[This was originally at the end of a post below, but I wanted to give the other post its own integrity, so I prefer to let this post, basically an aside, stand on its own.]
I've been making my way through Pope John Paul II's _Veritatis Splendor_ to better understand Christian morality. After that I hope to read his _Evangelium Vitae_ for a better understanding of what living, suffering and dying for a "culture of life," the only culture suitably offered to the God of the living. I am, you know, probably going to be a Catholic. Part of that means forming and informing my conscience according to the Truth.
I've decided to read both encyclicals (and perhaps all texts of interest I can find not originally in English) in a German translation, as part of my German renaissance. My German class begins next Wednesday. 100 minutes per week for 24 weeks. My teacher, a Taiwanese-born woman who is culturally, linguistically and politically Austrians, was very pleased with my German. It was a pleasure for both of us to speak auf Deutsch. The curriculum will focus on translating English texts into German, in order to "activate" my large but "passive" knowledge of German. I've decided to refrain from Spanish lessons, not the least because private tutors are expensive! Chinese lessons look to start in greater earnest this Saturday [6 Nov 2004] (once or hopefully twice a week 50-90 minutes per session).
Oof. I need to sleep.