It’s been a fair while since I last posted any updates here. Last time I left off just before going to a party. Let’s not talk about that party. It was not big and it wasn’t clever. There was a watermelon. Let’s not talk about that watermelon. Let’s have a moratorium on talking about watermelons.
I’ve not written anything here for the last few weeks because I’ve been pretty busy with work. I’m just finishing my first set of midterms, and I had to do a lot of reading and revision to make sure I was ready. I worked out that altogther this set of exams is worth a total of 10% of my total marks for this year. They’ve gone well, or at least far better than I thought they would. Most of my work was focused on Symbolic Logic, and though at first I was convinced I just wasn’t smart enough to understand it all, it turns out that like with philosophy in general, half the time you think something’s going above your head it’s simply because the person writing it is being needlessly vague, or assuming a level of knowledge they haven’t stated you’ll need. Most of the time in philosophy, in fact, any problem of understanding is the result of the philosopher thinking they’re really clever, and using obfuscating language, or failing to understand the difference between philosophy and literature. As my Philosophy of Science lecturer said; ‘The German Idealists are hard to understand because they’re not actually saying anything‘. In other words, Hegel uses complicated language to mask the fact that he hasn’t got anything important to say; he’s essentially saying ‘blah blah blah’ for three hundred pages.
Sorry, I realise you probably don’t care about the German Idealists. I’ll write a little more about what I’m up to, and I’ll try to avoid talking about philosophy.
So, I’ve joined BAM (Ballroom at Maryland), thinking I’d get outside of my comfort zone (I’m getting into that habit) and go a couple of times a week so I can hopefully something. Somehow I got entered into a competition; as in an inter-University competition. I’m now going four nights a week, and hopefully I won’t make a mess of myself when the competition comes around. I think I’m getting better; at least, I’ve stopped measuring how well I know a specific dance by how few times I crush a girl’s foot. A couple of fridays ago, when I was first entered for this competition in November, and met my partner (who’s very nice) a bunch of newbies and veteran dancers went out to a noodle place. It was a lot of fun. A guy I didn’t know had a go at me for the Indian Mutiny, and then I had a go at him about Manifest Destiny. Afterwards we all went to a dancing event somewhere just outside of college park. We arrived halfway through a dance class, and after that there were a good few hours of music where you could just dance with anyone. It was mostly just us University students and the regulars; local people in their fifties and sixties. I got asked to dance a few times by semi-elderly ladies, and did so. Some of them seemed pretty ecstatic that I was English. And they were all very tolerant of my complete inability to dance. I danced with a few people in my class, slowly worked my way up to moving my feet in a passable manner, and met some pretty cool people. All in all a fun evening, and one that I had no idea I was going to experience when I went to the ballroom class that afternoon.
As I said, I’ve been mostly working this past couple of weeks. But this past saturday I went to a dance at Somerset Hall. It had a DJ, and dancing, and Skittles. We had fun pregaming before the dance (drinking lemonade, 7UP, and mixers), and we had fun afterwards, where I ate a whole heap of egg fried rice and shrimps from a chinese take-away. The dance itself though, well, it kind of felt like a secondary school disco, only with far more grinding (at least, none of my secondary school discos had grinding). And that grinding was questionable as hell, and mostly one-sided. I sat down with a non-dancing ally, did the cha-cha-cha to a club anthem, and methodically ate all the red Skittles.
Amiina, an Icelandic string-quartet that works with Sigur Rós a lot, have released their second album. It’s lovely. If you like quiet, slightly slow post-rock music (and honestly, who doesn’t?) then give it a listen. It’s ace.