Friday, April 16, 2010

My World Through Others' Eyes

Oh, Kim and I had fun! Besides the nonstop heart-to-heart conversations all day long, I had the treat of showing Kim my life and my world. As I showed them to Kim, I found that I liked them.

On Tuesday, the afternoon of Kim's arrival, she and I attended a master class at the College of Music at CU by the remarkable cellist Ralph Kirschbaum. Six student cellists performed pieces by Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Schumann, Benjamin Britten, and Bohuslav Martinu. The student performances were so accomplished that it was hard to see what Mr. Kirschbaum could find to critique. He found plenty. Here is the one piece of advice I wrote down on my program: "Every note emphasizes something in the music. You want to make sure it emphasizes something IN the music." That evening, after a dinner at Hapa's on the Hill, we attended a lecture in the Philosophy Department's THINK! series, on "Virtue and Violent Video Games."

Wednesday, Kim came to all my classes with me and played student. In my 9:00 Philosophy and Society class I lectured on the deficiencies of various possible justifications for the practice of punishment and the alternative possibility of replacing punishment altogether with mandatory victim restitution. In my 11:00 Intro to Ethics class, I led a small class in discussion of the Shambhala (neo-Buddhist) choice between a rising sun versus setting sun view of ecological sustainability in our world, inviting the students to brainstorm with me on the worst possible setting sun meal and the best possible rising sun meal. This inspired Kim and me to have a rising sun salad lunch outdoors at Boulder Greens. Then Kim attended my 2:00 Rousseau class: Books 9 and 10 of his Confessions, in which Rousseau, living in seclusion at the Hermitage, writes Julie, Emile, and The Social Contract, as well as falls in love for the only time in his life. That evening we had a glass of wine at the St. Julien Hotel, where Kim was staying, out on the terrace with my friend Rowan, and then had dinner together, the three of us, at Cafe Antica Roma on Pearl Street.

On Thursday, I met Kim at the hotel and we headed over to the Boulder Bookstore's Bookends Cafe, where I graded papers and Kim read. My daily quota of five papers completed, we browsed in Pearl Street shops until it was time for lunch at the Dushambe Teahouse, and then a tour of the three extremely varied exhibits at the Boulder Museum for Contemporary Art. We walked up to the university and popped in to the Navajo weaving exhibit at the small museum at campus.

A short Skip ride on the bus later, we were at Rowan's house, collecting her for a hike up on one of our two favorite mountain trails, the one we call "Claudia's trail" as opposed to the one we call "Rowan's trail." Rowan served us a delightful light salad supper, and then Kim and I Skipped back to CU for a graduate student jazz guitar recital.

So I looked upon my world through the eyes of a visiting friend - the stimulation of the university, the beauty of the mountains, the dearness of my friendships - and I declared it good. Remind me not to complain too much about anything! My life is good.

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