Monday, December 29, 2014

His Intellectual Hermitage

So dear reader I must confess the reason for the lack of posts is because I've been dealing with some rather epic life changing events.  I recently came out to my parents that I am transgender, that I want to live my life as a male.  The  plan to continue the intellectual hermitage here but I am also considering discussing some of my transitioning as well.  I have not made that decision fully yet, I just wanted to apologize and make everyone aware as to why posts here had fallen by the wayside.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Problems of an Autodidact Wannabe

Sometimes you just don't have a motivation to really embark on the projects you set out for yourself. That has been my problem. I know the things I would like to do but unfortunately I have lost all motivation to move forward. I don't know if it is the recent downturn in my mood that has left me questioning my intellect or it's the aging and feeling no sense of accomplishment that has made me procrastinate. I could also just be making a ton of excuses for myself.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Projects and Aspirations.

These last few years I have wanted to take on a large literary project, nanowrimo every november, and also learn the violin/cello.   Because of different constraints on my time I had not been able to focus as intently on these projects and desires as I had hoped to. I feel like a large portion of my guilt about not being able to concentrate on these projects stemmed from the feeling of being unable to adequately schedule my time to incorporate these in my life as much as I had hoped to.  When you live as an individual who associates primarily with the verb "to think", one would suppose that they would put all their effort into intellectual pursuits--unfortunately adult life doesn't always allow for focus on the things that we enjoy the most.

Recently I have thrown a lot of the things in my life that I am not completely dedicated to out of my schedule, and instead the few hours I have to myself in the morning I have delegated to my autodidact studies.  I am striving to write for 1 hour a day, to read for at least 1 hour a day where in silence I can completely focus on the text on hand, I also try to listen to one of The Great Courses lectures.  I am also going to try to incorporate cello practice into my daily schedule as soon as I start taking lessons.  

I recently went to the local music store and aquired a cello rental, I had to give up the violin because the awkward angle managed to irritate my prior wrist injuries and always made my wrist hurt long after practice and lessons.  Hopefully the cello will not bother me as much as the violin had.  I figure I will not be able to start cello lessons for at least 2 weeks.  I am hoping the instructor will allow me two lessons a week. I really want to focus as intently as I can on studying the cello in addition to focusing on the autodidact studies. 

Right now I am feeling  bit overwhelmed because in order to improve my writing I am startin back over the basics.  Joshua Fields Millburn's How to Write Better course has it's students start by reading  various grammar books.   Starting from the beginner stage has deafinitely left me feeling a bit overwhelmed because grammar has never been my strong suit.  With a tendency to write like I talk and writing in extensive run on sentences I know that I have to really focus on improving my basic skills.  Truthfully I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole undertaking, but I suppose that inorder to really write the way that I wish to, I must concentrate on exploring the great writers from my literary undertaking and focus on how to truly improve my writing skills.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

On cultivating a better persona

As I write this entry I already feel like I will be reiterating points I have touched upon in previous entries.  I originally started this blog with the objective of creating a place to document the overall evolution of my persona.  I feel like most of use existing in a lower to middle class existence are never given the appropriate guidance that allows us to cultivate a truly we'll educated, classy and well mannered air.  I wouldn't classify myself as a heathen but I do we a that the person I am is not exactly the "way" I want to be.   This may in part be due to the fact that for many years I resisted the truth that I was agender (non binary), so I strived for many years to be someone I deep down was uncomfortable being.  Now that I have come to terms with being agender I have realized that ultimately I need to allow myself to evolve into the person I want to be.

Starting today I made a vow to myself that I will undertake the goals I had listed for myself at the outset of this year, but due to my own lack of motivation and outright procrastination I did not act to attain any of these goals. My procrastination was in fact partially related to my fear of outgrowing my significant other who recently had not been expressing any intellectual drive or  determination.  I feared that if I continued to evolve, to try and change myself while he allowed himself to stagnate that we would grow apart and I would lose the person I really adore.  I am assured this sounds like me just making excuses to legitimize my procrastination but that is not the case.

