Category Archives: Banes

Illumination

My colleague said we had to assign writing because writing brings students to an act of intellectual discovery unavailable otherwise. I said yes, of course.

I realized then that I never considered writing an act of intellectual discovery but a show of virtuosity. I never allowed myself the kind of risk I allow the students because I thought the objective was to be brilliant, yet also very conventional, so as to abe acceptable and pass.

I was always more daring writing about things Portuguese than things Spanish, and about prose rather than poetry, because officially I was in Spanish and in poetry and there, I thought it was most important to be very careful. I always thought writing was only an act of intellectual discovery for those who could afford for it to be.

That is why I like all my political writing, and writing on policy matters, and bureaucratic writing, even: I allow myself to think as I work, and to write in my own voice. If I am writing about Spanish language literature or poetry, I am only crafting something intended to be generally acceptable and therefore, to pass or to sell.

This perception is very important.

Axé.

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

Anxiety and Reeducation

This.

Axé.

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Frank Furedi

Throughout most of the 20th century, therapy was advertised as both a cure and as an instrument for the construction of a happy society. It was promoted as a positive way of exploring and expanding the individual’s personality. From the perspective of today’s therapeutic ethos, therapy is much more a means of survival than an instrument through which enlightenment can be gained. Individuals are not so much cured as placed in a state of recovery. They are far more likely to be instructed to acknowledge their problems than to conquer them.

Therapy today, like the wider culture of which it is a part, teaches people to know their place.

This book on a key aspect of Reeducation is over twelve years old. I would have done well to read it when it was new.

Axé.

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Campos de batalla

Here is a book I would like to read.

I am dying for research time and I am guessing that in order to get it, you have to really want it. Perhaps I am coming close to this.

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También sucede en México

La colocación en la Rectoría de la UNAM de una persona fiel al actual proyecto de autoritarismo neoliberal es de suma importancia para el régimen. Una Universidad Nacional verdaderamente democrática, participativa y plural rápidamente se convertiría en una enorme piedra en el zapato para la clase política dominante. Desde la perspectiva de Peña Nieto, urge clausurar cualquier posibilidad de surgimiento de nuevos liderazgos juveniles o de proyectos intelectuales que podrían poner en riesgo sus planes transexenales.

Read the whole thing.

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Filed under ALFS presentation, Banes, Bibliography, Da Whiteman, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Dear colleague

You cannot say we have a language program because we have a common textbook and departmental tests, and then say that you will teach how and what you teach in a multi-section course regardless of book, and at the same time refuse to articulating departmental goals and benchmarks for student progress except to say the goal is “to cover the book.”

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Cut from my document, but it is so juicy

If we are to have student activity…

CHAIR MUST MANAGE AND LIMIT THE POWER OF THOSE INSTRUCTORS WHO WITH ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT OR COMPLICITY HAVE:

1. Discouraged students from the major: stop putting them in a position to do so (get them out of 300 and 400 level courses where they have this kind of influence);

2. Worked against the creation and sustenance of extracurricular activities: stop putting them in a position to do so (again, get them out of 300 and 400 level courses where they have this kind of influence);

3. Sent Spanish Club and Sigma Delta Pi dormant / have not had time to do all related paperwork. We must allow someone responsible to revive Sigma Delta Pi and support current leaders in broadening (and making official again) the activities of the Spanish Club.

I can hardly believe that I am having to make such low level recommendations, but it is so. Parties from above are about to kill several majors and at the same time, suggest that random student activity will save them. Ce n’est pas vrai: no desperate activity should be encouraged and one should organize.

Axé.

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