May 2, 2011

The Feeling of Hope.

It has been an eventful few days. Friday kicked off the 16th Undergraduate Philosophy Conference and the first one not to have had the guidance of Dr. Shrader. Instead, it was lead by Dr. Koch (who had been my Academic Advisor when I was a student. I do not think it possible that a better replacement could have been found. Make no mistake, a better advisor than Dr. Shrader would have been difficult to find as well.

I had been sitting in on some of the conference classes to lend my expertise from having worked on previous Conferences, and I plan on emailing a list of critiques and suggestions to Dr. Koch. Make no mistake, the conference committee and Dr. Koch were able to pull off an amazing conference this year, my suggestions will simply be of stuff that was done in the past and therefor I hope will be useful for Dr. Koch to know about as he continues forward with the conference.

After the conference ended on Sat. there was a memorial service in the late afternoon for Dr. Shrader. It was a time of mixed emotions. On one hand it was a pure joy to observe the conference will be able to continue. On the other, it's hard to think about the philosophy conference without him.

The weather was nice and it was a beautiful day. It was also nice hearing the stories that other students shared. I finally got the details of the story of how Dr. Shrader met his wife Barbara by eating a whole banana, including the peal.

Then on Sunday I heard the news that finally Osama Bin Laden was dead. I wish to repeat what I said before, I feel there is danger in finding joy in the death of another human being. I do still think though, that catharsis is an appropriate thing. I used to think that catharsis was this esoteric term that also had spiritual implications for those dealing with grief. Then my philosophy of art professor asked us to look it up, and I found out that it was an old school term for an enema. That's right to have a catharsis, all you need to do is stick a hose up your ass and...

Therefore, I really do mean that this is a catharsis. Something shitty has been removed from this world. I might have been a little pessimistic with my last post. While I do not think we should let down our guard, I do hope that this really is a serious blow to Al Qaeda that they will not easily recover from.

Then today my iPad 2 arrived. Overstimulated? That's me now. Rather then take too much time trying to set it up with all my accounts/passwords, I spent some time watching music videos. I found that the vast majority of the videos that I had were from post-9/11.

That's something I think worth reflecting on. 9/11 happened just before I became an adult. I found that today, I had a hard time remembering what it was like in a world prior to 9/11. I remember things that I know happened before that date, but I could not remember what life itself *felt* like.

I could not remember what it was to live in a world without terror alerts. I could not conceive of what it was like to not be a citizen of a nation that was involved with two foreign wars, nor could I recall what it was like to not know the name of Osama Bin Laden.

Tonight, while watching music videos, I started to recall what it felt like. It wasn't strong, it had glimmered through at times, but it was there as I watched music videos such as Kryptonit by Three Doors Down that I had enjoyed from the time before 9/11.

What I hope for now, is that this feeling will become the norm again. I can hope can't I? Or at least, is this what hope feels like?

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