Category Archives: Da Whiteman

The likeability factor

This explains a great deal but I would add from my experience that if you are a kind person, yet competent, you are actually LESS LIKEABLE than if you are incompetent and/or ditzy, yet authoritarian and/or a jerk.

Part of the explanation is that one gets a pass on those negative characteristics or behaviors if one is also serving the patriarchy, broadly understood.

But there is something else, more ineffable about it. I do not understand it. Perhaps it is that this type of person is always manipulative, always calculating, and fawns in the right directions.

I am not sure. I would like comments on this post, however.

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Filed under Da Whiteman, Questions

“Men need to be pandered to in order to feel included”

Someone said this, and it explains a great deal.

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

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.

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

Anxiety and Reeducation

This.

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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.

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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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Filed under Banes, Bibliography, Da Whiteman, Working

Je ne le dirai pas

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?

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