I hate reading a blog, finding it very interesting, and then being unable to find out anything about who writes it. Now that I’ve started writing my own, I’m not sure what to say about myself. Funny, huh?
I’m forty and a few, live in Germany, and make my living teaching English, because that’s the kind of work I can find. I love language, and I love writing, but I hate teaching English. But I love my students, and try to give them my best. OK, I don’t really hate teaching English. I’d just rather be playing rock and roll on my banjo.
If you’ve read some of the blog, you know my interests are varied. But basically I live in the past, whether it’s sitting on the Acropolis listening to Aristotle or in a saloon in Tombstone. Yes, I have fixations on the ancient Greeks and the Old West. And booze. And baseball. And playing cards and cups and balls. And Elvis—though Elvis is much too important to blog about.
I play the banjo, but in the category “banjos” you’ll find not only banjos but music-related themes in general. You also might find a few posts on the “banjo state of mind”, which—contrary to stereotypes arising from Deliverance—has nothing to do with backwoods retardation, and more to do with a spiritual search for something which only playing the banjo can reveal. A philosopher with a banjo is a remarkable thing.
Not that I’m REALLY a philosopher. I was raised—by my professors, not my parents—to think that those who study philosophy are perpetual students, and that a true “philosopher” is something more profound than the average academic can lay claim to. True enough. Those typical professors over in the philosophy departments of colleges and universities are no more philosophers than I am Doc Holliday.
Not a single one of my professors, as far as I know, played the banjo.
It makes a difference.
I finished my Ph.D. in 1992 at the University of Dallas (I only include this for the sake of googling—perhaps some alumni will find this site and find it amusing), and I cherish what my professors gave to me. If it was not wisdom, at least it was a set of skills, tools and mindset which make wisdom more possible.
But they did not teach me the banjo.
Or maybe they did. I’ll have to think about that.