Siege Diaries 10/29/2020

sauron googly

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  How can I improve my character?  

This is based on the maxim “Character is fate.”  That is in opposition to the idea that “success” is a useful quality to evaluate a person, since success can be due to many factors, including luck and privilege, while character is something a person can control.  So I look to the things I can continually work on to improve my character, and they include keeping commitments (and making sure I don’t overcommit), doing the best that I can in the things I do, asking for help when I am confused or lacking information or knowledge, always looking to find a way to be kind, essaying not to take criticism personally, and seeking to understand the perspectives of others working in good faith (that part is critical).  And although I do see all of these as worthy goals and ideals to pursue, the truth is that I do mess up–and that brings up another point of character, which is owning up to mistakes and learning from them.  

I am not hugely full of thinky thoughts today, but what I do have is a new Aran sweater that I am so in love with that I ordered another one.    And, of course, another Jerusalem Quartet Shostakovich performance, this one of the 5th quartet.  I love all four of these guys, but particularly the cellist.

Meanwhile, my copy of the New Penguin Russian Course finally arrived. This is the one that was reported as lost in the mail a couple of weeks ago. It was apparently coming from Germany, not England, although the book dealer was British. So it looks like I will have two copies. Now to put together some time to put into actually doing the course. I do have a few books around here with Russian text alongside the English, so this could be fun once I get into it. Will likely need to look into acquiring a dictionary.

And it looks like I’ve managed to get commitments for about 16 different classes for an upcoming SCA college in a couple of weeks. I was keeping the possibility of teaching myself in my back pocket in case it was needed, but it looks like it shouldn’t be. Instead, I am seriously considering putting together a panel discussion on ethics in the SCA as part of a Toastmasters project as a stand-alone session–but this will probably take some additional organization. Between the project’s requirements and my recent philosophical musings, I think this is a good time to have a discussion about how core values can be reflected in reality.