This Thursday, aside from being my 41st birthday (I expect presents and will be taking note of those who fail to wish me felicitous returns), class 3 of my 8-part philosophy evening course will be dealing with the Great Rationalists – Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz.
With the half-term autumn break, I’ve had 3 weeks to prepare my notes.
So why, oh why, have I left everything to the last minute, again?
I had every intention of not only doing the research for this class, but to get ahead and have most of the rest in hand by the time we came back. But no – in exactly the same way as when I was in school, I kept putting it off believing I had plenty of time.
I keep trying to drum into my son that if he just did his homework on the day he got it from school, rather than the night before it was due, then his life would be so much easier. He could go out and play, conscience clear and worry free, knowing it was all in hand.
“But Dad, you leave everything…”
“Enough, son! Don’t you see I don’t want you to grow up to be like me? I want you to grow up better than me. I want you to have all my perfections and none of my failings. I want you to have my analytical capacity, your mother’s cooking ability, your uncle’s natural charm and your grandpa’s principles. Get any one of those mixed up and you’ll be as screwed up as the rest of us…”
Did you know one of the contributing reasons to Descartes’ demise was his patron, the Queen of Sweden, insisted on having her philosophy classes at 5 o’clock in the morning and, along with the harsh Swedish winters, this lead to him getting ill and dying of pneumonia?
Sitting up all night in a cold and draughty castle trying to get his notes ready for an early start the following morning was obviously a bad move. Perhaps if he'd been a little more organised he'd have lasted longer.
So what the bloody hell am I doing writing a blog entry when I’ve got a class to prepare?
Excuse me for one moment…