Schooled

First week of school. Learnt so many things. All the transferable analogies to God. And the occasional purely academic interesting stuff. Gonna just dump it all here. Cocktail of everything. It gets better. But in case it doesn’t, you have been warned.

That Chinese illustration lunchtime seminar

Value of Chinese Illustrations of animals in medical texts, specifically the bencao gangmu

Evaluating Chinese Illustrations in itself

  • The artistic style of the time was that of abstract art. Stylistically, abstract art more valued which may explain the less literal/detailed drawings
  • Illustrators were not the actual scientists/doctors studying the animals; they usually just copy from other traditional texts or draw from the text as a supplement
  • The text was not written to include illustrations; people considered the text comprehensive enough. The illustrations came later. Words were valued more than illustrations
  • The medium of drawing was used for other purposes eg. adverts, erotic text
  • Had the existing tradition of drawing mythical animals 
  • There were illustrations of animals in other medical texts that were more accurate

Disclaimer: Shorthand bullet points taken half asleep from some seminar by some chap whom I’ve forgotten the name. Don’t quote anything. I just think it’s interesting. A bit. 

Drawing

2 ways of seeing

Recognising

  • Logical (cannot recognise -> see nothing/change the way you see things -> incorrect seeing = incorrect drawing)
  • Memory
  • Objects
  • “Something”

Observing

  • Lines
  • Shapes
  • Colours
  • “Nothing”

Drawings tell you which way you are seeing from/ no good or bad drawing

I just think this is a really cool analogy to reading the Bible.

Most of the time, we read the Bible with preconceived notions, trying to fit God and the Bible into our sense of logic, morality and expectations of what we think God should be like. And when it doesn’t fit, when God offends our sensibilities and doesn’t meet our expectations, He suddenly becomes impossible to exist.

For example, “A good God can’t exist because a good God wouldn’t let bad things happen to good people.” That’s our logic talking. We do see things happening around us, but we tie it to our own ideas of what’s good and bad, and draw patterns for what we see in a fairly logical way.

But look closer. Observe. How is God working in and through these people in these circumstances? What are the blobs of colour that don’t seem to make up a picture you can recognise?

Learn to see to learn to draw

Learn to read the Bible to learn to reproduce it/live like Christ. Your life could be the only Bible someone reads.

Contemporary Literature

Just toying with things like subjective morality and no morality = no free will. Or vice versa. 

Multiple truths and narratives in a world turning to science to rationalise and deal with the uncertainty of everything.

Writing our own narratives.

But isn’t multiple narratives a way of rationalisation too?

What stops you from killing another human being?

The law? Jail? No, those are only consequences of murder. 

What stops you, as a human, from killing another human being?

You could, you know. I don’t reckon it’s hard nowadays. But what stops you?

Conscience maybe. Or religion (and here I baulked because behind “my religion tells me so” is a whole ‘nother school of theology about being created and who owns life and sin and all that shebang. feel slightly miffed to just shove it under ‘religion’. maybe other religions say different things. i’d like to know).

Prof hopes we like the texts. He believes in letting the texts speak for themselves instead of constantly referring to the context of history and author’s background. Context is fine and dandy, and truth be told, we can impress any lens and reading on any texts if we tried hard enough, but he wants us to let the texts breathe and I think, in a way, not come at it from “outside”.

Reference to the drawing lesson.

Bible is one dubious piece(s) of literature. Is it true/real in that did these things happen? What is it’s history? Is it authentic?

Maybe we’ll never know. But in going around all that context, how about letting the Bible actually breathe and explain itself? It would be a pity to never read it just because of never knowing/believing how it came about. In looking for some things in the context (which does have value in and of itself), you might be missing out on what the texts actually wants to say, which also has value in other areas.

Early American Literature

Just impressed that people used to have a map with Jerusalem in the centre of the world and the other countries around it because of the priority of God owning the world and people respecting that at some point in recent human history. 

And just watching revivals swell and fade in that time.


Ok, brain dumped.

This is fun but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do this again.

