Presentation given on March 13, 2015 at the Northeastern and Northwestern Illinois Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers workshop, “Building Relationships for Student Success” held at the picturesque Wheaton College.
The theme of the presentation focused on recognizing the way(s) Student Services Personnel serve as educators. It also problematized the use of war and medical discourse e.g., front line, triage, and metaphors when discussing the work of student affairs professionals.
Mr. Jackson (leader, comrade, and dear friend) and teacher of an open, online high school philosophy course in BC, brought back to the forefront of a long-term, over-arching conversation in #philosophy12 the presence-absence of non-Western, Female, Other perspectives and scholarship in the field of Philosophy.
From the #philosophy12 course blog Bryan wrote: Diversity in Philosophy: It is my hope that in our current semester of philosophical inquiry, we move beyond this inclination toward ‘tokenism,’ and delve into different traditions of knowing beyond those dominant here on the western shores of North America. I am curious though:
- How have others confronted this problem of modern philosophy?
- Are there in-born limitations in trying to comprehend cultural norms too far outside of our own?
- What attitudes, approaches or processes might help challenge us to move beyond our own cultural perspectives?
Me: The follow-up questions here are great Bryan, so I’ll bite. Yesterday I googled “Why teach philosophy?” and ran into a piece in the Atlantic: “Why Study Philosophy? ‘To Challenge Your Own Point of View'” An interview with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex
[In the interview she is asked: What changes in philosophy curriculum have you seen over the last 40 years?]
“One thing that’s changed tremendously is the presence of women and the change in focus because of that.” (RNG)
further investigation lead me to a podcast with this modern, female philosopher discussing the her book and so on.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein — philosopher, author, and Genius-grant recipient — returns to the Rationally Speaking podcast to discuss her latest book, “Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away.” Rebecca, Julia and Massimo argue over the value of philosophy in modern science, and whether it makes sense to designate “experts” in ethical reasoning.
Finally, because I haven’t read the book, but now I’m really curious, I searched out a book review of her book. In April, the Washington Post reviewed the book summing it up with:
“In “Plato at the Googleplex,” Rebecca Newberger Goldstein set out to showcase, in sometimes startling ways, the continuing relevance of a classic philosopher. But what’s remarkable is that she actually brings off this tour de force with both madcap brilliance and commanding authority.”
I realize my reply is not philosophizing on the next-level questions Bryan posed. Instead it responds.
“How have others confronted this problem of modern philosophy?”
I dig in.
I find a new-to-me voice, an alternate choice, and then I keep learning–listening, reading, contemplation.
At times, the best way to share how I feel when I think about feeling is to show a product of that. This art evidences my most tender feelings working to be born, recognized, and acknowledged. Once my feelings are born into words, I attempt to make sense of them through contemplation and liberation–I write them down and mail them to a friend.
If I had the internet at my place, I’d totally blog about funking Student Success to include a heightened focus on “nearbies.” For example, what if we created a Learning Community of folks who have more than completed their requirements at the college, but don’t leave. What if we gave them resources to depart? What would that look like? WWWWH?
Yep, I’d blog about that.
Every moment I’m in public, I’m subject to the Public imaging I’m 20-something.
Telling my life gets tiresome. Proving my experience via my autobiography and resumé in response to relentless questioning… Telling stories always gets to them saying, “How old are you?”
When I tell my age I’m met with incredulity.
Am I ridiculous to be bored, annoyed, tired by this response?
Societal perceptions of age and the life course(s) associated with age are, in 2013, ignorant.
Here, in Chicagoland, a social ecology that’s crazy conventional, it’s oppressive.
(Some would be flattered by the same type of misperception. I’m not.)
Defending ones life experience in contrast to ones physicality… (What’s that? My good genes? My ethnic mix? My life choices? Or my “child-like” way of being?)
Folks attributing my way of being in the world to a child is offensive, to kids and to me. Misplaced. Unfair.
In just about every social interaction I have, I feel freakish.
Children don’t own energy, playfulness, spark, curiosity, vitality.
As a grown-up who has resided along the margins throughout my entire lifespan, I’m not psychically or otherwise damaged by residing under such scrutiny.
I’m just doing me. Residing on the margins in a whole new way. I’m not the confused one and that’s all that matters.
The question here is not whether machines can be made to think like people but whether people have always thought like machines.
The human mind even at its most creative and free still resides within boundaries of human cognition and ecological affordances. Therefore, humans, as inventors of all machines, can never have “always thought like machines.”
In Turkle’s presented chicken-egg dilemma, the chicken wins. Always.
[Note: So far, I am enjoying this book. I especially appreciate how the author writes in relation to how children think, grow, and develop over time. She’s respectful and clearly honors the lived experience of kids as her primary source data. As of page 60, I’m still in it.]
Inspiration for this piece: Jim Groom’s new DS106Zone design assignment, “Create a READ poster.”
Tool: I used my favorite web-based, free photo editor Pixlr to create the three layers for the poster.
The screen shot in my READ poster is from “The Changing of the Guard,” one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes. If you’re an educator, and have not yet seen it, grab a gallon of Kleenex and dial it up. I’m a know sentimentalist and a lover (not a fighter), but I hope everyone might find some inspiration in the story of the
suicidal aging Professor Fowler and the generations of students whose lives he touched.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. (Benjamin Franklin)
Then they yelled at the darken ones who had badges at the start, “We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the liability. But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned, “If which badge is what, or the other way round?”
Ever inspired and more than ever distracted, Wednesday finds me trawling the DS106 Assignment Bank for a writing assignment–something to gnaw on throughout the day. I find that part of the way I stay creatively active throughout my work day is by having something open that I’m reading, writing, or thinking about. Today I selected to explore the “Three Word Wednesday” site submitted as a DS106 assignment of the same name by my sister-friend Giulia Forsythe.
Today’s words are: badge, darken, and liability
To make the assignment more challenging, I remixed it. Remixing a DS106 assignment is always fun for me because you never know what you’re gonna get. This time the remix was a “Dr. Seuss it” which calls on the artist to transform their piece into something with recognizable Seussical properties.
I elected to find the story about star-bellied Sneetches and found the full-text online. The star-bellied Sneetches are prominent character’s in “The Sneetches and Other Stories, a collection of stories by American author Dr. Seuss, published in 1961.”
The original text:
Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start, “We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst. But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned, “If which kind is what, or the other way round?”
I then replaced a few key words in the text with today’s Three Word Wednesday words. I knew this would prove an easy task because I elected the story after seeing today’s three words. The words badges, darken, and liability lend themselves to a story of prejudice.
Dr. Seuss’ story provides a simple, child-friendly critique of dehumanizing sorting practices. The message of this story is clear and continues to be salient in too many community and institutional spaces. Doing some quick research I found a few resources for those who teach, and parents of the little dudes.