Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wow, two blogposts in a month. Who'da thunk it?

4/Apr - Some words have lost their meaning. Other words have just plain been invented, sans meaning. Unaustralian, for instance. I'm sorry, precisely what is Australian behaviour?
5/Apr - Became a godfather for a young man who converted to Orthodoxy last year. Many years to our latest neophytes!
6/Apr - Feeling very frustrated... (see below)
7/Apr - I've done 600w for a 4000w essay. On paper, I've got plenty of time. But, once you factor in Holy Week and time that I'm spending away from home and eating after the Resurrection service, the time before the start of May (i.e. due date) becomes really...really short. Plus there's another essay a week after that (~2000w)...and another one due in prac (~1600w)...so I'm very much feeling swamped at the moment.

I'm feeling very sick of things at the moment. There's a lot of things that I can do, quite a number of things that I'd like to do...but only a few things that I have a personal stake in. And I'm not doing them. Not really.

So, I'm setting myself a not-unreasonable deadline. If something doesn't happen in the next nine months (i.e. by the end of the year) that will allow me to run with one of those personal-stake things, then I'll take that as a message that I'm not in the right place. And fix that.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

FB status updates in a blog.

13/Mar - Joined a group where a chick in Canada promised that, if 2500 people joined her FB grouup, she would eat Twilight (the book). Thanks to, like, 2000 Australians, she got there. There's a video coming out, too - looking forward to YouTube for that one.
13/Mar - Adjudicated debating. Had the odd occurance of both debates insulting the adjudicator. The first one was okay - it was a junior team saying that 'teachers don't care', which was merely unfortunate that I happen to be training to be a teacher. The 'oh, no!''s were audible. The second one was point-docking worthy - the debater pointed at what he thought was a member of the audience and said 'you look confused, i'll try and speak slower'. Apparently, he didn't know that said member of the audience was the adjudicator. Dumbass. His team lost the argument as well, which is good, because I'm not sure what I would have done if his team was winning but he was an incredible tool.
14/Mar - Went to an art show - very cool stuff.
15/Mar - I want a cat so that I can call it Schrodinger.
21/Mar - Brother's birthday *balloons and streamers*
21/Mar - State election. Not my most interesting time.
22/Mar - For some reason, I have a recurring interest in quantum physics. I know that new-agers like to make a big deal out of quantum physics, but even without that, I can see a lot of analogies that are useful for explaining theology.
24/Mar - Went to the dentist. Got a filling replaced (since the last one had fallen out). Not cool.
24/Mar - Went to vespers. Went /really/ existential (since I couldn't understand the words). I've blogged about it on this blog. Not the most edifying topic, I've gotta say, but it was something.
25/Mar - Realised real problem in existential issue is in how we know we know something. Probably not a way to talk about that without supposing a cosmic Third Person...
27/Mar - Finished all of my midsemester essays. A month early. Awesome. Handed it in a week later, but hey.
30/Mar - Found out some awesome news - there looks like being an English-language Orthodox mission starting up in Brisbane. Sadly, it meant that I only got to sleep at 2:30am, a full five hours after I found out the news.
31/Mar - Got the stimulus package from the government. When something quadruples the size of your bank account, that's a good thing.
1/Apr - Found out what school I'm doing field experience in. Very happy.
3/Apr - Daunted by next assignment that's due in a month - 4000w. Seriously.
3/Apr - But, I explained the two natures of Christ by analogy to wave vs particle natures of light. Analogies have their limitations, obviously, but that one's actually pretty good.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Plans

It can be frustrating at times.

Part of who I am is my undeniable ability to make plans for the future. I've been doing it since I was in my second-last year of high school (curious? no, this isn't where I thought I'd be), at one point I had 12 different plans in my last year of high school (again, for the curious - one plan came out half-right). While I was at uni, I had speculations on where I'd go afterwards, but knew that it really was neither here nor there until I finished my degree.

I mostly-finished my degree, got a job, got promoted, stayed in the job after graduation, promised myself I wouldn't go back to uni, wanted out of my job, got a better job, worked at that job, decided to go back to uni. Not sure if I made the right call there, but I certainly made a pragmatic call. Had a plan, realised I couldn't go through with it (long story); had a ripper of a plan until that fell through.

In short, none of my previous plans encompass the position I'm in at the moment, and I find myself planless. I do have options, though.

1. Office job. Not thrilling, I know, but at least I know that it's well within my competancy.
2. Teaching at a high school in Brisbane.
3. Teaching at a high school in Sydney/Melbourne.
4. Teaching English in China.
5. Training people in diplomas and certificates.

They're all the plans that I've thought of so far. I suspect that the fourth one might be my backup - having family there and all.

Right now, though, I'm running with my previous stipulation - specifically, that I shan't make definite statements until June. I'm hoping that I can find a direction to head after Easter, though... that would help for when people say 'so what are you doing after graduation' and all...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What else would you do in a vespers service?

Yesterday, I tried to conjure God out of an equation.

It's kinda difficult to do, but once you follow a certain sequence of events, it's the obvious result of what has been done.

