A student turned me onto John Greene and his videos are ideal music for grading.
Today, unless I already have a reservation I prefer in San Luis, I must reserve this for December 20. December 19 I am in Santa Monica, and December 21 in Pescadero. I then need my place in San Rafael, perhaps, and places for the way back. In fact, I know where I want to stay: Santa Barbara, then L. A.
Updating: Cambria and Pescadero are out for this trip. I have: one night in Santa Monica, then one in San Luis Obispo (which I must make sure to reserve). The third night is to be determined. The night back, and the last night in L.A., are also to be determined.
El neoliberalismo -digamos, la gestión empresarial de la vida- es una lógica global, pero que se dispersa en el infinito de las situaciones (por ejemplo, la escuela, la salud o la naturaleza son gestionadas como empresas). “El todo está en cada una de las partes”, diríamos filosóficamente. Uno no “encuentra” al neoliberalismo más que bajo sus diversos modos de existencia. Es decir, el neoliberalismo está compuesto de prácticas cotidianas, de relaciones sociales y nosotros mismos participamos en esta explotación a la que estamos sometidos.
Como muchas otras estructuras, por ejemplo la lengua, el neoliberalismo tiene una autonomía, nuclea, orienta la vida de toda situación, pero sólo existe dentro de cada situación concreta. Es decir, no nos equivocamos cuando decimos que el neoliberalismo está por encima de la vida, sobre la vida, pero a la vez esta dimensión sólo se manifiesta como un virus que contamina cada elemento de la vida. Y en ese sentido la respuesta al neoliberalismo no puede ser más que múltiple, difusa, contradictoria y situacional. Resistir no es sólo oponerse, sino crear, situación por situación, otros modos de vida y otras relaciones sociales.
I want to read and study the whole thing.
Preamble to comment on strategic plan: I notice a language drift in the university. The intranet no longer calls faculty faculty, but says employee. At the same time, I keep hearing mid level administrators refer to faculty as “teachers.” It is as though faculty as a category were being eliminated. That is one of the characteristics of for-profit institutions and it is not going to drive us up in rankings.
Comment on strategic plan: The conception of the strategic plan seems to come from this mentality. I see that research productivity is to go up, which is good, and support for faculty is to go up, which is also good, but the plan as a whole does not seem to imagine us as a community of scholars or an institution of learning but as a vocationally oriented, corporate entity that is trying to achieve market dominance. We are to better our designated peers, beat them on certain scales and measures.
I would like to do something more substantial, specifically educate the people of this region and state who are still the vast majority of our students. But perhaps now that the state has cut so much funding we no longer serve it, but our corporate partners?
Veblen does not adopt Adam Smith’s notion that the pursuit of self-interest leads naturally to the expansion of the common good, and that the hidden hand guides this economy towards optimal outcomes and uses of available resources:
The outcome of this management of industrial affairs through pecuniary transactions, therefore, has been to dissociate the interests of those men who exercise the discretion from the interests of the community…. Broadly, this class of business men, in so far as they have no ulterior strategic ends to serve, have an interest in making the disturbances of the system large and frequent, since it is in the conjunctures of change that their gain emerges…. It is, as a business proposition, a matter of indifference to the man of large affairs whether the disturbances which his transactions set up in the industrial system help or hinder the system at large.
Read the whole thing.
The question we need to ask ourselves at this moment is what further provocations we require to justify digging in our heels. To put the question more pointedly: Are we willing to wait until the next presidential election, or for some interim congressional conversion experience, knowing that if we do wait, hundreds of our sons and daughters will be needlessly destroyed? Another poet, César Vallejo, framed the question like this:
A man shivers with cold, coughs, spits up blood.
Will it ever be fitting to allude to my inner soul? . . .
A cripple sleeps with one foot on his shoulder.
Shall I later on talk about Picasso, of all people?
A young man goes to Walter Reed without a face. Shall I make an appointment with my barber? A female prisoner is sodomized at Abu Ghraib. Shall I send a check to the Clinton campaign?
Garret Keizer said that in Harper‘s. Read the whole thing.
If I could run these language courses in a way that would work for me and the students, I would:
1/ Walk in with review and warm-up questions (5 minutes)
2/ Go over homework (5 minutes)
3/ Have a short quiz (5 minutes)
4/ Introduce a new reading / vocabulary theme / grammatical structure (depending on the day) (15 minutes, including showing audio, video, images)
5/ Explain #4 after having immersed students in it and engaged them with it (5 minutes)
6/ Do some easy exercises with this new material (10 minutes)
7/ Assign some more complex exercises as homework, make announcements, wrap up (5 minutes)
What do you think? And — why is it that I cannot do anything this rational? Can I find a way to do it, in the current situation?