School Mingled with Motherhood

Thrasymachus’s is skeptical of the role of reason in establishing morality/ethics. His claim…

Mom! Abby peed on the couch! MOM?! MOM WHERE ARE YOU??? I need you quick!

…is literally that “morality is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger party”.

In looking at this exchange between Socrates and Thrasymachus, I was distracted by Socrates’ style of debate, and found myself pondering if he was setting up a false dichotomy, or straw-man with Thrasymachus. It almost seemed as if he was playing with his prey. While I don’t…

CRASH!!… mom? mom? I’m bleeeeeeding mom! Bean shoved a straw in my lip and now I’m going to DIE!! I need a band-aid!

…personally find Thrasymachus’s argument persuasive, his point is an important one to consider. In recalling the introduction of the Peter Singer text we are using, I found myself, oddly, thi…

Ring. Ring. Ring. MOM! The phone is ringing and I can’t find it, can I answer it mom!? MOM?!! JEFF!! Give me back the phone! I GOT IT FIRST MOM!!! MOM MOM MOOOOOM!!

…thinking of Hume.

I’m hungry mom! Can I have a go-gurt? Abby ate the last pink one and I don’t LIKE THE BLUE ONES! AND SHE PEED AGAIN! Gross, Abby. Go tell mom!

(If I read it right, Hume argued that our morality is based on belief rather than reason, and knowledge only comes of direct experience. While Hume and Thrasymachus might not have much else in common, this view of justice…

Bean chewed through Wii controller cord again and now my game won’t work! Put him on a timeout mom! MOM! He left his Chewies in bed and ATE MY WII! Can I hit him? MOM!?

…and morality as being subjective and relative is something I kept coming back to.) Socrates sets the stage by making a simple point, as noted, about the fallibility of government leaders- those in power.  If those in power are those who have morality vis a vis that power, then…

Mom, I can’t find Wubsy. Can you help me find Wubsy? Bean took the remote from me. Mom, can we go to the park? Mom, can I go on the computer? Why are you using the black keyboard and not my keyboard, mom? Where’s brothers? Mom?

…and procedes to dismember Thrasymachus’ position. He says “…morality is no more what is advantageous to the stronger party than it is disadvantageous to the stronger party.” Thereby rendering the position impotent, as it cannot be both and have any authority…


It becomes amusing and looks more like baiting when Socrates proffers that Thrasymachus holds him to be a bully. Thrasymachus is- perhaps too narrowly- looking towards what he sees (fallible or not) as the ideal…

*ding dong* Hi! Mom? MOMMM? Your home teachers are here. MOM? What are you doing mom? Where ARE you MOOOMM?!!

…He is rather ham-fisted in his attempts, but I don’t think he’s the buffoon Socrates plays him to be. From what little I know of philosophy, I think centuries later Nietzsche pretty powerfully argues from a similar place of moral understanding.

20 thoughts on “School Mingled with Motherhood

  1. Okay, totally know how you feel. Every semester, the more overwhelmed I feel it seems like the more my kids NEED (fill in the blank).

    The #1 thing I have learned in the past two years of going back to school is: Give yourself a break. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. Make friends with all the TA’s. Talk to your profs about questions you missed if you need clarification.

    *shaking pompoms b/c sometimes you just need someone to shake pompoms*

  2. I have definitely done the school with kids thing and it sucks. It’s hard. Be open with your professors–don’t take advantage, but let them know what your situation is. One time my two-year-old ended up in the hospital for four days right at the end of your situation. I’m married, but my husband was in grad school at the time too and things got hairy.

    Also, pray and ponder about finding someone who can help you. Even if they take your kids for just a few hours a week–and use that time to really focus on school and nothing else. The hardest thing about being a parent and a student is learning how to focus and use your time well; I wrote way too many papers at 10 PM or later while the kids were sleeping. There were times though, when I found people willing to help me out for a while and that time was precious. I don’t know all the details of your situation, but it’s just a thought.

  3. I second the finding a situation where you can have bursts of intense un-interruptable study time. It’s AMAZING how much a mother can get done when she doesn’t get interrupted. It probably doesn’t help that you’re starting school while ALL of your kids are out of school. That’s bound to become more doable in the fall.

