Category Archives: Working

Ubuntu drivers

The weakness of Linux is wi-fi, at least in my experience. I am still trying to get the Ubuntu 16.04 drivers to work correctly.

Here is one putative solution.

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Filed under Juegos, Questions, Working

Sur l’intersectionalité

This article against intersectionality and for not just Marxist, but Gramscian feminism, is quite useful. And the dictator novel is about colonialism — and the way to teach it would be with Fanon.

These are the kinds of things I like to think about, and do not get to think about enough.

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Filed under Race book, Working

Film syllabi in Spanish

I must work out my ideas for a different kind of film course than I have given in the past.

Ideally the course will work at two levels. Some students will be working on grammar and vocabulary through film, and others will be doing senior-type work.

How to choose the films? Are they: the ones we have streaming from the library [we choose that way], supplemented with my favorite films? We could use the streaming ones as viewing outside of class, and supplement in class with other films. For example, Nana is in the library; we could group it with Zona Sur and other films about domestic workers. (This suggests organizing the course by thematic units.)

Another obvious thematic unit is the guerra sucia — I say this because La historia oficial is in the library and it is a film about which there are many pedagogical materials focusing on language and vocabulary.

Perhaps I could have:
1/ An introduction to cinema studies, and one film a week that we see together.
2/ Two films to choose from for homework, one that has pedagogical materials for grammar and vocabulary, and one that does not.
3/ A final paper or project that, depending on the level of the student, either does or does not depend upon films that have subtitles.
4/ Instead of one overarching theme, some thematic units.

Here is one syllabus, an introduction to film as given in Argentina, with bibliography.

Please comment! This post will grow and change.

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Filed under Cinearte, Questions, Working

Education and Reeducation

In shorthand.

Important to note for this week is how I was taught that normalcy was a façade. In reality we were barely tolerated: we hadn’t been wanted, we were not liked, and it was wished that we would go away. Our successes were events carefully arranged for our amusement by our parents, and if they were not there behind the curtain, creating an illusion or paying others to do so, the truth would be revealed to us. We would see that we were incompetent, and we would also be shunned, as we were not desirable or pleasant.

I remember feeling in graduate school that because my great-aunt had left us college money — such that my parents did not have to pay for college and I did not have to work during the academic year or take out loans — my B. A. was fraudulent, and my presence in a Ph.D. program was fraudulent as well.

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Filed under Banes, Bibliography, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Henry Giroux Today

Having a bad day today. Maybe the hangover from being denied tenure by the right-wing stooge John Silber, the then president of Boston University, in 1981 still stings. Since those dark days, I have always had some hope in the university, recognizing that it was an important site of struggle and filled with contradictions. I am losing that hope. I consistently meet administrators who are not only unimaginative but cowardly and incapable of supporting programs whose value cannot be reduced to cost-efficiency metrics. These people do not just lack a vision, they constitute a kind of academic walking dead, albeit with the ever present smile on their faces–a kind of sickening embrace of civility. They are truly incapable of providing support and resources for faculty fighting for economic and political justice, faculty who take risks, join hands with those colleagues who have been reduced to Wal-mart workers, and act in solidarity with students who refuse to be reduced to customers. Where are the administrators from the ranks of the humanities and liberal arts? In too many instances we have dead-beat administrators drawn from the empirically based disciplines who do not have a clue as to what scholarship is about and increasingly reward the most unfit people with university awards, academic positions, and committee assignments–all the while making clear that qualified people should not apply. Rigorous and courageous scholarship has now gone the way of typewriter. Faculty are rewarded for committee work, grants, and a general attitude that can only be viewed as supine. Even worse, these individuals organize themselves in clicks exercising power that represents the worse form of cronyism. They barely publish, have no international reputations, and feed on gossip and innuendo, reproducing themselves in hires who mimic their own idiocy. I am sure there are exceptions in North America, but dark side of neoliberalism has just about killed the university as a democratic public sphere. All that is left is the detritus, filled with losers and dead beat careerists.

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

A flash of insight

Why did you not ask for advice and information?

Because I already knew that my father would not answer such questions. From this I had learned that answers would not be forthcoming from anyone.

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Steal this university!

The book seems dated now, but I did not pay enough attention when it came out in 2003, although I read the reviews. It is about how the for-profit ethos has crept into universities. I do not know whether I knew enough then to understand the book as I do now.

I learned a very great deal from the third chapter, about the inefficiency of merit raises, whose points are supported by this recent article on metrics. And I am fascinated with the poor behavior of some professors I know in the 1995 Yale strike.

The truly important insight I had while reading in this book, however, was that much of the academic advice I have received and been confused by came from professors dealing with the slow encroachment of this model. Either they were in a position to take advantage of it (e.g. had other people to grade for them and were otherwise in a position to say, don’t spend time on teaching), or were themselves struggling with it and saying things that did not make sense entirely, because they, too, were in a new world they did not fully recognize because it used (in another way) the vocabulary of the old, and were looking through a glass, darkly.

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