Category Archives: Da Whiteman

To do

This article; the syllabi; the LASA2015 abstract; the grading; the parking permit.

In the fall: the other article.

It is strange no longer to collude in my own oppression but I appear to be achieving this. I will become stronger still.

The very worst aspect of working at our place is the way we are undermined by the administration and used to undermine each other. I will guard against this.

#OccupyHE

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, News, Resources, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

One

So it is going now, and I am becoming one with this project. Whole. The image of jumping off into a project does not work for me. I decided it was not a question of jumping off, but of drawing things toward me.

You have to think in terms of integration and love, not alienation, rubrics, duty. That is my academic advice.

#OccupyHE

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Da Whiteman, News, Resources, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

On getting back to what needs to be done

Now everything is beautiful again and it has to do with pleasure. Or the self-love I lost in Reeducation and have difficulty summoning here.

It is not this town that is terrible, although it does not suit me; and it is not academia, although I wish I could have done something more interesting. It is this university having been, and being such a space of trauma.

The idea of “getting back to what needs to be done” is so freeing in so many senses. In Reeducation, doing what needed to be done would have been considered “being in denial” and “having control.”

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Da Whiteman, News

It is an ignorant attitude, actually

“If you are not a professor, then you are an uncultured person interested only in money.”

“Because you were so selfish as to do the Ph.D, you owe it to the world to be a professor — in any circumstances, and no matter what else you might have to give up.

“If you are not willing to sacrifice all of your actual intellectual interests in service of holding the title of professor, then you were never a serious intellectual, and were never serious about having any career.”

These are the things professors say, and that is why I consider them unsophisticated and also cruel. If the budget cutters are cutting because of having had professors like this, they might be right.

Axé.

1 Comment

Filed under Da Whiteman, News

On undergraduate research

I think it is so foregrounded now because there is so little of it. In the past research was done in most undergraduate classes but now, instead, select undergraduates undertake supervised research projects while others do not learn research skills. Thus does the neoliberal university say it is doing more when it is in fact doing less.

#OccupyHE

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, News, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

Limbo

One of my friends points out, in a nonacademic context, that life in limbo is a hard thing to manage. This is a good observation and I think living in limbo is one of the main stressors of academia.

Of course you can say that uncertainty is everywhere but I am speaking of the constant feeling of limbo, waiting and waiting to get to a place where you are not terribly, distractingly, painfully uncomfortable and trying to hold out despite also knowing you may never get to such a place. Hanging on a rock wall as your strength goes.

The advisors think it is work that is your problem, or geography, to which you would resign yourself if you were a mature and fair person. But it is not the geography or the work, it is the atmosphere in which it is done and the way you and others are treated, that is the problem. Waiting for the pain to end, because it is immoral to do more than that, is the problem.

I wonder how much pain it is possible to cut out while staying in place. How much of the daily delivery of pain one can simply refuse. I have never quite tried that, but I might start now. I used to reach out and take pleasure, but Reeducation stopped this; I should do it more actively than I do even now.

My illumination for the day, though, is that “procrastination” and block are not about not knowing how to work, or discipline, or laziness, but about self-loss. I have pointed out before that they are also about delaying entry into toxic environments, but they are even more profoundly about self-loss.

The characters in El Señor Presidente live in the superego and the id, and have insufficient agency due to an insufficiency of self, says my student’s paper, and my colleague says the situation at our university resembles the one in that novel.

Axé.

6 Comments

Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, What Is A Scholar?

I should not say this in real life now, but…

I do not agree that communicative approaches, those methods referred to as grammar-translation, the direct and natural methods, and so on, are merely teaching “styles” — they have different goals and produce different results. Since we as a group do not have a common approach, the de facto departmental method is that used by those who teach the most sections; therefore, I favor creating as small a group as possible to dedicate to the basic sequence, and starting to use, rather than squelch, the expertise of all faculty, all the time.

Imagine for a moment a world in which all courses were taught for pleasure, not as “service.”

