S T E P H • B E L L E || 🏛🗻🐾🌊

Scrappy neoplatonist/heretic studying philosophy of religion. Wandering through Connecticut, Colorado, and grad school at Yale with my tripawd Delta Δ

Taking a tiny break from #sblaar18 to sneak away to the mountains + drink the afternoon away with old college professors. And yes, St. Olaf people. One of those profs is Charlie Wilson (caw).
Last remnants of fall color. Also, forgive me, but anyone who enjoys reading Kant must be insufferable in their personal life (glaring exception: Dr. John Hare)
Hit my first big psychological wall of the semester today. I had so many busy weeks in a row without cracking that I honestly fooled myself into thinking that I could go all semester without laying down on a public floor at the library and curling up in a ball and callin it for an hour (yes, this happened). People perceive my life as consistent validation that I am smart, and good at things, and few people know that I wake up feeling insecure and go to bed feeling insecure. Yale absolutely amplifies these feelings. I’ve observed it in the students I teach, I’ve witnessed it in my friends, but most of all, I see it in myself. The feeling of inadequacy, of feeling like a big lie, of feeling like you are fooling everyone. I suppose I’ve always valued vulnerability on social media— I know I’ve appreciated it from others— so I’m trying to offer more of myself these days, because I do think that it is critical to interrogate the narrative of “success,” whatever that means. Today, it means tackling the idea that going to Yale translates into me being happy/confident/intelligent. IT’S A LIE, FAM. THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.
“thank u, next” delta and I whisper to the falling leaves as we hope and pray for snow 🍂❄️
In a happy accident, one of the biggest religion conferences (AAR/SBL for those in the know) is happening in Denver this year during the week of Thanksgiving. Literally everyone and a bag of chips attends this conference, like my friends/old professors/childhood youth pastor/colleagues/etc. and I’ve heard it’s quite the rager. Conveniently, I grew up in Denver... and my family is still in Denver... and I’m visiting my family in Denver for Thanksgiving... so I’ll be able to attend AAR/SBL while being at home! AND, I just got the word that I will be able to drive the ~family minivan~ all week to the conference. More importantly, though, I will be spending a good amount of time in Estes Park/RMNP when I’m not performing as an academic interested in Metaphysics/Neoplatonism. So, let the countdown to the mountains begin! #sblaar18
Generation, destruction. Against the advice of virtually all classical philosophers/theologians, I am admiring the world of “becoming” today 🍁 #fallfoliagechallenge
Yo ho yo ho (yes, it is that time of the year where my interest in pirates of the ancient Mediterranean SPIKES and it’s all I want to read for days and DAYS) ⚓️
There are more things in heaven and earth, friends, than are dreamt of at Yale University
Hiding in the cliffs with my osprey friends, thinking about Kant
Yesterday, in the sunshine, shortly before we all came home and started getting sick 🤧 I always always always get sick during breaks from school and this week I thought I almost escaped it. But nope. So now I’m grading papers with saltines, ginger ale, and a cuddly little dog by my side. There are worse ways to spend a Monday. #fallfoliagechallenge
I’m climbing a new “mountain” this fall break. While I am on the annual Hagan vacation to Disneyworld (my parents are obsessed, I will never say no to a free trip, but whoo boy... it’s a fascinating culture), I will be grading my student’s first philosophy papers of the semester. Two Herculean tasks lie before me: 1. survive a capitalist wonderland and 2. do right by students and find ways to encourage/inspire while also being fair. Should be a good week for lots of self reflection.
“Beginning with thee, O Phoebus, I will recount the famous deeds of men of old who, at the behest of King Peloso, down through the mouth of Pontus and between the Cyanean rocks, sped well-benched Argo in quest of the golden fleece...” Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, I.i 🌊
Finally getting some fall colors in Connecticut. 🌾
Soon all of this green will explode with color. Connecticut shorelines, if I recall, take to autumn rather well 🌊
et en arcadia ego
“When Socrates heard this he laughed quietly and said: ‘Really, Simmias, it would be hard for me to persuade other people that I do not consider my present fate a misfortune if I can not persuade even you, and you are afraid that it is more difficult to deal with me than before. You seem to think me inferior to swans in prophecy. They sing before too, but when they realize that they must die they sing most and most beautifully, as they rejoice that they are about to depart to join the god whose servants they are. But men, because they fear their own death, tell lies about the swans and say they lament their death and sing in sorrow.... but I believe they belong to Apollo, they are prophetic, have knowledge of the future and sing the blessings of the underworld...’” Plato, Phaedo, 84d-85b.
“The point on the island is a rock that is surrounded by the sea and has a tower amazingly constructed out of white stone with multiple stories; it has the same name as the islands. For since the coastline was without a harbor and low tide, and additionally had reefs and shallows, there needed to be some sign high aloft and bright for those sailing in from the sea...” (Strabo 17.1.8) This ain’t no seventh wonder of the ancient world, but a lighthouse is a lighthouse and I’ll take it on this stormy September Sunday
Look alive, sunshine
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