I am watching a lecture on Kierkegaard titled “Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity.” If I were smart enough I could stream pertinent points of the lecture from my Surface through my brain onto my fingers on the keyboard of my PC and straight to this post. It would have been my first absolutely intellectually-informed post.
The truth of the matter is I can barely understand the professor even with my face practically pressed to the computer screen, blocking out all other sound and movement. Jon Stewart, professor at the University of Copenhagen, is a superb lecturer and if I were a full-time student I would be reading everything from Plato through Kierkegaard. I would be pondering reading pondering listening pondering writing and enjoying my handsome youngish professor strolling through the libraries and about the campus of this beautiful university in history-rich Denmark. But I am not that. And this is not easy.
When I went to Coursera and EdX sites and starting perusing the lists of classes from the world’s major universities with the most stimulating of subjects I had that ‘kid at the candy store’ sensation. It was magic and all for free!
I signed up for classes in history and philosophy and more. I blogged about “A History of the World since 1300” already and it is indeed enjoyable and doable. As long as I don’t try to write the papers, join the discussion groups or think of myself as scholar as opposed to an education groupie. I read the book and watch the lectures. So far so good. I’m learning a few new things while totally enjoying the world-wide perspective.
Then the Kierkegaard class began. I enrolled because I always declare my religion to be existentialism and Kierkegaard is one of the early existentialist thinkers (I think…but we’re halfway through the class and that hasn’t been mentioned yet?) This is hard. After Plato I gave up on the readings. Hegel is impenetrable and I’m frightened of Kierkegaard’s writing. So for now it is just Jon and me. And Jon I am trying very hard to understand. Really.