Saturday, November 13, 2010

Update from Grinnell, Iowa

Hello everyone,
                        thank you for your supportive comments and responses to my last post. I'm now taking a break between sessions at the conference here in Grinnell, so I'll have to try keep this short. My apologies for not being able to address each of you directly. But I thought I'll take a little time to update you about what has happened with me here since my beef misadventure last night.

My paper presentation this morning went very well. There was a big-name Aristotle-scholar-turned psychoanalyst attending my presentation, so despite my best efforts to muster up my best rational, sattvic mind, the pressure to perform and to impress was very strong. Have you noticed how who you are on the mat is a very accurate reflection of who you are in your daily life? If one is a senior-teacher-impresser in one's ashtanga life (as I am), then one also tends to be a senior-scholar-impresser in one's professional life. Scary.

Sometimes I wonder what I am: Am I a philosophy professor who does yoga? Or am I a yogi who happens to teach philosophy for a living?

Hard questions. But anyway, the presentation went very well, although I don't think I scored any points with the senior scholar. (bummer...)

The food situation has improved a lot, though. Grinnell is this really nice small liberal arts college, and the conference organizers went to great pains during lunch to make sure that every dietary consideration is accommodated. We had this really nice lunch buffet, with many options. For vegetarians, we had this carved mini-pumpkin filled with a hearty veggie stew, resting on a bed of spinach. (Are you salivating yet?) Gosh, I wish I teach here... the only thing I can eat at the cafeteria at my college is a veggie sandwich. I'm not going to tell you where I teach, because there have been too many horror stories recently about people who got fired for saying things about their employees online :-)

I said I was going to keep this short. But it turned out to be not so short after all. Hmm... well, what do you do?

Really got to run now, though. The next session is starting. Later. 


  1. You know? I think you are both, a yogi that teaches ph and a philosopher that does / teaches yoga... I happen to think that the blog is a much better forum for sharing ideas than universities... but that is just me... the only thing is, you cant find pumpkins filled with hearthy stews here... mmm... sounds good...

  2. Yes, Claudia, I do think that yoga and blogging is a better way to reach many people than academia. This has always been a source of constant reflection for me: How to talk to people about things that matter, without boring people, but also without dumbing things down or resorting to sound bytes. I think sharing the practice and blogging is a good way to achieve these goals.