All was pretty normal this Friday at three o’clock when the decolony began. We were meeting in the R&S Memorial Library this time, a cool change of setting if a little more closed off.
We had check-ins, in no particular order. People talked of their days, and mentioned what they wanted to bring to the discussion, get out of it.
Collin hooked up a coffee brewer (substance-free?)
Peter said something pretty interesting about neo-luddites. It (Peter) said that machines have been replacing people in the workforce since the industrial revolution, but now, the pace is so fast that people can’t adapt.
It left pretty dramatically after that but our discussions then turned to our careers.
Rodrigo mentioned how he left Computer Science when he realized how harmful most of the research was. He couldn’t live working under DARPA grants.
Nandita came from the other direction. She found Astrophysics too detached from the real world and moved to Engineering.
It was interesting to see how we all felt constrained in some way or another by our futures. I feel like the university only prepares us for one possibility, or a couple: getting jobs, getting guap, being ‘successful.’
It was nice to focus on the quality of our work, how we’d like to make the world different.
Around five, Jake came in and derailed us into the courtyard where we danced in celebration of Funky Friday. Hoops were involved.
We never really got a chance to check out but I would say everybody was relieved the week was over.
See you all next Friday from three to five.
Something wonderful happened this Friday afternoon. We and a dozen or more curious souls came together in Cloyne’s deco room to imagine education beyond the university. We questioned: what would we create, learn and explore if there were no grades or majors? How would we share those experiences with the people in our communities?
We (Zach and Rodrigo) affirmed that all knowledges are situated. By that, we mean they come from a particular body within a particular location. Further, we rejected the academic style of the God’s point of view, or, the objective/universal/unbiased lens.
Sophia remembered how people in her art class put more of themselves into their work after she dared to be vulnerable in her performance.
James expressed the alienation of being told there was only one kind of Portuguese when selecting languages on a website although there were many options for English.
Together, we discussed whether objectivity is even worth pursuing. A few folks from both STEM and the Humanities gave examples of how embracing subjectivity enriched their work, from revealing the emotional weight in taking military grants to making ethnographic work accessible to its “subjects.”
More people came and shared their experiences. And Collin brought cheese and crackers.
We were very happy to have been part of this conversation and we look forward to being part of the Cloyne community as it grows. See you next Friday from 3-6pm in the deco room (across from the front door).
Z & R