So here I sit on the precipice of change, but what you may wonder am I intending to now focused my attentions on.  In April of this year I had paid for Joshua Fields Milburn's writing course, I never worked on it.  I had intended to tackle the lifetime reading list/ The Great Books of the Western World/The Harvard Five Foot Shelf combined.  I had desired to resume my violin lessons to begin the cello.  Instead of doing any one of these things, I achieved nothing but wasting any valuable free time that I had.  It's still difficult to really embark on this change no matter the desire to evolve, all of us no matter how we want to change are still resistant to it to a degree.  I think my fear of his change stems from the fact that I know how overwhelming and how much of an undertaking that this is.  I cannot allow myself further procrastination because I am hindered by the magnitude of this project.

To embark on the reading program first I must revisit how to properly and intentionally read.  So I have picked up again my copy of How To Read A Book by Mortimer Adler, I also have An Experiment In Criticism by C.S. Lewis  and How To Read Literature by Terry Eagleton to brush up on my critical reading skills.  I did attempt to read Bloom's How To Read and Why,  unfortunately I found that the book couldn't hold my interest and did not pass the 50 page test.  During the readings of these selections I will also be listening to The Great Courses How to Read lecture series.   So I will endeavor to finish the other three books before I start the Lifetime Reading Plan's first selection The Epic of Gilgamesh. But because I am one of those individuals that prefers to take things to a more in depth  study, I have also ordered books on Sumerian Culture and history, and a second book on Mesopotamian mythology.

With NanoWrimo fast approaching, I will be revisiting the writing course to amp up my writing skills and undertake NanoWrimo in November. It appears that I will have a bit of time off around that time so I shall be able to wholly focus on that project and my writing.

In January, preferably sooner, I will rent a cello and see about taking the cello lessons. I fear my work schedule and my filial obligations may cause conflict but I will attempt to attended the private lessons weekly.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Examined Life: Reigniting the Fire of Intellectual Pursuits.

I have been very lax in doing much of anything these days. I halted my pursuit of living a hobbit life, I stopped following the intellectual path, to be honest and a bit vulgar I just stopped giving a shit about pretty much everything that I had cared about. I was extremely overwhelmed with stress and had found myself emotionally and physically out of sorts. I've been taking a bit of time as of late to sort myself out and I was able to find some direction. I've been able to get back no the correct track. I've rediscovered my passion for wanting to live a hobbit style life and for wanting to pursue and examined life.

I have been trying to figure out where to start because to be honest when you look at taking on the Great Books of the Western World and the Lifetime Reading Plan, also while trying take on the Great Courses program while working full time is a bit overwhelming. Maybe I am biting off a bit more than I can chew but the reality is unless one puts full effort into expanding their educational base what is the point. The Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman shows the Epic of Gilgamesh as the first selection. Although I have a copy of the book already, I have decided to pick up Samuel Noah Kramer's book The Sumerians, as well as downloading the audio lectures from The Great Courses on Ancient Mesopotamia which touches on the sumerians as well as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

My pursuit of hobbit life has pretty much been trying to embody the Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith. I haven't been able to really focus on it too much and the closest I have gotten to it is quietly spending time knitting and drinking tea.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hobbit Living 101

So as I said, my latest endeavor is to live like a hobbit.  As I said in the earlier post I think we as individuals would live better lives and ultimately become better people.  So the question we must ask is where to start?

When you think about it our modern world most of us live in urban areas where building a hobbit hole ( ie our own Bag End) is not feasible.  Also it seems that our society has split into two different factions, almost cold and cynical individuals who have turned away from the ideal of community and have become overwhelmed by mass consumerism and those who are preaching the testament of community, being a localvore and recommuning with the earth.  I think in order to live like a hobbit we need to shy away from becoming like the first and striving to be like the second group.

So taking into account that ideology how does one begin to live like a hobbit.  It starts at home.  For all hobbits home is to cite the clichè "where the heart is".  That is where I am beginning, at home.  How does one make their house into a hobbit home, be it a house, an apartment, a rented room, or if your lucky your own Bag End?  When one thinks of a hobbit home, we think of a warm hearth, good food, a comfortable chair, and books.  I live with family and so I have opted to turn only my room into a hobbit hole.  I have an upcoming extended time off from my job, so I will be completely tackling all the chaos and disorder and excessive mess that I have amassed and reconstructing the room into a hobbit hole.  More to come.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Newest idea

I have been lax on this blog...lately I have been on a new path...I have been thinking that if human beings lived more like hobbits we would be better creatures.  We would have more respect for our fellow man, for other animals on this planet, and for our I'm on a quest does on live a hobbit life, because I cannot advocate this unless I fully embrace it myself.