#OccupyHE

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, News, Questions, Resources, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

Marcelo Viñar

…homologar la tortura y el genocidio a las generalidades de la Neurosis traumática es desconocer su especificidad, la que radica en que es otro humano –un semejante– el que tramita racionalmente nuestro oprobio o destrucción. A partir de allí –y a perpetuidad–, la pregunta de quién es el prójimo se planteará sin cesar con otra intensidad, con otra incertidumbre, con otra congoja. Quebrada la identificación originaria a lo humano –que es constitutiva de todas nuestras ficciones teóricas sobre el origen del sujeto psíquico– éste queda fragilizado o fisurado.

Axé.

1 Comment

Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, News, Resources, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

…with a wild surmise

I am mortally offended and in touch with many years of anger. I see who and what I am dealing with. 

I am not sure what to do. Two have resigned, and four are considering it. Ride it out, says another colleague. Perhaps, but the big change for me is that I see we are dealing with people who do not act in good faith. I had been advised to consider them merely incompetent but what they do, they do not do in error.

Another colleague said it was impossible to advance because the institution does not want to improve, and works against it actively. It might be important to stop interacting with these forces, stop fighting for rights, stop working for collegiality; ignore them completely and work on nothing that cannot be translated into hard data.

I had always assumed that I was considered to have legitimate expertise and to be honest and sincere, but I discover now that it is precisely these characteristics of mine which are questioned. They were the things assumed about me as a child: that I was not competent and would not be, and that I would attempt to compensate for that by taking advantage of others.

Someone similar must be projecting the same things into me now. I should stop allowing these projections to destabilize me. I should have a protection spell cast so that they glance off my diaphanous shield.

Things to remember, or even say to some:

+ I am legitimate.
+ I see why those who wanted more of a certain kind of work out of me are disappointed. I am also disappointed not to have been given better conditions.
+ Those people should remember how they instructed me not to do that work, but to do other work.
+ They should note how well that work was done.
+ But most importantly: I am exhausting myself, yes; but it is not by working too hard on my work, it is by defending against their strangeness.

I really do not want to spend any more time questioning my right to exist, or defending it, including on this weblog.

Axé.

6 Comments

Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, Resources

Et voilà

Does “the therapeutic model” (as though there were only one) interdict practitioners from identifying or naming experiences such as emotional abuse? Should practitioners not say such things “as they might intrude upon their client’s reality”? I would say not: not to recognize such things is to ignore what is happening. I also wonder why emotional abuse should be something practitioners are not allowed to identify; they make wilder conjectures than that daily.

My information, gathered over the past years, is that people have not known a great deal about abuse, and that it is in fact hard to recognize. All the problems I have, have to do with dealing with abusive situations I do not know how to recognize or handle, and that I submit to but do not function well in. I can try to say I am depressed, I can try to say I have an anxiety disorder, I can try to say I have some form of ADHD, but the clear answer is always that the emotional abuse has kicked up again and I have been felled by it again.

I think that learning how to recognize it and not internalize it is an excellent project and I hardly think it would be inappropriate for therapy. And there is, efectivamente, therapy for this, that names it. Emotional abuse in the guise of advice is one thing I have suffered from, and I have always found it useful to identify what is happening.

Yesterday I was talking with some people who I would say are healthier than I am in this regard, about a situation we all have with someone. They see it more clearly than I do and apparently their friends also see it more clearly than do mine. I have learned that when I have difficulty thinking clearly it is invariably that I am in an abusive situation I do not recognize, and in which I am inadvertently complicit.

I had a screening psychotherapist tell me one time: “You are enmeshed in a system and you fear extreme violence.” This did not seem intrusive to me at all. It was illuminating. The person to whom I was funneled was, however, a Reeducator. According to him, the large space of health I had created in my life was not health but “denial.” “Honesty” was to reenvision myself as a victim and accept powerlessness. To live in the space of darkness and there to work not toward a future but merely through each painful day.

Someone else says something different: “The worst thing you can develop, in terms of your health, happiness, and deepest values, is an identity as a victim. Victim identity destroys personal power and undermines the sense of self. It makes you falsely identify with “damage” done to you or with bad things that have happened to you.”

And: “As you experience the enormous depth of your core value, the last thing you will want to do is identify with being a victim, or a survivor, for that matter. You want to outgrow walking on eggshells, not simply survive it, and you do that only by realizing your fullest value as a person.”

That is a very mainstream, even commercial person, writing in Psychology Today, and I hardly find these ideas intrusive.

Axé.

5 Comments

Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, Questions, Resources, What Is A Scholar?