Sunday, June 22, 2008

Introduction and Explanation

First, a brief biography: My first name is Megan, my last name is none of your business, and my usual internet handle is the Sojourner. I am 18 years old, preparing for my sophomore year at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (I skipped sixth grade, in case you're curious.) I'm majoring in journalism and theology; I'm also in the Honors program because being a double-major doesn't get my blood pressure high enough for my liking. (I'm something of a chronic worrier and honestly prefer it if I have something like school to stress out over--school I can conquer.)

I've been blogging at But I Digress... since November of 2007. In June of 2008 I started discerning a second blog; if you're reading this it means that God gave me the green light and this blog went public while But I Digress... went private. If you know me personally or have someone who knows me personally who can vouch for you, feel free to request access to my private ramblings. If you don't know me personally you will have to be content with my more serious side, as expressed on this blog. The name, Thinking of Things Aloft, comes from The Apology, the reference is explained more thoroughly in my previous post. I hope the main content of this blog will be fairly reflective essay-style posts, but given the way my brain works there will probably be a lot of dry humor even in those. I also hope to occasionally give a somewhat more personal look at things. More on that in subsequent paragraphs.

The main goal of my life is to know, love, and serve God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I was raised Roman Catholic and about six years ago (a few months before my Confirmation) made the conscious decision to be an active Catholic--which, in my view, means asking questions. Even the hard questions. Especially the hard questions. I question God because I believe He has the answers. Sometimes I don't like His answers. There have been plenty of times when I've had temper tantrums with Him because He isn't running the universe the way I want it run. Faith is one of the areas in which I hope to get personal from time to time. I love the intellectual pursuit that is theology, but my faith means nothing if it's all in my head. I've made it a practice since I started blogging not to sugarcoat the fact that having faith is sometimes a struggle. Knowing in your head that God is King of the Universe doesn't mean it's always easy to trust Him with your life.

Another of my interests is education. Now, when I say "discussing education" I do not mean getting tangled up in the public school v. private school v. home school debate. I do have opinions on that subject--considering that I have, in my 13 years of formal education, had 4 years in a public school, 8 years in a home school, and 1 year (so far) in a private school, I can hardly help but have opinions. However, I'd rather look at it from a philosophical standpoint: What are we trying to learn? Why are we trying to learn it? What is the best way to learn what we need to know? Perhaps we'll even synthesize theology and education by asking what Menon asked Socrates: Can virtue be taught?

Then there's a question which is somewhat contentious in our society today: the relationship between men and women. Being a woman myself, I've more than a passing interest in the feminist movement. I'd like to explore what they did right, what they did wrong, and whether what they're doing now is hurting or helping women. The goal of this is not to bash the feminist movement, but to attempt to discover what the dynamic between the sexes ought to be. Again, there is going to be a synthesis of this with theology. Everything synthesizes with theology eventually because eventually everything goes back to God. As a subheading of the men and women topic, I'd like to discuss courtship and romance. This is a topic I'm very interested in for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I'm currently involved in a courtship with a fellow Franciscan student whom some of you might know as Shakespeare's Cobbler. (He blogs at Ventures 'Neath Aeviternity and also contributes to The Three Anachronisms and The Literary Videogame Project.) Although one of the purposes of going to two blogs was to keep personal aspects of our relationship private, in addition to consulting the great body of literature (both ancient and modern) dedicated to romantic relationships, I will also draw on the things the Cobbler and I are learning as we discern our own relationship--so you might notice the occasional personal update if you're looking.

I also hope to do more pro-life writing, which I never did much of on my old blog despite the fact that it's an issue near and dear to my heart. I don't intend merely to talk about abortion. Yes, abortion is one of the greatest attacks against life in our day, but at the same time I occasionally get thoroughly creeped out by the modern idea that there is some kind of standard human beings ought to conform to in order to have rights. All you have to do is look at people like Terri Shiavo to know that there is something wrong with our culture. I have two close relatives who are on SSI because they can't entirely take care of themselves. I wonder sometimes if one of these days people are going to decide that people like these ones I love are not worth supporting anymore. I don't like this idea that we can arbitrarily decide who is worthy of being called human and who is not; abortion is just the tip of that iceberg.

Beyond that, you might get days when I feel like discussing anything from politics to videogames (the Cobbler has been teaching me about those). I will also recycle posts from my old blog, partly because if I'm writing a series of posts on a topic and I've already addressed one element, I'm not going to re-write that; and partly because there will be weeks (or months) when I'm too busy or too tired to come up with original material, and I hope to post here fairly often (perhaps once or twice a week would be a good goal to begin with).

In short, welcome to my world. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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