Summer Dreamin’

My meticulous and well-thought out plan of teaching this summer hit a snag when I didn’t hit the minimum for enrollment. As a result, those courses were cancelled, making this the first summer since I-can’t-remember-when that I’ll have a full summer break.  A whole summer just for me and my various devices.

I have no clue what to do.

I’m being facetious, of course.  I have things to do – like giving thanks for being in a position of not needing to work this summer.  Seriously – I’m feeling very blessed for being in a good place right now.  Professionally, I’m in a lull (need to start cracking out new research and fast), but both privately and internally, I’m feeling pretty darn good.  I’d really hoped to use the funds that I would have made this summer as seed money to resurrect my personal savings, but . . . I’ll take my blessings wherever I can find them.

So, thank you Lord – for the first time in a long time . . . I’m feeling good.

On that note, I’d mentioned a while back that I’ve been mulling over whether I should offer to create a course on the history of Christianity.  Not theology, per se, but it would involve analyzing some of the major denominations and their development.  I’m still undecided about such a class; it has the potential to be controversial (in so many ways), and it’d require a lot of reading, especially of primary texts.

I can handle controversy (to a point, that is).  Anything dealing with religion is bound to be controversial.  From those who object to the mere existence of such a course, to those who object because you’re not following their interpretation of dogma, to those who take issue with the fact that a non-theologian is leading the course – if people have an opportunity to complain, they will.  It’s human nature, I guess, and the easiest response to any of these complaints is to simply remind people that the door is on the other side of the room and that they can use it at will.

But it’s the second part of my earlier statement – the reading – that’s my beef.  Personally, I love reading original ancient texts, but I know that isn’t true for everyone.  In fact, some people will use the slightest excuse to claim that they can’t read the text because it just doesn’t make sense to them.  I don’t understand why one would take a course – paying good money, no less – and not want to read the books or make an effort to understand what was happening.  I just don’t get it, but it happens.  It’s one of those things that makes me ask, “If no one is going to put forth an effort, then why should it even be done?

Having said that, however, I am starting to take a gander at what texts are available for such a class, so as they say, “Never say never.”

Although . . . a history of the Papacy might be fun to do . . .

Nope.  Gonna stop this fantasizing right here.

I’m wrestling with my desires to buy a book.  I can get an advanced PDF/E-book version of the text today for $18, but I’m left to print it out on my own (another $6), since I’m not a fan of reading PDFs.  On the other hand, I could just wait six weeks and get the book in hardcover for $25, although I could likely get a discount that would knock it down a few bucks.  Either way, I’m probably looking at shelling out $25.  In short, the two wash each other out, right?

Well, not so fast. 

The PDF/E-book version is of the first edition, while the anticipated hardcover is (apparently) for an update.  I know that something’s different because the newer book is 12 pages longer than the original.  But I’ve no clue as to what those dozen pages contain, or if they’re actually vital to the overall book.  I’m guessing that they’re for an updated introduction, back matter, and the occasional blank page.  I’m also guessing that charts, photos, and other graphics might be the cause for the additional heft, but that’s speculation.  It just bugs me that the publisher hasn’t commented on the text (other than the original announcement) and as such, I’m hesitant to purchase the PDF/E-book.

EDIT:  Sometimes you need to go to the source – I knew the Internet was good for something!  The author confirms that the differences between the editions is minor – some text maintenance and additional graphics.  Guess I’m going for the PDF/E-book!


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