"A vocation is something which cannot be had for the asking. It comes from heaven and from our first nature."

I am a student in the honors program at Modesto Junior College and the philosophy online program at University of Illinois at Springfield. I'm also president of our college Philosophical Society.  The life of the mind is my vocation.

Ever since my discovery of William James' "Will to Believe" in my first philosophy class, I have been interested in what the philosophy and psychology of religion can say to one another. Since then I have also begun walking down a Christian path and wonder how these ideas seep into theology.

"All who bear a message, all poets, all seekers and also those who are on the alert to pick up truths that lie scattered around us, must plunge deep into the vast emptiness that is plenitude."

(Quotes from A.G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life.)

Final Paper for Critical Thinking
This one never got a title. The professor told me I did very exceptional work for my age. Written for critical thinking at Foothill College in winter quarter 2009.

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Important Classes Completed
This is a list of courses I have taken. I try to relate every class to my big interests: epistemology, philosophy of religion, psychology of religion, and theology in general. Example: in environmental ethics I wrote my research paper on the stewardship tradition in Catholicism.

Critical Thinking
Introduction to Philosophy
Symbolic Logic
Philosophy of Religion
Ancient Philosophy (ancient - medieval)
Modern Philosophy (Descartes - Kant)
Environmental Ethics

Philosophy of Science
Personal, Identity, and Dignity

Honors Introduction to Religious Studies
Religion in America
Comparative Western Religions
Anthropology of Religion

Greek Religion
Politics and Religion: Islam and America's Culture Wars

A Dark and Shameful Time: a Walk Through the Holocaust
This was written in November 2009 for my historiography class at UIS. My professor said it was publishable. Of course, I couldn't have written a good review unless the original book was also excellent. Book was written by Dr. Feig, whom I had for two history courses at Foothill.

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Flawed Conceptions of Human Perception in Descartes’ Meditations
This is the first academic essay I can say I am proud of. I wrote it for my first philosophy class in spring 2008. It seems sophomoric now.

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The Missionary Methods of Matteo Ricci in China
This is a paper I wrote in November 2009 for my history class (world civilization from 1500-present). Half the class did WWII, but I had wanted to do this for some time, ever since learning in Chinese class of this Jesuit, who had an amazing faculty for the Chinese language.

I think my analysis came out well, and I asked some good questions, but I wish I had delved more into primary sources. This was a tough topic because of its obscurity -- much of the commentary was in Christian, French, Italian, or even Latin.

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