In a very strange turn of events, I had never had to make a PowerPoint presentation in my career in the past, even though in my last job, I technically worked in a marketing department. Weirdly, PowerPoint presentations are ubiquitous in academia. I’ve always had an aversion to them because I associated them with people who did business management degrees – I considered that their sole skill and contribution to the workforce – but it seems that I can run but I can’t hide from the PPT.

All along, I had been meaning to ask V to give me a crashcourse, since he’s supposedly very good at this, and he did mention that it was super easy. We had our first class where a girl did a presentation and my God, it was awesome. I don’t think I could be half as good.

But I decided to get cracking. So on Friday, I opened up the software and started playing with it, and it really is quite simple. And I found, I quite like it also. It’s like a visual way of presenting notes. Hell, I should make PPTs for myself.

I also had my first Kant class. I’ve signed up for this course where we’ll essentially be reading Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason. It’s a very small group, almost like a reading group and we go through the text at a snail’s pace. The teacher is a great Kant scholar and although Kant is not directly related to my topic, I feel like these Enlightenment philosophers are the ones I don’t have a strong hold on. I come to them backward, from the post-structuralist critique of the Enlightenment and I feel like a bit of a fraud not having read them firsthand. In fact, I wish I had done philosophy 101 type courses because this is a huge missing link in my education and it’s not easy to teach oneself these concepts.

Anyway, the problem with post-structuralism is that it’s difficult to unsee one’s knowledge.

The class seems to be people with folks who are still very much in the enlightenment tradition though, and I suspect so is this professor. Like Kant says ‘oh freedom must exist because if it doesn’t we can’t have morality, and then if freedom exists so must God and immortality” (I’m paraphrasing, and if I’ve misunderstood please correct me) and everyone is going nod nod nod and I’m going whaaaat? I hope I can keep a straight face and not piss off the prof. I suspect I did a little bit. But at least I bit my tongue when people were going on and on about how you can’t have absolute freedom because then it will degenerate into hedonism. Ouff!

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