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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal/Theological Notebook: No Joe; Much Jesus 
14th-Sep-2011 11:28 pm
Florence-City of Art
Bummed. My brother Joe called earlier tonight to tell me that he wouldn't be able to make it down here Thursday, after all. He's at a wedding with Dave, his father-in-law, over in Florida for most of the week, and thought he might be able to make a day trip over here, but the schedule won't be that flexible, after all. Daniele and Nate ended up staying home because they've only just managed to get Nate, who is just shy of three years old, into a real routine with his new preschool/day care experience, and because Daniele as a teacher has only a very limited amount of personal days she can take off during the school year. So being relatively on his own raised the possibility for Joe that he could drive the three-and-a-half hours each way to make a New Orleans run, and I've been waiting for the last week or so to find out whether he could actually pull it off. I was trying to not be optimistic, since that is kind of a big extra run to throw into the mix of his schedule, but it would have been cool. Though we talk on Skype, I've not actually seen any family in five months, now, which is a new record for me, and it would have been cool to be able to give him a quick glimpse of some New Orleans flavour. I had been thinking dinner at Dante's Kitchen, and, if he was feeling ambitious and maybe wanted to turn this into a brief overnight, heading down to Frenchmen Street for some music: I'm not sure what would be playing, and I know we'd have been missing Ellis Marsalis's Trio on one of their regular nights by a day....

Still wiped out from my work yesterday. After all of that, and of how tired I was, when I got home I didn't sleep very well, so I felt like I've been dragging all day. Nevertheless, I had a pretty productive session with my Jesus Christ courses today. "Jesus in Teaching and Action" was the theme, and we looked at a number of passages in the gospels, from which people took the story or teaching that struck them the most and explained why in discussion with the rest of the class (with people often chiming in on what struck them about said passage, too), and distilled that down to a single descriptive word about Christ as a personality, with the effect at the end of the session of having started to create a distinct personality sketch. I wanted them, especially if they've never really read the gospels before, to be able to start to get a hold on why Jesus had had such a profound personal impact on the people who encountered him, and to pick up on how much of that impact is still preserved in the texts. The only downside of the sessions were discovering, particularly in my second session, that a number of people hadn't done the reading at all. (Five students in the second class, all, stereotypically, people sitting in the back of the class....) While I try to make my classes somewhat flexible, I've got to be prepared to make sure that that lack of participation and preparation bites them in the ass if they keep it up....
14th-Sep-2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
right! sometimes i expect that my class will have a 15 minute discussion that just won't happen because of the lack of reading!!! often I will read the passage to them aloud in class....oh my.
15th-Sep-2011 09:28 am (UTC)
Sometimes you can be reduced to something like that, just to make sure that they're getting something of the material! I'm pleased to see you writing on LiveJournal again, although I've been too swamped the last few days to seriously sit and read and comment (if I've anything to say). But I'm way out of the loop: what are you teaching?
15th-Sep-2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
isn't all, or most, of that stuff Jesus is purported to have said just made up by the early church for, um, teaching moments?
15th-Sep-2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
That certainly became a popular thing to say in New Testament Studies a few decades back (a discipline which, by the standards of the secular Ancient History methodologies I was first trained in, often seems entirely ideologically-driven and which might as well employ Ouija Boards as tools). There's an almost desperate sense in a lot of scholarship of the need to downplay Jesus or anything that looks like a "traditional" Christian conclusion in order to gain the approval of secular intellectual elites in the university culture. This kind of conclusion, for example, then just set up the logical problem of who these anonymous committees of spiritual geniuses far greater than Jesus were, and how they managed to both remain lesser lights than Jesus as well as having designed the Gospels as (apparently) far more complicated committee documents than have ever otherwise been executed by humanity. The approach really buries Ockham's Razor in the backyard....
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