Borrowed Book

From my little sample, I conclude that there are many avid readers around. I am a bit short of half way through Pirsig and Phaedrus's adventure in the mid-west, when it is time to return the book. ;_; Renewal is not possible when another reader placed a reserve on your heel. (BTW the book is in the travel section. Well travelling inside oneself should also count. The varying meanings of words may deflect one from seeing the world clearly though. The category piling on more and more extended meanings comes tumbling down.)

They think a lot and deeply about rationality via their rational faculty and they doubt their faculty and the derived principles. Surprisingly it is fun to read and I don't know why I find fun in it. I have some resonance with the characters, which is the norm for me, who usually try to dive into the characters' consciousness when reading. Now I am seriously considering merging with Tuji which is a lie upon a lie and which so far fared quite well to my somewhat envy and dismay, while I get myself confused. Or maybe it is the other way around.

I also find it easy to imagine the scenery as I have lived in the region for quite long. Unfortunately I had some bad experiences there. I got tripped several times despite others' good intentions so that I started suspecting if those were indeed good intentions and just intentionally set up to make my life difficult.

The book stirred up my own memories and annoyingly I did lose the part that I had claimed that I would delete. Not sure if it is best for me to remain able to reanalyse the situation or to remain ignorant being shielded from blunt truth+feeling regretful about this+worrying whether it is best or not.

I have had a copy of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason for very long, but I never read it despite the fact that on the very first day I was seen carrying it around. Later that day, I helped make cookies and put the book away. Lately I actually found photo evidence about the cookies except that I am not sure why in addition to the cookies, I photographed an empty plate which apparently had just been eaten out of. Hence I find myself inexplicable.


I keep reading until the last day I am required to return the book. I stop before Part III of the book. End of Part I reveals the ghost of Phaedrus. End of Part II reveals how Phaedrus went crazy.

Pirsig talked about how teachers were expected to work in US. They were expected to teach like soulless beings doling out knowledge to students. It is like mass-production of 'educated' people. In the name of efficiency and equality/homogeneity teachers are obliged to follow strict syllabi, never expected to meander or explore. Their time is all eaten up by heavy teaching load. I am aware that most liberal arts colleges have a teaching load of 6 courses per semester. There is absolutely no way or no time to contemplate 6 things fully. In research universities, the teaching load is 1+2 per academic year. This is more copable, but still quite harsh for a mind which yearns freedom of roaming and thinking. Well, most researchers just teach half-heartedly. Sacrifice has to be made somewhere. Thus students complain. In some sense, the US is not treating teachers as humans. Under the repetitious task of teaching, people grow dull; aspiring minds can be blunted. With limited time, one strives for efficiency and in the process kills random sparks of inspiration. Also there is no time to care about others when one is fully focused on eking out a life by taking up a crushing job. Students complain of despondent teachers; regulations are installed; teachers are forced into going through motions to comply; nothing really changes other than a more and more repressing atmosphere developing. This is a vicious cycle. I believe with more freedom people become more caring. We could have a culture that promotes healthier relation between teaching and learning. The US has a lot of resources, but it decides to press for efficiency at the cost of other qualities of being human. Oh, what is quality? I suspect Pirsig would give a tentative answer in the latter half of the book, but for now I have to stash my reading. Until next time we meet. ❤