SECOND EVER PHILOSOPHY FOOSBALL CLUB DINNER A SUCCESS!
The evening of Thursday, October 7 2010, was the second ever Philosophy Foosball Club Dinner (see photos below). Here are some details:
1. The dinner was held at Dr. V's home in Steinbach. Excellent catering was provided by Carla (Dr. V's wife) and Tom (Carla's and Dr. V's son, who is a first year Providence student with a strong interest in business). Big thanks to Carla and Tom!
2. In total, 15 students/ former students from Providence College attended the dinner. (Extra thanks go to Carla and Tom for the fine—and large—meal.)
3. The PFC dinner was graced by a visit from Landon Oakes, a former Prov student and current philosophy student at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. We're glad Landon could make it. (Note: In photo #4 [see below], Landon looks like he was glad to have made it too, since he seems to be taking a very long time to say grace. Nicole Dyck and Phil Wiebe are being very polite as Landon continues praying through after-dinner coffee.)
4. Joining the PFC event too, momentarily via Facebook, was a special guest from Thunder Bay: Former Prov student Elizabeth Busby! Lizz sent her greetings.
5. After dinner, student president Garrett Erskine presented a fine and encouraging speech. Thanks Garrett! (Dr. V realized later that former student president Paul Oleniuk, who also was at the PFC dinner, should have been asked to say a few words too, plus should have made a speech at last year's PFC dinner. Paul, please be forewarned: At next year's PFC dinner you will be asked to give three speeches! (And, yes, Garrett, you are hereby forewarned, too.)
6. After Garrett's speech, the PFC discussed two major and deeply interesting philosophical topics/ questions (though, of course, a few other topics and questions were sprinkled in). The first topic, introduced by Jordan Byggdin, was an argument from sociologist Christian Smith's recent book, What is a Person? Here is Jordan's summary of the topic: "In essence, Smith argues that simple correspondence between thought/ proposition and external world/ object is not legitimate, since the two are essentially different kinds of things. Smith suggests 'transpositional correspondence' instead, a process by which we 'translate' or 'recode' facts about the external world into truthful propositions, relying on the presupposed validity of our senses and other means." The second topic was introduced by Jeff Honsberger, and here is Jeff's summary of the topic (and sketch of the discussion): "The second question began by building off/ misrepresenting a line from the RSA Animate lecture, First as tragedy, then as farce, 'the worst slave owners were the ones who were nice to their slaves.' The discussion meandered, beginning from an attempt to question which has greater moral imperative micro or macro change, if the two are in opposition. The subjects of slavery, biblical arguments for and against social justice, Marxism, capitalism, social justice, charity, as well as a discussion of the actual lecture which the original question diverged from were all addressed periodically. Here is the original lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpAMbpQ8J7g." Both topics were excellent and thoroughly discussed. Many thanks to Jordan and Jeff!
7. After the philosophical discussions, numbers were drawn (yes, to once again honour Pythagoras) and Philosophy Foosballers were allowed, in an orderly fashion, to (a) enter the tiny hallway to Dr. V's sacred space (i.e., his basement office/cellar), (b) sift through a pile of books (which no longer fit in Dr. V's library), and (c) take home some favourites. (Fun project: See if you can find the photo below wherein Sean Brewster, Garrett Erskine, and Jeff Honsberger are waiting for their turn to look for books and are doing, with varying/ dismal degrees of success, impressions of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker. Hint: You may have to click on photo #8 [below] to get a better look.)
8. During the "book crawl" and over coffee, various philosophical discussions were continued (although, as photo #11 seems to show, Mark Jensen is simply reading a story to David Ward). Speaking of coffee, it's interesting to note how caffeine affects people differently: See the golden aura/ halo of calmness in the photo of Jordan Byggdin and Paul Oleniuk, and then see the lack of calmness in the photo where Mark Jensen and Malcolm Montgomery give us the thumbs-up. (Next year the four of you will be limited to one cup of Java!)
9. No Crokinole games were played this year, apparently because of rumours from last year's PFC dinner that the "v" in "Dr. V" stands for virtuoso (in Crokinole). (Yes, this is a throwing down of the Crokinole gauntlet! Did you read this last sentence, Rob Horsley?!)
In sum, the second ever Philosophy Foosball Club dinner was excellent—and a wonderful success. Thanks to all who attended.
- Dr. V