03 January 2009


So: New Year, new stuff to do. I don’t know if anyone will ever look at this, but keeping a blog seems like a good way to get myself into the habit of writing and corralling my thoughts.
Let me introduce myself.
I’m studying Philosophy and Classics (Greek and Latin.)
I’m an Anglo-Catholic (a very particular and frequently odd type of Episcopalian.)
I’m applying to grad school.
I’m about to start learning Spanish for my church’s Social Justice committee.
I read voraciously.
I am officially a madwoman.
There are, of course, other rather salient facts about me but it seems pushy to just list them. They’re not in the set of personal qualities that one lists when introducing oneself. They’ll come up in due course.
I want, provided anyone ever reads this, for this blog to be discursive. I am not so interesting that anything written about only myself and my thoughts could hold anyone’s attention over a sustained period of time. I hope that all of you will leave your thoughts and queries on philosophy and religion and literature and so on in the comments. I also hope that you’ll take a moment to introduce yourselves in the comments for this entry, even if you’re reading this long after it was first posted. I’ll still see them and it would be nice if everyone knew where to look. Of course, if you prefer to lurk or be anonymous that’s okay too.
That’ll do for an introduction, I think. I’m going to try to keep this regularly updated, hopefully every Monday and Thursday. We’ll see.

1 comment:

  1. Hello - again - Katherine,
    Since I just left a bit of a rambling comment on your last post, I feel it would be polite to introduce myself as you request.
    I started following your blog (I'm the one with the big mouth, 3rd from the right)soon after you launched it for the main reason that I found your thoughts interesting and follow many of your ideas and interests, although I stop at 'religion'.
    I'm not a religious person (as is evident if you look at my blog), infact I'm quite the opposite - profoundly secular and often quite profane! That is no doubt in part reaction to a Methodist/presbytarian upbringing and what I expereinced as ideologies being forced on me against my better reason, and prohibitions against 'independant thought'. In my 'university years' I became a Marxist-materialist and although I have mellowed in my 30s the socialism remains (on some days veering towards anarchism!), as does the atheism (although i'm contemplating dropping it down a notch towards agnosticism!).
    I studied anthropology and have always been fascinated by religion, the rituals and systems people create to comprehend and orgnise their existence. I also 'dabbled' alot in the history of medicine and psychiatry. You could say that my overall interest is in the 'history of ideas' as much as those ideas in themselves. I think we share those grounds.
    I graduated with a double first (anthropology and linguistics) which is about as 'high' as you can get in the UK. Sadly my post grad studies (Phd in anthropolgy, specifically material culture - post industrial/developing cultures) were disrupted by mental-illness. I am also bi-polar. The shame was, I didn't know it at the time and I wasn't properly diagnosed until I was 37! (I am now 39 - ouch!). Had I known this in my 20,s I could have learned how to medicate/manage my condition and maybe resumed a 'normal' life and my studies. Instead I went 'off the rails', abused alcohol and drugs and 'ran away', abandoning university and most else I held dear.
    I have always loved art and natural-history so, in my 30s I took up another course of study and have subsequently been teaching scientific-illustration at the university here. It satisfies my wide range of interests and obsessions!
    Oh, and I also have a 10 year old daughter who i bring up alone - quite a feat somedays when also coping with my own 'madness'!
    Your blog stood out and appealed to me far more than many of the 'mental health' blogs written by American citizens. I think your culture is a little different to ours (perhaps given its 'Puritan' beginnings?) in that I sometimes find the American bloggers a little over-zealous and preachy - and often so ready to catch on to the latest 12-step programme or some such faddish 'self-actualising' process, not unlike the enthusiastic 'get-rich quick' schemes. Yours, on the otherhand is far more circumspect and contemplative. Over the other side of the pond, we tend to be rather cynnical, somewhat self-deprecating & often ironic amongst other things that maybe jar a little with the American psyche (I have had one-or-two minor 'disputes' on american blogs and they have usually left in a 'sulk'!!)! Hope that didn't come across as rather prejudiced - it's not the whole picture (as you demonstrate), just a trend I notice.
    When you said, in your last post - that you don't get comments/readership - I expect you're underestimating your readership. I didn't check my analytics until a month or so into my blog and was astonished to find I was getting 40 - 70 visits a day. Of course many of those could be 'accidents' but many were also coming back only remaining silent the whole time.
    I think because your posts are rather self-contained and often allude to obscure and academic topics, many readers may feel unqualified or uneasy about leaving comment. I have noticed that I get far fewer comments on the more 'erudite' posts than I do on say, something 'cute' or a bit racy. It's a sad reflection but put something sexy in your title or bring up TV/celebrities and watch your hits/comments go up!!
    The main thing is, you are writing for yourself and less to please an audience.
    Anyway - just to reassure you, I'm reading! I only 'dared' to comment today because your post sparked an old interest of mine. Also the chronic mood swings of late could have taken the edge of inhibition/common sense!
    Well, that's me mostly introduced.
    Please to meet you - I'm Kate by the way!!