MA Philosophy (2005)
Currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy & Literature at Purdue University
Author of "The Funniness of Stephen Colbert: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Humor," in Stephen Colbert and Philosophy (Open Court, 2009).
"Before I came to DSPT I thought I had a pretty good handle on philosophy. I came from UC Berkeley, after all. But I was just like that teenager, who, at thirteen, thought she knew everything. I took courses on Ancient, Modern and Contemporary philosophy, so I thought I had a good background. I came to DSPT because it would allow me to follow my love for Ancient Philosophy, especially for Plato. But when I got to DSPT, whole new worlds opened up: the world of Plotinus, the world of the pre-Socratics, and of course the world of St. Thomas Aquinas. The great thing about DSPT, for me, was that I always felt comfortable, like I was learning these new views in the comfort of my own living room, and this allowed me to take risks with my thinking and writing. This period was really a time of play for me, looking back at it now. The friendship, the community, and the informal conversations all nurtured me and prepared me for my life now.
"A Master's degree in philosophy from DSPT allowed me to teach as a part-time lecturer at various colleges in the Bay Area. I found that I enjoyed engaging students in philosophical discussions and challenging them to think in new ways about ancient and contemporary philosophical literature. When I realized that I would be happy teaching philosophy for the rest of my life and couldn't imagine doing anything else, I applied to PhD programs.
"In Ancient Greek there is a word, apeiros, which has two meanings: the first is "inexperienced" or "ignorant," the second is "boundless" or "without end." When I came to DSPT, I was inexperienced and ignorant of many philosophical viewpoints. And the philosophy that I was familiar with was at best on a surface level. I had been doing baby philosophy at Berkeley as an undergraduate. With DSPT's small school atmosphere but big time resources (the UC Berkeley and GTU libraries, the knowledgeable and skilled professors, the dedicated and caring staff), there really wasn't a limit to what I could do. DSPT helped me develop an intellectual curiosity without end. For me, DSPT helped me transform from the first meaning of apeiros, "ignorant," to the second meaning, "without end," with respect to my intellectual development. Perhaps it wouldn't be wrong to consider myself now as a grown-up philosopher."