Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Beginning

Greetings All,

Moving to a large city has definitely been exciting! I thought I would share a few stories of our adventures:

As you know, we arrived around August 8th, after visiting Elliott in New York. For the three weeks after that we stayed at our kind friends' the Raiger's House in West Roxbury. From there we were able to explore Boston, set up job interviews, work on getting the required documentation for moving in and what not. It worked perfectly. It was so nice to be able to come back to a place outside of the city, park in a driveway, and have a kitchen, bed, and a place to stay.

We moved in on the 1st of September, Door 2 Door dropped off the crates around 3pm and we unloaded (up our three flights of stairs) for a good three hours before knocking off and unpacking. Door 2 Door worked out very well; we hadn't seen our crates since we packed them up July 28th and we could unload them at our leisure. The next morning we went to Mass at Saint Columbkille's Parish, walking there and back. Brother Dennis and Brother Solomon of the Teresian Carmelites came later that day to help us with the larger pieces of furnature and to bless our little home. Annie being the amazing wife that she is had a wonderful repast for us and we were able to converse for several hours.

The next day was Labor Day and we were invited out to a BBQ hosted by our good friend and realtor, Joan Laracy and her family. Anne and I worked hard on the house most of the day, looking forward to the food, Trappist Beer, and fellowship that we were to share later that day. Around Noon or so we walked to where we had parked our car on Beacon Street only to find that the City of Boston and removed it due to the fact that there was a BC Football game on the 1st and all non-resident cars were banned. Rather disheartened we walked back home and worked on unpacking some more.

I made a little study out of one of the closets in the living room and posted all my pictures, made a desk, built a shelf, and generally set up our computing equipment so we could be connected to the outside world again. It is amazing how much one can be connected and dependent on computers and internet... CS Lewis has a grand point when he says that "their labor saving devices multiply drudgery... and their devices for saving time have banished leisure from their country." (Pilgrim's Regress)

Tuesday was the first day of classes, I had two: Virgil's Aeneid, Book Six (10:30 -12:00) and CS Lewis (3:00 - 4:30). I am sincerely looking forward to Virgil, having had such an awesome experience with Sallust, Horace, and Ovid last year. Professor Ahern is the head of the Classics Department here and has set the standard high for us students in this course. The focus is on Ancient conceptions of Death and the Underworld, thus there will be a good deal of outside reading and translation. CS Lewis is nothing less than awesome. Peter Kreeft is an excellent lecturer (even better than his writing, to my taste) and, having taught this course for 20+ years, he has a grand selection of books for us: Surprised by Joy, Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, The Four Loves, Perelandra, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters (he mentioned John Cleese does a wonderful book-on-tape of this one), Till we have Faces, The Abolition of Man, and numerous essays, articles, and poems... all by Lewis. Ahhh... it will be a good TR for me. :-)

That night I trekked down to Southie to hunt for our little car in the Boston Tow Lot. It took me about 3 hours to find the place, 1 hr on the T and the other two wandering around the three Frontage Roads that promised the Tow Lot was just around the next corner. The cost to bail out our delinquent vehicle was only $150 (by the time I got there any price might have been fine) and I resolved to park it at work from then on. The next day, Wednesday I drove North to Belmont, where Saint Joseph's Parish is and met Father Al and Anne Marie for my final interview. They, along with the help of several gracious references from good people in Spokane, decided that I was fit for the job and I accepted. I am now the Assistant to the Religious Education Program and Youth Ministries at the parish, I can work as many hours as I want, when I want for $16 an hour. It is a complete Godsend. Praise the Lord! Father Al took Anne and I out to lunch and then dropped me off at my two MW classes: Advanced Topics in Medieval Philosophy: Theories of Knowledge (2:00 - 3:30) and The Problem of Self-Knowledge (4:30 - 6:00). Theories of Knowledge will be my most difficult class. The professor is excellent and demanding and we are reading some rather difficult texts very closely (yay! This at last is like Graduate School that I had imagined). The first week we were responsible for a good chunk of Aristotle's De Anima (Bks 2 &3) and some Augustine. Good people both. The Problem of Self-Knowledge is taught by an Ancient old Jesuit, Father Flanagan and will be a delight. Lecture time is story time; you can sit back and absorb to your heart's content because it flows, is well organized, and falls from his lips like honey. The reading for this course complements CS Lewis well because it is somewhat of a critique on modern America (The Real American Dream by Delbanco), and will segue into Patrick Byrne's class on Insight in the Spring well because of Fr. Flanagan's interests.

No comments: