Journal #9

Day Seventeen (October 20, 2015): Discuss Aurelius’ Meditations in the context of Stoic philosophy. Discuss the MLK memorial.

Class — 0940–1100 1.5 hrs I was unfortunate not to attend class today because I overslept due to burning the midnight oil the night prior. I know that isn't a good enough excuse to miss class, or a quiz for that matter, but I realize that I have to make up for it now that I have a zero written down for one of my quiz grades.

Study time — 1830–2100 2.5 hrs (Read William Deresiewicz’ article, “Solitude and Leadership.” Take notes on your questions and responses).

After reading this article, I allowed myself to reflect on the content of it, and in some respects personalized it to my life in particular. William Deresiewicz was the guest speaker at West Points’ graduation ceremony. He was speaking to the graduating class of what appeared to be future officers in the United States Army. His main address to the graduating class was the plight of a leader. He stated that the Army was a bureaucratic institution that retained the rhetoric of training soldiers who follow orders.

(According to Deresiewicz’ what does it mean to be “alone with your thoughts?” How does someone achieve this)? After reading the article, I believe Deresiewicz was referring to being in charge of your thoughts. He pointed out the fact that some leaders today, in the Army in particular, have been programmed to do things according to protocol. He used the term regiment, or regimental; and interestingly enough, some parts of the Army utilizes regiments in order to label groups of soldiers that make up a large body, or division is what we call it. Once these large bodies come together, you begin to see uniformity on a mass scale. But what happens is once soldiers become apart of these large size elements, they begin to lose their sense of individuality; they forget how to be alone with their thoughts. And this is where Deresiewicz notes the importance of being alone with your thoughts in order to maintain that sense of individuality and leadership, because leaders must be able to operate in that capacity; that area of expertise and creativity that sets them apart from the rest.

(October 21, 2015)

Study time — 1400–1500 1 hr (In your view today, what challenges do you face in thinking for yourself? List at least five, but even more if you can).

In my view of life today, I believe the challenges I may face when thinking for myself would be if my thoughts are sound enough to make long-term life decisions. Should I consult someone about the things I think about with regard to my academic career, etc. Should I do research and inquire on the things that I seriously meditate on? How would I know if the research I’ve done is extensive enough? Or is the material that I looked at in support of my thinking, or will it change my entire thought process? Do other people think like me? Should I compromise my thoughts in order to seem relative or understandable? These might be the few challenges I would face when thinking or myself.

Day Eighteen (October 22, 2015): Discuss Deresiewicz’ article on “Solitude and Leadership.” Discuss Susan Engel’s The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood, esp. Chapter 8: The Uses of Time and Solitude. Review for Exam Two.

Class — 0940–1100 1.5 hrs In class today we started with the MLK Memorial. Dr. Sandridge posed the question, “Does the monument feature MLK as a political leader or a spiritual one?” I think that in order for me to tackle this question I have to first look at the inception of Dr. King’s stance on justice. He was a leader for the people who suffered injustices by racial and political systems. So in that respect I feel it is necessary to recognize that he was a leader for justice, and because of that he was unintentionally seen as a political leader. But as I said before, Dr. King stood for justice, and some people may view that as a spiritual leader as well because justice derives from a social system created for the equality of man. That is why the quote “No Justice, No Peace” would be found on the signs of protesters who felt deprived of this so-called universal justice system, but wasn't fortunate enough to reap the benefits. We also covered two quotes that is located on the side of the monument; one of them stated “I was a drum major for justice, peace, righteousness”. Most of his quotes could be considered political/spiritual (arguably). He’s pictured wearing a suit — could be a church suit or a suit of a politician. Stoic philosophy; the universe is meant for us to contain cosmic world view “moral arc of universe bends towards justice”.

Study time — 1900–2130 2 hrs (Review for Exam Two. Summarize the questions we have tackled thus far in the course. Identify the gaps in your understanding. Compare your list with other classmates. Work together or separately to fill in the gaps of your understanding). During this time I literally wrote down everything I covered in my notes:

Magn, Singularity
Make a career of humanity

Socrates does what is right, follow my damonion. But at the end of the day he will follow the law. Stuck by spiritual and followed the law.

Start big. Write the big stuff. Ten big names. Ideas.

Socrates, Plato apology, Marcus Aurelius, phaedo, solitude and leadership.

Socrates dates Socrates life.

Identify what you don’t know. Make comparisons to earlier leaders and readings.

As I prepared for the exam, I met up with some of my colleagues from class and compared notes. I wrote down the things they had that I didn’t have in my notes and vice versa. Afterwards I went back to my room and began organizing my notes into an outline so that I could study in an organized fashion. Here’s to test two! !

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