Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A little philosophy is good for the soul...

Keep reading until the end for my philosophical story.

I think spring is coming soon.
Birds are starting to sing again, we have had a couple sunny days, the wind is a little warmer...and forecasted temperatures are in the high 40s and low 50s (Fahrenheit, of course).

Yesterday in English we were looking at some of our classmates' analyses to "The Last Night of the World" by Ray Bradbury...we first corrected the grammar (although there were a few mistakes both in the originals and corrections from others, most of it was well written) and then talked about the content. My teacher's funny line: "Maybe I should have you (me) here when I correct the class tests. It's a lot faster than using the dictionary."

Meanwhile my host sister's boyfriend decided to stay the week instead of just the weekend, which is nice for them.

Also, I had the longest Skype conversation with my parents on Sunday - nearly two hours with one minor interruption. Usually they are shorter and are interrupted an average of three or four times because of the bad WiFi connection I have in my room. It was really nice - we talked about our trip to Greece, the upcoming summer, college stuff, Grandma Carol, and their awesome work in the gym. ;)

As far as I know, I have sent everything in for the college applications that was still missing...so now I get to be tortured by the awful wait. Oh well. I just hope it turns out well considering I've worked my entire life for this moment.

I also thought about how surreal my return home will be. Here's what I picture in my mind (and I already know it's exactly what will happen):
I fly home to Washington. I drive 6 hours in the car to good ol' Greensboro, NC with my parents (and yes, I will be driving part of the time), I enter my house and drop my bags at the front door which irritates my mom but it's force of habit and my suitcases will be heavy, I take off my shoes and socks, walk upstairs, and flop (yes, flop) onto my [new] bed. I will start thinking. About life, what got me to that point, and my year living away from my family on a different continent. Surreal. It will feel like a very long dream. I will be home in a place that has not changed since I left. But I will have changed. This year has changed me so much. It will continue to change me these last 3.5 months I am still here. But I will be home where everything has stayed the same, moving forward a year without me. It's not like moving to a new place and never going back. I will be dropping myself into the world I knew as a completely new person. The last year will seem like a daydream, a hallucination maybe. And the only evidence I will have that it actually happened is myself through my memories, my personality, my knowledge. No one else can tell me what is real. Only I can. A man named Bertrand Russell once wrote, "So far as things are concerned, we may know them or not know them, but there is no positive state of mind which can be described as erroneous knowledge of things, so long, at any rate, as we confine ourselves to knowledge by acquaintance. Whatever we are acquainted with must be something; we may draw wrong inferences from our acquaintance, but the acquaintance itself cannot be deceptive." He also talked about knowledge of truths, but this was a different truth that what I'm talking about. I believe that my memories are "things" because I can only know them by acquaintance. No one else can tell me that they do or do not exist, because they have not nor will ever experience what I have. Thus, this adventure will seem like a dream.

Thank you, Freebird, for being an outstanding philosophy teacher - your lessons in school and in life will always stay with me.

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