A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Litany of Humility

Very interesting prayer posted over at Thinklings. I think it's beautiful, in the right context.

I could see this being misunderstood or abused by people who have low self-esteem. But the virtue of humility is something radically different from pathological self-hatred. The point of humility is not to think you are rubbish and everyone else is better than you. (That's a sign of mental illness, being associated with a number of different personality disorders.) The point of humility is to rejoice in other people's triumphs, achievements, and abilities as much as in your own, and to approach your own work in such a way that it doesn't matter whether you receive the approval, respect, and love that other people may get.

I think that humility has much to do with doing the work you are made to do, without worrying about what other people think of it. Surprisingly, then, humility is more akin to self-confidence than it is to low self-esteem, because when you are confident in yourself or in your work, you will not be broken or crushed by external circumstances so much.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Blog as Commonplace Book

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging frequently of late. You may have guessed that this had something to do with finishing and defending my dissertation, then moving from the Midwest to an Undisclosed Location. In this, you are partially right.

Moreover, I have contemplated giving up this pseudo-anonymous blog and constructing a new, more personal, less wacky, password-protected blog. You know, the sort of blog that contains fun pictures of and verbal vignettes from my daily life. It'd be the sort of blog in which I'd never make cranky or uncharitable arguments that I'd later regret. And, just so you know, the jury is still out: I might still give up this particular corner of cyberspace.

But I have to admit, there are some things about The Crockery that I like. This post is about one specific aspect that I've been missing sorely: blogging as notation. That's right: blogging as a means of helping the blogger remember something. In my case, the "something" is new recipes. While I haven't been coming up with a large number of new slow-cooker recipes, in recent weeks I did cook up what was probably the best beef stew I've ever made. It was nothing particularly out of the ordinary, just a potato-free variation of the standard beef stew. It contained wine and celery, rice and carrots. It was well seasoned and flavorful. Unfortunately, I don't know with what it was seasoned, because I never wrote down the ingredients. I told myself: "Oh, I'll blog about this recipe later tonight, while I still remember it." Alas, tonight never came. Or rather, it did come, but it did not bring with it the promised recipe, for the simple reason that I never wrote it down.

This means that you, my readers, can never duplicate this wonderful wine-and-rice beef stew. More tragically yet, it also means that I can never duplicate this recipe. I may spend my whole life searching for the perfect beef stew, and never find it. If only I had blogged about it while the memory was still fresh! Or at least started a commonplace book.

Perhaps if I had done so, I would finally know what was in the sugar bowl.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Add in the "Multiple Intelligences" quiz . . .

. . . and you can see why I considered being a veterinarian but ended up with a Ph.D. in English instead. The INTJ type is "The scientist," but "naturalist" came just after "verbal/linguistic" intelligence.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Still an INTJ

When I first took the Meyers-Briggs Personality test, I was an INTP. Since then, I've swung over into the "J" section, at least on paper. I've gotten the same results the past couple of times I've taken some variation on the test. Behold!

Click to view my Personality Profile page