Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Renaissance Man-ing up

I have been thinking a little bit lately about achievements, goals, and the 'renaissance man' ideal. I think that ideal is in many ways defunct, partly because of its underlying social reality having evaporated centuries ago, partly because our knowledge base makes unattainable the kind of true universal and deep knowledge that someone like da Vinci had. But one should also ask why one would seek to have such a broad-spanning knowledge. That is another question for another time.

Anyway, I have been pondering my own life, and how I'm going. This is a bit like writing a resume for awesome, so if it sounds like boasting, it's because that's what listing one's accomplishments always sounds like.

Education: I hold 3 bachelor degrees, 1 in philosophy, 2 with honours (creative arts & theology); I also hold a Graduate Diploma in Classical Languages, a Graduate Certificate in the same (a separate university), and a MTh in early church history. I'm currently at work on a PhD. I also managed to fit in a trade certificate in fitness.

Goals: I aim to finish the PhD in less than 6 years, and then I will contemplate either writing research articles, or possible pursuing formal studies in Gaelic.

Languages: I have over 7 years of formal study in Latin and Greek, and can speak half-decent Latin, while reading both languages at a high level, and occasionally writing the same. I have a self-estimated CEFR level of B1/2 in Scottish Gaelic, and probably a B1 in Mongolian. I have a grammatical knowledge, but not a working fluency, in ancient Hebrew.

Goals: I aim to improve Gaelic and Mongolian to C1/C2. I also aim to continue to improve my written Latin and Greek, and spoken Latin into the Bs. I further aim to master simple German (A2)

Humanities: I studied literature, literary theory, philosophy, ancient history, classics, and theology, and have a solid grasp in these fields.

Goals: Consider taking some free online courses in art history, music appreciation, and social sciences.

Sciences: A weakness! I studied advanced math at high school, but nothing much since.

Goals: Look for and take some free courses in basic physics, math, biology, chemistry, etc.. Have a working knowledge of the foundations of these sciences.

Physical fitness: I studied Kung Fu for 10 years, Krav Maga for 2, and have undertaken some training in acrobatics and parkour. In younger years I also studied ballroom dancing. I lifted weights seriously for 2 years, and competed in a powerlifting competition, managing a 2xBW deadlift, a 1.66xBW squat, and a BW benchpress as my PBs in my lifting career.

Goals: Continue current gymnastics based workouts, aiming towards a number of strength and agility goals, e.g. planche, iron cross, backbend walkover, back handspring.

Arts: I can play bass guitar, and I used to write poetry?

Goals: start writing poetry again. Consider taking bass skills to a new level.

Social: I am a comfortable and strong public speaker.

Goals: Work on informal socialisation and 'networking'.

Achievements: I think this is an area for focus over the next decade or two. I feel like I should do a few things and leave some contributions to the world. I would like to write a few books, but I am not quite sure yet about what I would like to write.

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