Also want to brain dump various cells/sermons/Bible studies but unghh will it happen I wonder

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React

just an off-the-bat response to, um, something:

what about judging others for good things what about judging on judging what about loving before judging where loving does not mean accepting everything someone does what about judging as a way of loving because there is still right and wrong what about the extent one can or is allowed to judge what about simply having opinions how about the freedom to have standards kept which is something you get through judging a piece of work for quality what about the freedom to improve which also comes through some form of judgement how about judging the product and not the character and not mixing them up to consider that judgement as malice

#triggeredslightly

Augh no fair Ryan you got closure and I didn’t augh.

Waheva. Too lazy to go on.

I’m in the auditorium now and it’s like I’ve come home at last. It’s been too long. Didn’t have any classes here last sem so I’ve virtually not been here for a year. Oh how I’ve missed this. Childhood. Year one childhood.

Also got a jumpstart on my readings and finished Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. So many feels. So. Many. FEELS. Ungh love Ibsen. Loved his Dollhouse. Loved this. Still trying to sort out thoughts.

Basically. I think. Everyone has their vested interest yes, as evidenced by everyone’s support/betrayal of the doctor. Majority doesn’t mean truth, as per what the doctor said. But minority doesn’t mean it either. The number of people believing in something doesn’t qualify something as truth. Then again what is truth. It’s odd because I feel that context wise it’s science=truth vs tradition/majority and I agree with the doctor’s arguments for the science part but I don’t agree with the wider repercussions of science vs others. Because my truth lies with the others. Actually my truth intersects both. So agree with the thought process, but iffy on the content and what that means on a wider scale.

Actually I don’t know. I just thought it was intense and dramatic and real and modern and I loved the angst minus the iffiness.

And iffy where Petra was talking about the English book she was supposed to translate where it was described to be about “a supernatural power that looks after the so-called good people in this world and makes everything happen for the best in their case – while all the so-called bad people are punished.” Only talking about this because it sounds like something someone might say about the Bible. I say might because I don’t honestly think anyone who reads the whole Bible would sum it up in such a way. Like, you can’t just walk away from reading the Bible and just draw such a small conclusion, or that kind of conclusion anyhows. It would be a complete missing the forest for the trees. I just can’t grasp that any General Intelligent Reader could possibly come to that summary.

Also got lost at the last act where everyone was counter-offering the doctor to retract his statement. But love the angst. Loved how the doctor decided to stay. Loved how everyone didn’t dare to do anything because of “public opinion”. LOVED CAPTAIN HORSTER. 够讲义气. Can’t decide/haven’t thought through the sentiments of curs and all that breeding animal stuff yet.

Some stuff about gender and feminism around the doctor’s wife and her interests in protecting the family/the children while standing up for her husband. Some more stuff about society and the free individual’s rights and responsibilities.

I think I should do these spews more often. And then maybe another round when I’m more enlightened after tutorials.

Today, Scottish prof was amiable and gave out cans of soft drink, Irn Bru, at a 9.30am class which is apparently Scotland’s second national drink after whisky (which he had to restrain himself from giving out because then he would get the sack and he still has to support his family…Ibsen reference!). Prof shaved and he looks like Harry Potter now. And he looks so much happier being in a small class teaching solely Scottish Lit so I’m bought over to give him/Scottish Lit a chance. Hwaha.

Sensibility and Romanticism prof was so cute too.

So much history today cos intro lectures.

Need to do stufff.

Oh So Shakespeare

And so, today marks the day I finish reading through my third Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice. Yay me! I just sat and read through the whole thing straight because I was too lazy to find the movie this time. I’d actually watched an adapted version of this play at one of those Shakespeare in the Park things which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had been doing a short stint as a relief teacher some time earlier this year and the students were out to see the play for their Literature class. One of the perks of being a teacher was that I got to go along to watch. It was an experience to sit on the mats and eat and watch the play along with hundreds of students from all across the country. Shakespeare under the stars. It was fun.

Picked this Shakespeare out of many because it’s different from the conventional ones we see. He is actually looking towards the right. I’m such a rebel.

So yes, today I finished the play and I dog-eared a few of my favourite lines from the play along with those from Hamlet and The Tempest.

I’d finished Hamlet two weeks back for class.

It was truly a tragedy.

I realized I never posted my achievement of making it through Hamlet. I’ll do a quick run through on it. I watched the Glenn Close, Helena Bonham Carter version for Hamlet. It annoyingly didn’t have every line in the play but I made it through somehow. It was tragic indeed because so many people died.

Continue reading “Oh So Shakespeare”