deep conversations late at night, spending quality time with both humans and critters, reading, writing (prose fiction, poëtry), drawing, acting, making music (singing, instruments), playing strategy games (board games, computer RTS), backpacking/camping, canoeing, traveling, wandering aimlessly in the wilderness, in the rural countryside and in old cities, gardening, cooking/baking (gourmand et gourmet), fencing/sparring (foil, broadsword), doing archaeology, studying various topics e.g. history, folklore, herbal medicine/homoeopathy/nutrition, linguistics/philology, literature, art history, religion/theology/philosophy, anthropology, the natural sciences (e.g. biology, geology); garlic
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (esp. IVCF Graduate and Faculty Ministries)
thesis-writing, pacing back and forth
WHERE I HAVE MADE MY ABODE FOR LONGER THAN A MONTH, IN REVERSE ORDER
Philadelphia, PA; Ribérac, Dordogne (24), France; Grand Forks, ND; Riverton, WY; Longmont, CO; Fort Peck, MT; Great Falls, MT; Helena, MT; State College, PA; Phoenix/Peoria, AZ; Bellevue, NE; College Station, TX. I was born on Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX.
Czech (Bohemian), Slovak, German from Russia (primarily from the Black Sea group: Swabian, Swiss?, Bavarian?, Ashkenazi?), mixed British-Canadian (including Highland Scots, English, Scots-Irish)
Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Anabaptist/Dunker
I tend to float somewhere between Platonism and Structuralism/Post-Structuralism. Above all, I am an eclectic anachronist. It's entirely possible that I'm just mad, but then again, what's to say that it's not simply a matter of discourse?
The Word is near both to my heart and to my mind and I try my best to acknowledge It. If this be madness, then it is indeed my mania.
When it comes to deep thought, I prefer a Greek who is more like a Jew.
(I will use labels, if only to save space and meant only to be taken provisionally. I do not consider myself to be a member of a religion, per se. I am bought by the blood and raised in Christ.)
I am a born-again Christian, conscientiously Protestant, primativist, small-c catholic, orthodox trinitarian, evangelical, profoundly Hebraïc, mystical, rational, conservative, reformist, largely Anabaptist, almost Quaker, solidly Pentecostal, critically Emergent, Postcolonialist, feminist/egalitarian, ever-so-moderately Calvinist (perseverance), somewhat Lutheran, cautiously Augustinian, decidedly anti-Pelagian, more Neo-Orthodox than Fundamentalist (yet mildly Fundamentalist), Creationist (six days, ex nihilo), pre-millennialist (pre-trib), "low church", anarcho-congregationalist, non-sacramental, anti-clerical, non-sectarian misfit who is keen on expunging any true theological inconsistancies.
In the end, it comes down to this: I, a finite, falible human, dare to seek to know Infinite G-d.
moderate, vaguely conservative, generally libertarian, largely populist, small-R republican (I despise all forms of funny hat), fairly liberal (in the archaic sense), non-violently anarchist, emphatically pro-life, conscientiously green, noninterventionalist, strict-interpretation, pro-states-rights federalist (in regards to US government).
Basically, I don't trust any big, distant government (or inter-governmental organization) that can "get things done" quickly, however benevolent and altruistic it claims to be. Generally, I suppose that I would prefer a decentralized anarcho-syndicalism, but I'm realistic/cynical enough to know that the likelihood is slim of that ideal ever being achieved or even closely approximated. Still, I would support reforms in that direction. As a federalist, I do distinguish between levels of government, so that there are approaches to law and governance which I might tolerate or even welcome at a tier of government closer to the voting citizen (small scale) but not in the higher echelons of power (large scale). I remain skeptical of the "Third Way" and I simply cannot bring myself to stomach Neo-Conservativism. I'm a big fan of civil liberties both for myself and for others and I'm fiercely opposed to any form of segregation, wherever it may exist, but I don't think that a governmental organization ought to be the primary agent of social change. I do not believe that G-d blesses or curses states or individuals depending their relationship to the State of Israel and I support a more equitable foreign policy in that region (and elsewhere). I don't think that any state or nation has a "right" to exist any more than I think that people have a "right" to be free, yet I think that people should be given much liberty before the state and I certainly don't oppose the existence, for example, of a sovereign Jewish state in Israel although I would prefer that it not be run by jerks, but, then again, maybe we should pull the "beam" out of our own political regime first.
Simply put, I am not much of a nativist or a nationalist at all -- I take a very pragmatic approach to the State and save my deeper affections for real people and for my Maker. I'm just a nomad and wayfarer passing through this sin-tainted world, a fellow creature with this creation, a new creation in Christ and an eternal being seeking the world to come.
