Friday, June 11, 2010

And this is why Cornelia Philosophene

I wrote this in an email to a friend a while back, and I kept meaning to post something similar here; I've finally just taken the cheat-y way and cut-and-pasted from that email. I have made (as usual) slight editorial revisions. I named my blog after my email address-- despite the fact that it's dastardly difficult to spell, I do still love my email address-- but, as you shall see in my next post (chronologically), it turned out to be a good name for the blog in and of itself.

Your last question is the easiest to answer, as well as the longest. The first part of my email address came from a First Presidency Message that President Hinkley wrote in the December 2007 Ensign. I double checked it before I actually used the name, because I didn't want to be wrong and be all embarrassed and be stuck with a weird email address that I would have to start explaining by saying that I had been mistaken.

Anyway, in the article, he told a story about these Roman ladies who got to talking and decided to pull out their jewels to show off to each other, and they asked their friend, Cornelia, where her jewels were, and she called in her two sons and said they were her jewels. And then they grew up to be famous and good, or something like that.

I liked the story so much that I thought it would be great to name a kid Cornelia, (mmm... or something...), but never knowing if/when I would have kids, and also knowing that whoever I married might want a say in what we named our kids, I decided to go for it for the email address. I was completely sure that any variation of my actual first, middle, and last names was going to be very crowded in the email address market, and I really didn't want any numbers in my address.

Also, there's a small reference to a character in one of the Anne of Green Gables books; the lady is Cornelia Bryant, and she's this super opinionated, very kind, frighteningly competent old maid who is Anne's neighbor during Anne's first couple of years of marriage, and who takes Anne under her wing and encourages Anne to be friends with their other neighbor who isn't very friendly but desperately needs true friends. I felt that, as I head in to old maindenhood myself, I don't mind having her as a -- I'm not sure what the inverse of a namesake is. At any rate, I could do much worse than to turn out like Cornelia Bryant.

I had just declared my philosophy major when I was choosing my gmail account name, and since I'm a girl, I picked "philosophene." When I found the Philosophy Department at BYU, I felt-- and looking back, it still has this same feeling for me-- like Harry Potter at Hogwarts: suddenly, all of my weird academic quirks and interests made more sense than they ever had, were welcomed, even became useful! I have no idea if I'll ever be able to go back (um, flunking Aristotle certainly didn't help much for that prospect), but I will never regret having graduated in philosophy. My addiction to thinking in general, and particularly to wondering about the "why" of practically everything-- that which finally landed me in philosophy at the end of my somewhat extended undergraduate career-- remains a major part of my character, and I hope it always will.

1 comment:

N said...

alright, wheres the new quote from?