Sep 222009

I was in uni for the first of my classes today. It’s one I’m auditing and it was just the introductory class so nothing too strenuous. However, mild panic has set in already. I bumped into a fellow postgrad who mentioned that there is an initial reading to do for the Barth Church Dogmatics course which starts tomorrow. I haven’t been signed up to courses yet – a problem with changing my allocated supervisor – so I was unaware of this. I guess I should have realised and contacted the lecturer, but I didn’t. Anyway, I now have 80 pages of Barth’s Church Dogmatics to read for 11 o’clock tomorrow morning.

One moment of levity – for anyone who remembers Christian Theology 1 lectures – it took all of 15 minutes this morning before phenomenology and cherry trees were mentioned. Couldn’t help but smile.

Sep 152009

I’m now officially a postgrad – and I only had to queue for about an hour into the bargain. I thought I was being smart too. I decided to go in for registration opening at 9.15 this morning. After all, what right-minded student is up at that time during freshers’ week? Oh how wrong I was! Massive queues first thing so headed to New College for a coffee after being advised to come back maybe at 3pm when it might be quieter. Couldn’t really hang around until then so headed back to Adam House just before 11am, queued, paid my fees, got a new card, verified attendance and was back in Rainy Hall at New College just after noon for lunch. I’ve even got my card validated for 24hr entry to the postgrad study area – like I’ll be using that (well, maybe I might as deadlines loom).

Sep 072009

I’m coming to the conclusion that, when it comes to academic study, I’m a bit weird. I have a meeting with my academic supervisor on Wednesday and I thought I’d have a look through the course lists to see what I might want to do or audit.

It had previously been suggested that I take one taught course and use the essay from it as one of my research essays. So, the most likely candidate for this is the ‘Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics’ course. Strangely, despite my theological affinity with Barth (according to a questionnaire on Facebook – so it must be right) I’ve never studied him in any depth. What I have studied though I have quite liked.

So, anyway, that’s not so weird I guess. But then I had a look through some of the undergraduate courses (how elitist – I’m a postgrad) to see what might be worth auditing. Well, given the basis of my research, how could I possibly ignore a course called ‘Death: Perspectives on Thanatology and Eschatology’? I recall seeing it when I was in third year but it didn’t fit well with my timetable. So now’s my chance to do it. The lecturer is a Roman Catholic priest whose parish is in Falkirk (ish). I had him as a lecturer in first year. He’s good, when you can figure out what he’s on about – he’s a philosopher. Lot’s of talk of cherry trees, dogs and true love over the frozen peas in Tesco. Don’t worry if that’s left you confused – it’s the same reaction the class had at the time. – but it’s obviously stuck in the memory.

Anyway, Barth and Death, the perfect combination. If I sound thoroughly depressed over the next wee while, you’ll know why.