111*||4||2003.1||To ensure I'm on solid ground. Uh oh...|
|Astronomy & Space Physics||PHY111*||3||2003.3||Expiring minds want to know.|
|Principles of Biology||ZOO114*||4||2004.1||Get a life...then dissect it to see how it works.|
|Intro. to Psychology||PSY111*||4||2003.1||Brain and I are properly introduced.|
Bachelor of Arts: Philosophy
(complete, 15 Dec 2012)
This project spread the equivalent of seven years' education, plus audited classes, over twelve and a half years. The objective was not to do it fast, but comprehensively, well, and without incurring debt.
completed. Final tally (including A.A. and B.A.):
|ARTS & CULTURE|
|History of Western Art, Pre-Renaissance||ART187||3||2005.2||Mesolithic to Medieval.|
|Religion, Society, & Culture||REL103||3||2005.2||What it's really about.|
|Technical Writing||ENG215||3||2006.3||Just the facts, ham.|
|History of the English Language||ENG301||4||2007.2||Celts, Saxons, Normans|
|Structure of Modern English||ENG302||4||2008.1||To express ourselves well we ought|
|Backgrounds of Composition Theory & Research||ENG304||3||2007.1||Thematic sequence: English|
|Calculus I (single variable)||MTH151||5||2005.1||For the masochist in me.|
|Problems of Moral & Social Values||PHL131||3||2006.2||Hoping for more value than problems.|
|Informal Logic||PHL263||4||2005.2||Dissecting men of straw.|
|Symbolic Logic||PHL274||4||2008.2||Abstruse beyond use?|
|Modern Philosophy||PHL302||4||2007.2||Italian, German, French, English...|
|Contemporary Moral Problems||PHL312||4||2009.1||Empiricism as reality check.|
|Symbolic Logic||PHL373||4||2008.2||Venn vill this be over?|
|Truth & Objectivity||PHL410T||4||2011.1||You wouldn't believe.|
|What Is Philosophy? (Capstone)||PHL404||4||2011.2||One thing's for sure: It doesn't stay the same.|
|Kant||PHL440K||4||2008.2||I Kant ... but I du the best I kan.|
|Cultures in Context||ATH155||4||2006.1||Or should that be "in Contest"?|
|Social Psychology||PSY221||3||2005.3||Making it as an individual in a group.|
|Personal Enlightenment and Fulfillment (ongoing)|
|ARTS & CULTURE|
|Intro. to Classical Mythology||CLS121||3||2005.1||Give me that old-time religion.|
|Great Ideas in Western Music||MUS189||3||2012.2||That's "West" of the Urals, buckaroo|
|American Religious Encounters||REL101||4||2012.2||All you wanted to know, then double it.|
|Survey of American History I||HST111||3||2011.1||Getting to the Civil War|
|Survey of American History II||HST112||3||2011.1||Getting over the Civil War|
|History of Western Civilization I||HST121||3*||2006.1||Purely Occidental I|
|History of Western Civilization II||HST122||3*||2006.2||Purely Occidental II|
|World History since 1945||HST296||3||2004.2||The story of my life.|
|Elementary Statistics||STA261||4||2010.2||Ordering of Magnitudes|
|Intro. to Programming||CSA163||3||2002.1||VB: New platform, new strategy.|
|Introduction to Chemistry||CHM109||1||2012.1||Just the basics.|
|Physics and Society||PHY101||3||2012.2||Stuff has changed in the last 40 years.|
|Human Physiology||ZOO161||4||2012.1||Same old body, new understanding.|
|Microeconomics||ECO201||4||2009.1||The lust for money...|