You wrote that where?

Do you have so much homework you feel like you can’t do anything else? Are you stressed out of your mind because every thought is consumed by upcoming deadlines? Welcome to the homework club! It is not always easy to manage school alongside with the rest of your life. You might have bills to pay, extra curricular activities to attend to, a significant other to be with, or Netflix might be calling your name.With all this on your mind motivation can be difficult to get when you have so much on your plate, but after many years of procrastinating and brainstorming I have found a helpful solution.

Let me tell you a secret…

Continue reading “You wrote that where?”

Fierce Convictions: Hannah More

Do you like history? What about education? The abolition of slavery? Poetry?

If all these tickle your fancy, Hannah More is the gal for you.

I am currently doing a special course for my honours degree in which I was able to choose the subject matter. One of the people I am studying in the course is Hannah More. I am reading her works through the eyes of a philosopher and investigating whether or not she exercised philosophical tactics in her work. Although I am no historian, Hannah More lived an inspiring life. Coming from middle class social status, she effortlessly traversed between the upper and lower classes bringing about social and spiritual reform. Some of her most notable achievements were her ideas on education (although slightly sexist in the eyes of modern society), her contribution to ending slavery, her work in animal rights, and her beautiful poetry.

After reading more about her, I am really inspired to conduct myself as intellectually and classy as she did. She maintained a high moral standard yet always had even wit and wonderful words to create real change in the world.

If Hannah More sounds like an interesting woman to learn more about, I would suggest reading Karen Swallow Prior’s Fierce Convictions. It is a relatively short read that is informative and interesting. It is not your typical biography, but one that reads quickly like a novel. Definitely an A+ read for me!

Happy Reading!

Katie

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Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior

Hiding in my Corner of the World

I don’t know what to write here, but I know I have something to say. I have not been writing blog posts at all lately. My world has been a swirl of chaos, anxiety, and stress lately. I may have mentioned before that I am completing my undergrad, which is harder than I thought. There are financial burdens and assignments, but I am experiencing something that I did not expect.

According to my psychology major friends, it is fourth-year syndrome. Lack of motivation coupled with fear of the unknown beyond graduation and a desire to do well in the final spirit to the finish line. It is really hard to do anything when your motivation seems to be dampened by a soaking cloud of darkness.

I have had fears of not knowing why the heck I ever pursued an undergrad and why the heck I chose this field of study. What does a person do with a philosophy degree? Realistically, a lot can be done with any degree, if not only for self growth. But you see, I have a strong belief that there is a God and that he has a plan for my life. I don’t think that he determines my every choice, but I really do belief that He will use my degree for something meaningful in life. Maybe its because I am a worrier, or as another friend of mine has suggested, that I am a Type A personality, but I have often felt very confused about what steps I should take from here.

This post is kind of turning into a rant, but maybe one of you are experiencing the same thing. It really sucks to not knowing what lays ahead of you. Despite this all, there are something that are really helpful and nice to cling to. Firstly, God loves us even if no one else does. Secondly, I’m sure there are people who love each of us. Thirdly, there is always someone willing to help make your dreams happen.

I’m not sure what else to say except that I was glad I could share this with you all. I find writing so releasing and really hope to do it more. There are so many half-finished posts just waiting to be read by you all! I’ll have to work to finish those.

Until next time,

Katie

Surviving Your First Day of School

Hi Everyone,

I’m not sure how many of you readers are currently in school or have already started school, but I thought that this blog post might be useful to ease any anxieties you might have about starting school. It can be really difficult to start school, especially if it is your first day of university or college. To be honest, I am used to attending university, but I am always nervous before the first day. Don’t feel like you are alone if you too feel nervous!!!

I have learned that there are a few things you can do to calm your anxieties before starting school and ways you can survive your first day.

Before school starts, try your best to do these things:

  1. Go to your orientation/tour.
  2. Find out what materials and supplies you need for your program.
  3. Obtain the materials and supplies you need.
  4. Pick out an outfit.
  5. Try to get a good night’s sleep.

These five things are pretty obvious things, but they really do help. It helps relieve anxiety and pressure if you know you are prepared. By going on a tour or to your orientation, you may meet some new friends as well. Often school’s will pair up people in similar programs so that they have someone to relate to. Use this opportunity!

For the day of, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Go in with a positive attitude.
  2. Go earlier than your first class so that you can find your classes.
  3. Pack a really good meal and snacks for the time you will be at school.
  4. Bring water.
  5. Remember everyone else is in the same boat as you are.
  6. Be attentive in class.
  7. Take some deep breaths before your class if you need to.
  8. Go early to class to pick the seat you find most comfortable.
  9. Be friendly to people.
  10. Enjoy it!

There are probably a lot more things that could be added to this list, but the biggest part about surviving your first day is your mentality about it. Do your best to have a good attitude and even the worst situation will not seem as bad.

I hope these tips help and I wish you luck if you are starting school soon. I begin tomorrow so I will be sure to try out some of these myself!

Happy Studying!

Katie

Add Flames to the Fire: Paper Editing

Writing can be tough. No matter what you are writing, it can be a difficult task to do and to do well (especially if you are being graded on it)! With this being said, each person can run into different problems when they are writing, which can depend on anything from the type of writing you are doing to the environment you are in. I am no expert in this area, but have picked up on a few things from having to write so many of my own papers. At first, I never edited my papers. Luckily, I was able to still get good grades doing this, but quickly realized I could improve a lot more if I spent a bit of time editing. I’ll admit here that I really should spend more time editing these blog posts too, but it is a weakness of mine!