  4. DM’s (did that mean divorced mom’s?)

    If not, feel free to ignore me!
    You need to get a cape to go with the tights. I made one to wear with my tutu on 5 & 10K’s- and the half marathon that is upcoming that I’m bailing on. Thinking of myself as a wonder woman tried to help- but didn’t much at the time.

    I will say, that back in those days I had to learn to seriously make “me” time, or else I knew I was going to be in a VERY bad spot. I was lucky in the fact that my mom agreed to babysit while I worked a weird late shift & survived on barely any sleep… but looking back, and after that first yea rof hell (because, it was) I was so proud of myself for getting through it.

    Never under estimate the power of a mom who wants the best for her and her family/kids. And seriously never forget that us single moms (though I’m not anymore- but was for 6 years) have super powers beyond anything anyone else knows of.

    Encouragement— I would say finding a mom who is close and walks in the same (or close) shoes was my godsend. 15 yrs seperated us & she had way more kids than I— but that support from someone who “got it” was invaluable.

    • “DM” meant Dandelion Mama, Melzie, but Divorced Moms works just as well!

      I did pack the kids in the car today and head to the gym for the first time in a week. I knew I was going to bite someone’s head off if I didn’t. I still didn’t get in a full workout, but at least it was something.

  5. Oh, Tracy, I must admit I laughed when I read this, but then again I am not living it. But I did survive 20+ hour plane rides with three kids by myself, so you can do this!
    This is reality, this is life, the good, bad, and less than graceful. (not sounding like much of a pep talk!)
    Your kids are resilient and you will survive, and soon, this time will be in the past, you will have a degree, and your kids will be better because of you. You can do this. Hard, yes, but capable.
    Until that time, many prayers and much love!

  6. I second (or third, or whatever number I am) the advice to find someone who can take your kids to the park or pool or somewhere fun for a few hours so you have uninterrupted study time. If it could be the same day/time every week, that would be even better. I know there are tons of people who love you and rally around you, so I’m sure there are people who would do this type of thing.

    I know this probably feels like asking for even more, from people who have already given so much. But you would do the same for them.

    Regardless, the excerpts of your paper are great, and you truly deserve the good marks you have (mostly) received so far. You can do this, Tracy! It will be challenging – but you can do this!

    (However, I do have to say that you help reinforce the idea that I’m willing to wait a few more years before I contemplate going back to school… *grin*)

  7. ” Can I hit him? MOM!?” – Best question EVER! Because after millions of times saying no, you just might have changed your mind today.

    But seriously, homework will be done between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM. That and you will need to find out how much work you need to do to get the grade you are satisfied with. Not the grade you want but the grade you will be satisfied with.

    Don’t start skippping the gym to do homework. That will only make things worse. You’ll feel tired if you do that.

    The beginning of EVERY quarter seems overwhelming but it gets better and by the end of the quarter you think “that wasn’t so bad” and you do it all again.

    We are here for you.

    • Thanks Jared- that’s a good point actually. I only made it to the gym once last week, and I feel like crap- mentally and physically. I did put my gym clothes ON this morning, so my intent is there. Thanks for the encouragement.

      And thanks everyone, for all your pep-talking. 😀

  8. you’re amazing. you don’t know me and i’ve never commented, but i read your blog sometimes, and every time i do, i come away thinking, “she’s amazing!! how does she even get up in the morning?” so good job, and just remember that we’re all rooting for you!

  9. One of the best things I did when I was going to school with small kids: I had a ‘mother’s helper’. She would facilitate the kids and play with them, clean up messes, etc. etc while I put ear plugs in and worked on papers. Saved me.

  10. Okay I watched the new video on today and it made me think of you immediately …. is that weird? Especially since you do not know me from a hole in the wall?!? Here is the link:

    You can read the whole talk that is linked there and it is amazing! Jeffery R Holland does it again ….. you are amazing, never forget it!

  11. I’m taking two classes through Independent Study and have a whole year to finish them. It is the bit of life I just can’t seem to get to and I feel like a looser because of it. Reading your post made me feel like hyperventilating. I don’t know how in the world I’d handle a full load of classes being a single mother. Let me know what you figure out, maybe it will work for this lower capacity DM.

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