Early this morning the Moon entered its 18th mansion, Spere of the Ether and Meteors, Center of Fire, whose letter is ت and whose Divine Name is The Seizer (#20 of the Asma ul-Husna), الْقَابِضُ.
Today I'm going to organize my day a little bit differently. I have decided to undertake a scanning project in the main library on campus. This will get me out of the house (and may therefore increase my concentration and productivity) but will also give me a different perspective from being in my department. Another reason why I'm choosing to work in the main library is that there is a cafe on site, should I become tired or bored with what I'm doing. I'm also planning to meet a student for lunch. Since my husband and I will be traveling over my spring break, I'm trying to tie up loose ends and to plan for the week after the break so I can actually be more available in the moment during the break itself.
I returned midterm exams to the freshmen yesterday, and some of them seemed upset with their grades. There is a general attitude of diffidence among some of them that is difficult to face. Perhaps it's a mask for their personal insecurities. Whatever it is, it is unappealing, and I can't imagine that it will be appealing to prospective employers or collaborators in the future--unless they are skilled at affecting interest when they decide that they want something for themselves. From my perspective, their attitudes predispose them toward disappointment and failure in the future, and if that is the way things play out, they will have no one but themselves to blame.
I'm really not sure what to do with the grad students. Most of the time they show up and seem to have done at least some of the reading. Most of the time they guess rather than interpret intelligently, and seem to be at a loss when it comes to weighing the various factors that go into making viable (and defendable) interpretations. Perhaps each and every step of the way along their educational path has failed to prepare them for this--frankly remedial--graduate course. It seems to me that I'm not teaching at too high a level, since I'm using a text that is designed for upper-level undergrads. I guess most musicians are content just to react to the surface features of music, and will never participate in any kind of synthetic thought, even at a fairly introductory level.
Recently I came to an impasse in reading Žižek's recent book, Absolute Recoil. The chapter I was on was largely about Hegel, and I really don't know Hegel's writings. I decided that it was time for me to take a look at Inwood's Hegel Selections, which has been on my shelf for some time. So far the introductory essays are pretty engaging. We'll see how that goes.