From my diary

I’ve tried to use Xoom.com to send money to the St. Ephrem Ecumenical Institute (SEERI) in India, for the copies of the English translation of Aphrahat’s Demonstrations that they sent me.  The last time I used this, I could fund it from Paypal.  This no longer seems to be available, and only US bank accounts or credit cards can be used.  Oh well.

Fortunately I have a bank account with an international bank.  They’ll probably charge me an arm and a leg for a bank transfer.  But let’s see.

Meanwhile the story about the Keston College archives thickens.  Keston, you remember, is the group that monitored the Church in the old USSR.  The archives are now held at Baylor University.  Apparently the people at Keston would like them to appear online.  But the word that I am getting is that they are kept offline, supposedly because of Baylor’s lawyers’ concerns over copyright.  That this also means that this precious resource is exclusive to Baylor is, I hope, coincidental. 

Fortunately Michael Bourdeaux has told me to make the book that I scanned — Risen Indeed — available online as widely as possible, and I will do my best, as soon as I get any time.

It’s been a thin week.  Lots of people are away, and the pressure at work has left little energy in the evenings.  This is why it is so important, if you want to do research work in the ancient world, to obtain a PhD and a research post at a university — even if combined with teaching.  Because those who have to spend their days at meaningless tasks, done for hire, can only devote a fraction of their time to the things that excite us all. 

4 thoughts on “From my diary

  1. “…those who have to spend their days at meaningless tasks, done for hire, can only devote a fraction of their time to the things that excite us all.”

    So true it hurts sometimes! I am fortunate in that my hired tasks are for an international firm dealing with antique and antiquities so I get to see a little bit more than I might otherwise. I do lament not going the Masters/PhD route and still think about it sometimes…

  2. If you can, do. It gets harder the longer you leave it.

    At my age, I simply can’t afford to take seven years out. I need to save as best I can for whatever pension I can manage for when I am superannuated.

  3. “…even if combined with teaching…” and faculty meetings, department meetings, (sub-) sub-committee meetings, grading papers/tests, writing explanations why grade B (not A+ – but it should be C-!)… yes, I did glance at the abstracts of a few articles, and maybe I’ll find time to track down that Syriac fragment I need to check, and, and…

  4. Absolutely. The age of gold is not to be found anywhere, and those who yearn for what they imagine academia to be should recall that in a fallen world there are committee meetings and politics everywhere.

    “The dreaming spires of Oxford are in fact firmly braced, against both the traffic without, and the bickering within.”

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