Back on the home front, we have been cleaning house, working on home renovation and driveway restoration. Last Sunday, we celebrated my halfway birthday or something. I got a few cool things, especially books and a wireless mouse (never settle for less, if you can!) We also have been preparing for my brother Daniel's big farewell party, which is this Saturday. Today I started my thesis, and began preparations for going back to school. I will be one of the bad guys enforcing rules, so I have to go back early for blackjack training and torture qualifications.
Seriously, though, this blog has been getting controversial lately. I am not completely certain about my conclusions about the new rule that everyone appears to revile, but I know I don't quite agree with anyone either. Trust me to be unruly about that.... I will say that I think there is genuine reasoning behind it, not what Fezzick (pace Fezzick if I misrepresent you) appears to believe is the reasoning. I know that I enjoyed gaming with others in the dorm, but also that I spent way too much time gaming on my own. The same goes for movies, sad to say. I strongly believe, however that the administration and student life would be better off focusing on more serious problems and especially on uniform enforcement of rules. I know I have always been frustrated by lack of regular enforcement; some RA's enforce, others don't. For those who live by the rules, I have great pity, because everyone hates their guts, despite the fact that they are great people trying to do a job. Soon I will know how they feel, I guess. So, while I think the efforts are misdirected, I don't think they are mindless; nor do I think they are an attempt to exclude anything that could limit community. Indeed, the reasoning is that games and movies can promote community, which is why they are still allowed in common areas, while legitimately acknowledging the destructive tendencies inherent in solitary gaming/movie watching. Practically speaking, while one would wish for a more helpful way of ensuring community, there is very little one can do in the way of rules that adequately reflects this. This is the best compromise that student life could come up with, and I respect them for trying, even if I think I know better. Lastly, eighteen-year olds are some of the least mature people that I know. I certainly don't think they are adults or responsible enough to act as such, generally speaking. As such, I have no problems making them subject to laws and restrictions for their own good. Indeed, many even at Christendom do not mature in four years of having great ideas and community life thrown at them. And then one more lastly, life at Christendom has always seemed to me as a training ground for life; indeed I thought any liberal arts program had as its end to teach how to live the good life. But who lives the good life? The adult, the wise man, and I doubt any of us have reached that stage yet. In that case, those who may have reached said status are in some version of the role of philosopher-kings (we do submit ourselves to the college authorities, after all) and we should accept their mandates as for our own good. It is all too easy to recognize the need for law in theory but to disagree with any application of it that thwarts our desires. Yet the spirit of the law is meaningless if there is no practice of the law; only by observance of the law can it be said to exist. So, while I may dislike certain ways rules are applied, I cannot in good conscience disagree with them in theory or in their being applied to us.
P.S. I found a cool quote in a book of readings from St. Thomas, though of course all he has to say is wonderful. Read and ponder carefully.
He who sins through passion, sins while choosing but not through choosing; because his choosing is for him the first principle of his sin; for he is induced though passion to choose what he would not would not choose, were it not for the passion. On the other hand, he that sins through certain malice, chooses evil of his own accord and therefore his choosing, of which he has full control, is the principle of his sin; and for this reason he is said to sin through choosing. (1a. 2ae. Q. 78, a. 4)
Thomas seems to say that the choice in a sin of passion, because the sinner chooses a good that is proper to him, is not the source of sin, but rather the fact that in choosing the sinner turns away from the greatest Good and thus sins against charity. However, the sin of malice involves a choice which delinerately and knowingly foregoes the greatest good, and is thus a greater sin against charity. Thus I say with the Apostle to the Gentiles, that while Charity covers a multitude of sins, he who lacks Charity is worse than a brazen trumpet. St. Paul, St. Thomas and all ye holy Saints and Angels, pray for us sinners!