11 June 2009

On business and meritorious discussion.

I continue to be amazed at the depth of discussion that comes out of Core Humanities every morning. I'm polytheistic and have a very dim moral view of Christianity, while a couple of my classmates are strongly Christian and put the religion at the center of their own morality. You can imagine how this goes when we're discussing Edward Gibbon's view that Christianity was behind the bulk of the fall of the Roman Empire, a view I agree with quite strongly.

What really jumps out at me, though, is that the level of discourse is always civil and dialectic (the professor's influence by Socrates is quite obvious). There are about five people in the class (counting myself) who carry the bulk of the discussion and it never ceases to amaze me just how intellectually stimulating the diversity of voices can be. I'm the only business major among the vocal group---there are a couple of liberal arts majors, another person who is getting basic courses out of the way before planning to get a degree in divinity and become a minister of an unstated Protestant denomination (likely a liberal one since he's also a gamer and a level head), and an engineering major.

I contrast this with the level of discussion that comes from pure business classes, where it seems like everyone's only capable of talking about money, corporatism, and ambition---subjects I find utterly dull and subjects about which I couldn't care less outside of that time I give over to making enough money to serve as a means to an end once I get out of work and go home to my wife and my hobbies. In plain point of fact, my personality (somewhere between Type B and borderline-autism) and my skill set are at odds with one another. It's taken me a long time (31 years, apparently) to find a way to reconcile them.

Speaking of means to an end, that's all work should ever be. I work hard so I can get a good job, which in turn allows me to bring home enough money that my wife is free to do what she wants to do with her life---and if/when we have kids, those material circumstances will allow them to have parents who can be invested in their lives---I find "latchkey kids" to be pitied. Those poor kids have to pretty much figure out life by themselves while exposed to all manner of the worst sorts of influences through modern mass-media. I want to be the kind of dad who plays catch with his son, who takes the kids to museums or baseball games and the like. I want to be a hands-on parent someday, but not one of those crazy hover parents. I'll save the bulk of "the ideal family" essay for Monday, however. You can spend the weekend turning it over in your head and waiting for it.

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