Friday, July 31, 2015

Yet another link, but it's a good 'un

This Professor Was Fired for Saying “Fuck No” in Class
M. Goldberg, The Nation, July 2
The misuse of sexual-harassment policies by pusillanimous college administrators is creating a campus panic.
The article outlines examples of student over-sensitivity, not to mention plain old blackmail for a higher grade, that have occurred recently. One professor was told that the student would file a complaint that she felt unsafe in his class unless he raised her B+. Another was fired, without warning, for holding the same role-playing class session on social stratification among prostitutes that she had been running every year for 20 years. “People would be well advised to quake in their boots when they hear they’re being investigated.”

But sometimes things work out in the end...
[The blackmailed professor] gave in to a combination of administrative pressure and fear of being forced to endure the bureaucratic gauntlet of a sexual-harassment investigation. One administrator, he says, told him that while he could fight the potential charges, “at the end of the day he was like don’t bother, it doesn’t even matter. It’s just a stupid grade.” Levinson changed it.

Then, when his fellowship was over and he’d left campus, he logged back in the system and changed it back.
Read it all.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

These Are The People I Worry About. Sid from Santa Fe.

This young woman is not a current student of mine, but the daughter of a colleague. My colleague told me this story and forwarded a blog posting that is excerpted below.

I am not a young man. I'm often annoyed at the way young people act, and when I get kids like this in class, I am equally as afraid for them as I am the planet. 

I'm likely revealing a tremendous lack of empathy by sending this, but I honestly don't know what to make of this world anymore. I don't know how or what I could teach this person. If I am missing something or acting poorly, please forgive me. I just wondered if this strikes anyone like it does me.

She writes:

Last night I was having dinner with my dear friend XXX, and after we finished I took him downstairs to sing him a song in the awesome acoustics of the Wholefoods parking garage. I put all my stuff down in an empty parking spot and then walked around the corner with my ukelele. During the course of one 4 minute song, someone took off with my handbag with all my ID's and cards, keys to my car, some cash, some sacred objects, some really pretty know the whole deal.

The extremely tall cop who did the report said "basically you're S.O.L.". While this has been quite an interesting day of recovering, canceling, letting go of, blah blah blah...the biggest thing I have been sitting with is compassion and SADNESS for the heart and soul of this being, who WHILE I was singing....voice echoing through the parking lot, felt compelled to take my bag...sitting next to my ukulele case...40 feet from where we were standing.

Please if you read, this send a prayer for those who are numb. For those who are hurting. For those who are terrified. For those who have found comfort and safety in apathy and indifference. For those who feel separate and are operating from a win-lose (which is actually a lose-lose) mentality. For those who feel so consumed by the darkness that they have forgotten that they hold the key to allow the light into the cavern of their hearts. In the midst of momentary waves of frustration or feeling inconveniences I am held in the embrace of gratitude for feeling so safe and so loved and so able to give my love...may you be well.