Theo Todman's Personal Page
(Text as at 01/05/2022 18:20:10)
This is currently – and has been since the page was created – a rather random straggle of out-of-date jottings. I’m in the process of updating it.
- This page focuses on my activities. For my family, follow this this link1.
- I was born in Singapore, of English parents, but returned with them to Doncaster in South Yorkshire when a few months old. We moved to Gloucester when I was 9, which I effectively left when I went to university. Subsequently I’ve lived in London (Hampstead, St. John’s Wood and Croydon – all in short order pre-marriage), then in Romford and – from 1988 – in Billericay, Essex.
- From my earliest days I was deemed to have some artistic skills, but the only evidence in existence is a pen and ink drawing of Gloucester Cathedral2 done when I was 15.
- I was educated at the Crypt School Gloucester (1965-1972), and at King's College Cambridge (1973-6), where I substantially wasted my opportunities studying a subject (mathematics) for which I was very ill-suited, but where I thoroughly enjoyed myself rowing, playing bridge and socializing.
- I was briefly a Carthusian monk3 way back in 1978, and was subsequently, until the mid-1990's, an evangelical, fundamentalist, dispensationalist Christian4. Now, I aim to be a philosopher.
- At the end of October 2010 I retired from a career in the central IT function at HSBC, having previously spent 10 years (from September 1976) working for Hoskyns, a software house.
- For a long time – until I re-established contact with academia – I was an enthusiast for Hi-Q societies – namely Mensa and ISPE. After a decade away, I re-joined these organisations in April 2011, but lapsed my Mesa membership the following year. I’m still a member of ISPE, but inactive.
- Before I took up formal study of philosophy in 2000, I wrote various items of dubious quality, as an ‘opinionated auto-didact’, which are collected here5.
- I used to enjoy a (somewhat irregular) work-out at the gym, but lapsed my membership when we moved to Coxes Farm. Now I have my own deluxe rowing machine and (less deluxe) multi-gym, though I rarely use them. I get my exercise from walking Henry the dog once or twice a day.
- I enjoyed playing chess6 and bridge7 at school and university. I returned to bridge at the end of 2007 and was enthusiastic for about 10 years, though I now only play socially (though in Clubs and some local competitions). I started playing chess again in September 2018, but am finding it a challenge.
- I learnt to play the oboe at school, but it’s an impossible instrument to play irregularly, so after years of occasional play, I decided to take it fairly seriously and practise most days, though only for 15 minutes, and play fortnightly in an ensemble. I had lessons every couple of weeks from April 2008 to September 2010 and again from September 2018 to March 2020 (making 71 in total) when the Covid lock-down stopped it all. I started to learn the piano in 2008, and had 31 lessons between July 2008 and September 2010, but didn’t persist. See my Music page8.
- From October 2000 to June 2004, I studied for a BA in Philosophy at Birkbeck9 College, University of London. This was a part-time course involving 2 or 3 evenings a week (together with all the outside study) undertaken while I was still working full time. I seem to be much more fitted to philosophy than mathematics, and graduated with first class honours. I also expended quite a lot of energy running the Birkbeck Philosophy Society10 for a couple of years, thereby meeting a lot of interesting philosophers.
- I started the Master in Philosophical Studies (MPhil Stud) degree at Birkbeck in October 2005, but intermitted in the following spring after my wife Julie had a nasty car accident that debilitated her for 6 months. She is now fully recovered, and I recommenced formal study for a PhD at Birkbeck in October 2007. My area of research was Personal Identity11. Unfortunately, I found it difficult combining research with my work commitments and other interests, so dropped out. See my Philosophy Page12 for the current status.
- From late September to end December 2010, I was at Heythrop College London (Defunct) studying for an MA in Philosophy and Religion. The document controlling these activities is here13. Unfortunately, I've continued my career as a serial academic drop-out, and dropped out. Basically, I've moved on psychologically from taught to research degrees, and don't like having to write superficial tripe to aggressive timeframes.
- So, the grand plan from now on is to write much more than is strictly required for a PhD under my own steam, and then see if I can get the work critiqued at a University.
- For the latest status report on my various projects, follow this link14.
- In lieu of completed structures on which to hang my pearls of wisdom, I've created an "Animadversions" notes-database for depositing thoughts pending the creation of the appropriate peg. If I find myself lying awake at night thinking about this or that, the remedy is to leap out of bed and blog it (but not in my official Blog15). For the Jump Table to the various thoughts, follow this link.
- Finally, I did make a start on an autobiography16, but this has stalled. You will be able to see this developing (if it ever does) by following the link.
- All my Notes can be accessed via the following the jump-table.
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