Taking Commentary with a Smile

Editing can seem like a scary task. It is even more scary if it is someone else’s work. Continue reading “Add Flames to the Fire: Paper Editing”

Jailhouse Rock

The warden threw a party in the county jail.
The prison band was there and they began to wail.
The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing.
You should’ve heard those knocked out jailbirds sing.
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock.
Everybody in the whole cell block
was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.

What a great song from Elvis Presley! I love this song, but its funny that now listening to it, a different meaning jumps out at me. Oddly, it reminds me of going back to school and dorm life. Although students aren’t under arrest or trapped in their dorm room cells, it can feel like it sometimes. This song reminded me to make sure we make time to relax and have a good time despite having so many things to do. I think this is something some of us forget to do. However, this doesn’t mean you should do no work! You are paying good money to get your education so don’t waste that opportunity. The important thing to remember is to keep relaxing and work in balance.  Continue reading “Jailhouse Rock”

New to Philosophy: Beginning Books

Hi Everyone!

So I’ve posted a few things here and there about philosophy on here, but I thought that a post like this one might be useful for those philosophically inclined readers. In the future, I plan on posting about some of the topics I have an interest in, but thought that not all of you have a formal education in philosophy. I really don’t believe that you need a formal education in anything to understand or be good at something. However, there are some basic things you need to know if you want to be able to understand the arguments people give for their beliefs. Continue reading “New to Philosophy: Beginning Books”

Bathtub Reflections: Philosophy in Education

So I was relaxing in the tub and began to think about the state of our education systems. Perhaps not the most relaxing topic… However, I came to some conclusions. I do think there are many good aspects to the education system, but I find that it is lacking in some areas. I think that a classical education is really beneficial, but yet still lacking a modern edge. If I had it my way, I would love a hybrid. I bet there are many schools and educators that try to have a good balance of the two, but in the very least I think that all people should have some background in philosophy. Not everyone will agree with me, but hear me out! These are my reasons:

1. Philosophy teaches a history of thought. By studying the past, we can find out how the views people hold now came to be. This can be an insightful way of understanding where people are coming from or useful in solving issues the world deals with today. Maybe some philosophers of the past have paved the way for the YOLO philosophy of the day or why doctor assisted suicide is becoming more accepted globally. In the very least, it offers food for thought for today.

2. Philosophy is a method of dealing with inevitable “big life” questions. So many great minds have seriously and deeply contemplated the big questions we all face throughout our lives. Some of these big questions might be death, creation, God, people, existence, purpose, etc. Having a method of dealing or trying to answer these questions provides ease of mind and the ability to share your answers with others. 

3. Philosophy can build you up as a person. This one may be more obvious or less obvious depending on who you speak with. However, practising philosophy can greatly develop your argumentation skills and problem solving skills. You will learn to have the tools to stick up for yourself and having these tools might just give you a boost of confidence. For some philosophers, their boost of confidence sky rockets and they might need to tone it down a few notches, but a healthy serving of humble pie is sometimes in order. Either way you spin it, learning to express your opinions in a healthy and productive manner can be of great benefit for yourself personally and for a employer. 

I’m sure there are many more reasons, but you can only think of so many before the bathwater goes cold! I hope you all have a wonderful day.

– Katie

5 Tips for Reading Philosophy 

I am no expert in Philosophy, I do not have a PhD, and I have not read everything there is on the subject. However, I have read a lot and for various reasons. I have written what seems a thousand papers on different subjects during undergrad, but I have also read for fun. As I think having some exposure to other ideas is healthy and a useful tool for apologetics, I thought it would be good to give you all some tips if you don’t know where to start. 

   1. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand something. 

Sometimes it took 3, 4, 5, or even 10 times to understand something a philosopher wrote. To be honest, most of them don’t write in a reader friendly way (that’s totally my opinion though) and a lot of philosophers that you will come across speak a different version of your language if it is not translated from another. A lot of old philosophers wrote in Old English rather than Modern English. If you don’t understand the passage you read, try reading it again or even out loud. If you still don’t understand, consider asking a friend to read it and see what they think of it.

   2. Take Notes.

I HATE writing in books. It feels so wrong. However, I found that with philosophy I must suppress the urge not to write in the margins and go wild. If you can’t bring yourself to write in the margins, consider keeping a notebook near by to comment on things you thought were good points, dumb points, etc. Not only will this help you remember what you’ve read, but also will offer you comedy as you read through them later. The interesting remarks you write will be sure to surprise you!
  3. Start with a topic you like.

This might not be possible if you are reading for school, but it helps if you are reading about a topic that interests you. Is it creation, the soul, the mind, reality? Whatever it is, check those topics out first.

  4. Don’t plan to memorize everything you’ve read.

You don’t want to be that guy or girl who has read every philosopher and throws it in your face. Philosophers have a real issue with being humble. Besides this, trying to memorize everything you read takes away from the enjoyment and from processing the information. Maybe later you can try to memorize the things you loved, but its more important to understand the information. If you don’t understand what the argument being offered is, you won’t be able to make a proper assessment or comment on the material. 

  5. Don’t make philosophy your only genre of reading.
As great as philosophy is, it can be really dense. Sometimes it is important to give your brain a break and read something a little lighter. If you really don’t want to read anything other than philosophy, consider reading fiction that is laced with it. Many authors write philosophically, but do not outright state their arguments. Mary Shelly and Jane Austen are two female authors that have philosophy laced throughout their works because they lived in a time when women could not publish philosophy papers. C.S. Lewis is another author who writes philosophy into his fiction. Perhaps try one of these authors?

I hope these 5 tips were helpful. There are so many more out there and maybe I’ll post some more sometime. Enjoy!

-Katie