Saturday, February 19, 2011

living my future now, darnit!

From Teaching as a Subversive Activity, quoting John gardner.. I feel like the context is important so bear with me:

"To accomplish renewal, we need to understand what prevents it. When we talk about revitalizing a society we tend to put exclusive emphasis on finding new ideas. But there is usually no shortage of new ideas; the problem is to get a hearing for them. And that means breaking through the crusty rigidity and stubborn complacency of the status quo. [emphasis added] The aging society develops elaborate defenses against new ideas-- "mind-forged manacles," in William Blake's vivid phrase... As a society becomes more concerned with precedent and custom, it comes to care more about how things are done and less about whether they are done. The man who wins acclaim is not the one who "gets things done" but the one who has an ingrained knowledge of the rules and accepted practices. Whether he accomplishes anything is less important than whether he conducts himself in an "appropriate" manner.

The body of custom, convention, and "reputable" standards exercises such an oppressive effect on creative minds that new developments in a field often originate outside the area of respectable practice. [emphasis added]"

I feel like this hits a load of thoughts for the idea of the college ritual. The fact that we are to "learn" and get an "education." Yet we are bound, oppressed, to do it inside the walls of a college setting. We get acclaim because we "go to college" because that is the "appropriate manner" in which learning and education is gained. And that is exactly what I am against! I feel like there is so much more outside the walls! Outside the ritual, the way things are, and "should" be.

Hopefully this is not read the wrong way. I appreciate being in college and wouldn't have found what I am passionate about without the experience of being here. I'm just sick of the pressure that we've put on the "college-bound" age group. The fact that we label them "college-bound" or stereotype them to be on the path to failure, or a low-end, bellow middle class, lifestyle. The pressure was put on me, and I'm dying to get out. It brings my mind to something Kevin brought up in our interview. Being stuck in this phase where we always see "what's real," what we're working towards, lingering in the future. The past and future always being ominous and unsure of interpretation. Yet I want it NOW. I want to be living my future now. Not waiting for it. Is that even possible!?!?

And. thats what's flooding my brain. Whew. Only 200 pages to go...


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