16 May, 2005

Teacher of the Love of Wisdom

I graduated Saturday past. My friends and family came to visit. I was surrounded by about 15 people, and some of us invented a new form of Extreme Badminton (as if we weren't already sufficiently insane when we play badminton). I ate more banana pudding, cake, and ice cream than I'd like to admit, especially since I also drank several sugar-loaded soft drinks.


So, now I have a "Ph.D." I know the common remark that "Ph.D." means that the "B.S." is "Piled Higher and Deeper," but I like the etymology of the words:

Philosophiæ: of the love of wisdom;
Doctor: teacher.
From Latin and Latinized Greek: teacher of the love of wisdom.

Notice what it doesn't say. It doesn't say "wise man". It doesn't say "teacher of wisdom". It says "teacher of the love of wisdom." As a Christian, I believe that true wisdom is God himself. This is neither new nor exclusive of non-Christians: the great cathedral of Byzantine architecture was named Hagia Sophia, "Holy Wisdom" — and St. Justin Martyr remarked that "those who lived reasonably are Christians", so that he could count Socrates among our number (although other Christians, such as Dante, would place him outside heaven).

Anyway, "Teacher of the Love of Wisdom" sounds like a vocation, not a degree. It should be a beginning, not an ending. It bears great responsibility.

Maybe I get carried away sometimes :-)


Alessandra said...

Congratulations on your graduation.

I like your blog, so I hope you don't end it. Also like your comments on mine, so I hope you also won't stop reading other blogs :-)

You know, if you find you're not making time for other things, you can always take a time management course to achieve a more balanced result (I am serious - time management is not as simple as it seems)

jack perry said...

You're right that I need some sort of time-management skills. I don't say that only because it took me about a week to reply to you! What I need more, though, is some self-discipline: saying "no" to a machine that necessarily requires a large share of my time, and to which I give too much additional time.