I Got 99 Problems…

And, unfortunately, this class is one! :(

Tuesday, October 20, 2015: Exam 2 is upon us and I must say…I’m stressed. This is definitely grind week for every class that I am taking. Literally, all 20 credits of mine are requiring so much attention and all at the same time. To make matters worse, for the life of me, I cannot recall what happened in class last week. My notes are detailed, but I am having a hard time recollecting things that were said and discussed.

For now, I guess I can rant a little more about how it seems as though all of the extra credit opportunities for this course tend to go directly to my spam folder. I just cannot win and I am trying so, so hard and just not succeeding. Somebody, anybody, everybody send help!!! :(

Now that my little tantrum is over and I have finally come back from my tangent, I can now begin my actual journal. Being that this is the journal for exam 2, I guess the best thing for me to do is prepare for my exam. (Especially considering that I still cannot recall the class discussion for the last two classes!!) Seeing that this is not going well for me and that I cannot recollect anything I decide to read Meditations again. Boy, did that take a long time. (Total time elapsed: 3 hours)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015: After reading Meditations and its summaries online, I think I may actually have a small idea of what this is all about. However, I do not feel 100% confident in what I know. Here is what I have gathered. The author is very thankful to lots of people (and the gods) for his accomplishments and successes. He gives a list of shoutouts in the first book alone.

Granddad Verus, thank you for good morals and teaching me to control my temper.
Dad, you taught me to be modest and to uphold a manly character. Though you were stubborn, you were also extremely hard working and a listening ear when times got tough.
Mom, you taught me to be pious and show relevance to the gods. Moreover, I am thankful that you continued to encourage me to abstain from evil deeds, actions and thoughts. I am also appreciative that you taught me to enjoy a simple lifestyle and that a grand lifestyle wasn’t needed.
Governor, you’re the MVP for not allowing me to express my opinions on certain topics of discussion.
Diognetus, you taught me how to spend my time wisely and to endure the idea of freedom of speech.
Rusticus, thanks for helping improve my character. You taught me how to be refined and how to be presentable.
Apollonius, you taught me freedom and will and to be a free spirit.
Sextus, you really helped me develop my ideals related to being a family man and how to be free of passion.
Alexander the grammarian, you taught me to not place blame on people and to look for the best in eveyrone.
Alexander the platonic, you taught the importance of accountability.
Catalus, you assured me that it is okay and acceptable to call your friends out if need be.
Severus, thank you for reminding me that family is important and how to be consistent.
Maximus, I learned how to self-govern, which isn't that easy.
The gods, I owe you eevrything. Because of you I have a good family, teachers, friends and everyting I could ever ask or need.

Meditations also hones the idea of stoic philosophy, concerning what is possible and what isn’t possible. What I like and dislike about Meditations is that this was actually meant only for the eyes of Aurelius. Who, betrayed his privacy? (Total time elapsed: 2 hours)

Thursday, October 22, 2015: Today is a hard day for me as it would have been my cousin’s 11th birthday. I’m trying hard not to be down in the dumps and lo and behold, the sun comes out today! I can’t help but to think that this is because of the immense amount of light and joy she brought into my life. It reminds me of the discussion we had in class about a person’s soul outliving their body. I definitely feel her presence today and though I am sad, eventually I can’t stay in this emotional state. It is as though something is forcing me to be happier.

As for the discussion on the piece by Deresiewicz, I believe that the message presented ranged in importance and significance. He made important comments about technology and innovation, which seem to be the next “big things” for my generation. Technology seems to be the new norm for communication these days and it seems as though it is inhibiting the ability for people to interact socially and build relationships. Due to this high influence and the prevalence of social media, the upcoming generations will not understand the importance of face-to-face communication. I am convinced that they will not be capable of holding conversations or going on interviews. This, my friend, is rather sad. Deresiewicz notices that a lack of common communication hinders leaders from being able to make decisions and lead. After all, one of the best traits a leader can have is the ability to effectively communicate.

Deresiewicz also places an emphasis on the importance of solitude and alone time. I, for one, can agree that it is necessary to be alone and have time to yourself where you allow your mind and thoughts to wander. Growing up in a house with 4 biological brothers, alone time was my best friend when growing up. It allowed me to explore my imagination and to become a curious child. (My friends and family say that I am too curious because I like to know all the details of a situation). Although interaction is considered to be a necessity to thrive and be great, I argue that the same amount of time allotted for interaction, if not more, is needed for solidarity. I strongly believe that the times when you are alone is when you develop your brightest ideas and strongest arguments. Alone time allows for the individual to grow and mature at her own pace, her own speed and in her own time, without ridicule or shame. (Total time elapsed: 3 hours)

Friday, October 23, 2015: Today, I decide to review Socrates, Plato, Xenophon and I also briefly compare how Socrates and Alcibiades differ and the few ways that they are similar.

Socrates lived from 407–399 BCE and was charged with the account of the asebeia or impiety, corrupting the youth, disbelieving in the state gods and introducing new gods. Overall, Plato’s account of the Apology takes note that Socrates is the wisest, because he is the only person who knows his ignorance and he realizes that only the gods are wise, whereas Xenophon’s account of the Apology notes that no one is “more free, more just or more sound of mind.”

In comparing Socrates and Alcibiades, Socrates is eloquent and speaks the truth, he is minimally concerned with physical safety or pride, he is a law abiding citizen and he appeals to the rationale. Furthermore, he is not highly emotional and only concerned with improving the soul and prides himself with integrity. Alcibiades, on the other hand, is able to read is audience and therefore very persuasive. He is also aggressive and concerned with status and profits off of others and is known to be emotionally shallow. A major difference between the two is that Socrates is more of a spiritual leader, whereas Alcibiades is a political leader. (2 hours)

I can only hope that this helps me! :(