saddle, to be back in after being removed from, etc.

As an aside (which is against the Rules, I know, since I haven't started writing anything to get aside of), I'm finding it very difficult to blog again. Seeing all of the other blogs, sometimes more valuable, sometimes less so, I am tempted to do a danfox and just delete the whole thing...except for a thin candy shell. Part of the problem is the glass darkly sort of thing, as john has commented on more eloquently. Then I reflect on the wisdom of jnf and am reminded that we are just pointers; in our best moments, we reflect light emanating from a Source the way the moon reflects the sun. Or we imitate the Source (but probably not through a blog) and momentarily become tiny candles, lamps on a hill. So for now, here's more schlock to fill the metaverse. My two day trip to interview for the Notre Dame HPS program was not as harrowing as I expected. Nor was it definitive. I thought I would walk away knowing for certain whether I was 'in' or 'out' and what that meant for the future. Alas. I must wait. Eventually the call or the letter will make its way to me and I'll know. But for now, more waiting. I don't like being away from my wife for two days. I don't like sharing a hotel room with a complete stranger. I don't like being put on the spot over and over again (11 times, in all) as a kind of test on whether I would fit in to a program or not. I know that on paper individuals come across a certain way that doesn't necessarily correspond to their 'real selves.' It is akin to the problem with blogging--you sense something of me by reading what I write. But without the non-verbal communication, which some sociologists and communications scholars like Neil Postman believe account for almost a full half of the actual "communications package" that we convey when relating to one another, much of what we're trying to say gets left behind. I hope the interviews helped bolster my case rather than detract from it. Notre Dame itself is...well...it's a real school. It is self-consciously an institution of higher learning. It knows it represents both academia and Catholicism. ND is a much more effective Catholic institution than, say, Boston College which did not feel very Catholic. And ND is not simply ethnically Catholic or nominally Catholic, like I expected. Mass is regularly attended--not compulsory, but popular. The Grotto, a famous ND landmark, is a prayer "patio" where even at 9pm on a cloudy, cold Thursday night, students went to kneel and presumably pray. Then they lit their candles and did those hand gesture things that, raised in a fundie school, I learned to suspect at a very early age. Watching it done in front of the Grotto, by otherwise completely innocuous college students made me realize that it is less superstition than identifier: "I do this to remind myself I am not here just because I want to be or I am a good student," etc. "With God's help..." my aunt Kathy, devoutly Catholic, reminds me all the time. And I wonder if my Protestantism has any helpful corollary, other than the decidedly unhelpful "God helps those that help themselves." But I'm not converting any time soon--just bi-curious, as they say. The more troubling thing is that I might be tri-curious. That probably goes too far. But the more I begin to understand about the whole eugenics thing, the more I see that Protestants are usually in favor of it. Or at least they were sometime in the past, while the Catholics were ardently protesting that children were born that way because God's in charge and we're not. The eugenicists--many Bible-thumping Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Brethren--were also very in favor of utilizing God's gift of science to "relieve suffering" and "create more perfect humanity" by sterilizing, imprisoning, and even euthanizing those who were seen to be genetically weak, criminal, alcoholics, or simply poor. It's like Dylan said: with God On Our Side, we do lots of things that make Him weep and build up more wrath to pour out on us.


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