I tried to think my way through existence, looking for something stronger than 'I doubt therefore I think; I think therefore I am'. It's not easy. Saying 'I think therefore I am' assumes that you are thinking - and a person who has problems thinking probably won't see the problem in their own thinking (i.e. a person who has problems in cognition will have more problems with metacognition).
I tried 'I love therefore I am'...similar problems. The result - 'He loves, therefore He creates; He creates, therefore I am'. My demolition was that a conclusion is only as strong as the weakest premise - positing God doesn't make Him so (btw, I wasn't /trying/ to conjure God out of an equation).

But, having thought about this overnight, it's not as illogical as I first thought. Assuming that we exist (which we do), at some point we have to work from what we know and find the most logical explanation for what we don't know - sometimes that will mean working backwards...kinda like string theory's other 26 dimensions :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Twitter in a Blog

Twitter updates:

March 5: I'm 40% of the way through the book I'm writing.
March 5: I think that an MA in 'Beatles-ology' is just plain dumb.
March 6: Don't try and figure out the rest of your life when you're going to sleep. You won't do either.
March 6: "The Revolution of Love" is an awesome keynote address on the OCF podcast - http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ocf
March 7: Saw a former student's FB page, and got very sad that I'd basically dismissed her as 'uninterested' when her FB profile said her fave book was the Bible...made me wonder how many other things I'd missed.
March 8: I considered Melbourne for a future.
March 9: Half the book is finished.
March 11: 68% through the book.
March 12: Ahead on uni work. Happy and relaxed, albeit probably temporarily.

So, it's March already?

Well, it's halfway through March, and I've not posted. I wonder if anyone will be shocked that a post from Chanters Pray Twice ends up in their RSS feed.

My last post was all about last year. Reading it (as I tend to do when wondering what else to write), I wondered how my year thus far squared up with my expectations.

As far as January/February goes, I did, indeed, complete the third semester of my studies in theology; and March, I'm completing the final semester of my studies in education. In case you're interested, it's going swimmingly, actually. I got my theology studies done so that I had O-week clear, and I also took the first week off - the two weeks just made it so much easier to transition into doing Education. I've been concentrating on doing more than 100w each day, and - so far so good. Today, I'm 200w ahead, and in the next 30 hours I should be finished my first assessment piece (40%, 1000-1200w, due in two weeks) - which I've done entirely without any all-nighters. My other assignment (30%, 1000w, due same day) is half-complete, and that should be done early next week. In short, I'm doing very well, complete with full nights of fairly normal sleeping patterns - I'm fairly sure that that's a first in my academic career, too. Some of my friends think they're rubbing off on me...

My public speaking is going well - I've completed eight of the ten required speeches for the first Toastmasters award, and am starting to both present without notes and to do well in short, impromptu speaking ('table topics'), which was a definite goal I had while I was there.

Chanting at services continues. I've learnt a lot of things in regards to liturgics. Work is continuing in the new organisation promoting Orthodoxy in this part of Australia...much more needs to be done, though. I've adjudicated a debate, and another one in the next few days. That was daunting - adjudicating in front of the new principal my old high school, particularly as a final semester education student! But, I survived...fortunately, my old high school's team was the better, so I was able to give the debate to them :)
(as much as I am impartial, I nonetheless want my old high school to win. That's not because I want them to win, though - it's because I want them to be superior - something that they won't be unless they are graded fairly)

All that said, I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing after I graduate. I'm not referring to whether I have a job lined up - nothing so grand - more where I am planning to be after graduation. Not long ago, there was the possibility (no commitment, but the possibility) that I would be able to go overseas and help an Orthodox Church, but that seems to have fallen through. I can't be too hit by that - or, rather, I shouldn't be - as it was obviously His will that that happen, but it does leave me in the quandry of 'if not that, then what?'. There are a couple of possibilities - the most obvious being 'use your education degree and be a high school teacher' - but I'm still investigating at this point. Maybe that's necessary...though I can't imagine why.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goodyear/Badyear?

Sometimes we can look back on the year that passed - as we are wont to do at this time of year - and consider that it was a good year; other times, we look back and see a bad year. Usually, however, these terms are more likely to reflect what happened in December than what took place over the year.

'Good year' and 'bad year' are such subjective, fickle terms.

I could easily look back on this year and see a fairly bad year. I found it difficult to find a place where I felt comfortable and at home (7 residences in a year and a week), I lost my best friend of 4 years, I deferred my studies because I had severe difficulty recovering from that as well as do everything else I was doing, and December has left me a little empty.

On the whole, I've got a lot of reasons to look back on this year and say 'bad'.

But, this year wasn't a total write-off, either. I've been involved in starting some pretty awesome activities (like a new mission parish, a new mission endeavour and expanding a church's cycle of services), had the luxury of taking time out from studies, got to live in West End (albeit for a short time), lived in Shanghai, figured out that I'm actually pretty good at teaching。Looking at that, the year actually starts looking pretty good.

But, looking at the past is only of value in assisting when looking towards the future.
So, what's 2009 bringing?

Well, in January and the first part of February, I'll be completing the third semester (i.e. first semester, second year) of my studies in theology. After this, from March to June I'll be completing the final semester of my studies in education. Concurrently, I'll still be chanting at a number of services, and beginning work with a new organisation promoting Orthodoxy in this part of Australia. I also intend on continuing my public speaking development, hopefully attaining my first Toastmasters' award, and in learning more about Orthodox liturgics and continuing research into genius and expertise. I am, however, intending on scaling down my adjudicating commitments.

On the whole, I'm looking forward to the year that shall be :)