Please note that I have deliberately left my nomenclature in lowercase, as it is not meant to imply partisanship, rather it merely refers to political ideological leanings. I am a moderate and realist in general practice and yet, somehow, an idealist for all that. Interesting as politics can be, I don't let myself obsess over it. It is, as Thoreau wrote, like so much "vegetation" in a larger picture.
modern: English (first), French and I have recently crossed the threshold into Arabic, German and (Florentine) Italian; I can also muddle through a bit of Spanish when pressed
pre-modern: Latin (various forms), Greek (Classical Attic & Ionic, Koine), Old & Middle English, Old & Middle French, Old Occitan and a touch of Classical Hebrew
I am currently finishing my MA degree (major in History, minor in English) at the University of North Dakota. My thesis concerns medieval European ghost/revenant folklore and the dialogue between official belief and popular belief as reflected in high medieval sermons (e.g. those of Caesarius of Heisterbach and Stephen of Bourbon).
I was homeschooled from the beginning all the way through high school and was able to receive a diploma from a local high school with the consent of school district officials. I have since earned a BA with majors in International Studies and English from UND and have stayed on to complete my MA degree. While my current, primary career path is necessarily that of a professional scholar and professor, I am open to the possibility that the L-rd may have intentions for me involving other employment. I don't presume to know for sure right now.
TAKE ON HOMESCHOOLING:
I have a mostly positive opinion of homeschooling (after all, it made me the man I am today, for whatever that's worth) and I'm a very staunch supporter of the civil liberties of homeschooling families and associations. There is a place for the State (preferably the most decentralized/local manifestation possible) in holding home educators accountable to some basic and fair standards, but, as a bit of a libertarian/anarchist, I think that the State's own business is a quite a bit more limited compared with the current vogue. (As a political moderate, I recognize that putting the brakes on and turning the ship around is tricky business, requiring much patience, thought, prayer and that rare virtue, temperance.)
But enough of that messy subject. I am very open to homeschooling my children and even to being a "stay-at-home dad" to accomodate it, but that is not just my decision to make. I would settle for allowing my children to attend a small private or public school similar to the two where I worked as an English teacher in Ribérac, France, supplementing their education at home (as will be inevitable with me as a father).
Speaking of fathers, my own father attended a one-room (public) country school in Tabor, MN for his first six grades. Since his father, relatives and other neighbors served on the board and since he was related to many of his classmates, he was virtually homeschooled. So, I can almost claim to be a rare adult second-gen homeschooler.
Up until my recent move from Grand Forks, ND to Philadelphia, PA, I worked part time as a salesclerk at a nutritional supplement and natural foods store (four years, plus). I was regularly expected by customers to be a pharmacist, physician, nutritionist/dietician, biochemist, personal trainer, cosmetologist, counselor and case worker, among other things. It was fun, but the challenge never ended -- which was great, but it could also be painful when people are in need and one can't help them. That said, the times when I could direct them to a product which would help them were well worth the stress of the job.
In Grand Forks, I also worked as a private tutor in French language and culture for an eleven-year-old boy. His mother expanded the gig to include his regular school subjects, as well. Since my parents live in Grand Forks and still homeschool my two youngest sisters, I was the social studies, literature and composition/rhetoric teacher for my sister who just completed the 8th grade.
I also have experience as a university-level teaching assistant and in doing archaeological field and lab work.
litterasee iz fer gurlly men!
I'll have to come up with a list later. I'm practically drowning in books right now and I've spent an alarming amount of my (future) income on published scholarship. That's an education in the liberal (as in "bookish" not "free") arts for you!
Contemporary country songs often offend me, to be frank, although there are some now and then which I can appreciate. I prefer folk, bluegrass, Celtic and music more along those lines. Renaissance and early Baroque are faves, but the Romantic and Impressionist eras were also grand ... and even Classical (in the strict sense) can be good. It's a good start to have real, acoustic instrumentation and/or good vocals, but some electric stuff can make the grade. I like traditional music styles from many different parts of the world and periods in time and I enjoy playing old hymns and folk songs on the tin whistle. When it comes to early music, Jordi Savall rocks my socks. Christian music favs include Michael Card, Fernando Ortega and Terry Talbot. I have a hard time getting into most of the stuff on "Christian" radio, though. If I'm going to listen to music over the radio, I opt for "classical" on public radio.
One of my housemates just got a kitten. She's only about four weeks old. The cuteness is difficult to endure ... as is the incessant squeaking, although Mozart seems to have quieted her down a bit just now.