Life as an Extreme Sport

Dualing

My star students have written dualing and completely opposing papers this week. I really want to set them in a room together and say “argue it out”, just to see what would come of it; however, I suspect one would be irritated with me for doing that, and the other…oh wait, already is irritated with me. Nevermind. Still, it’s interesting to see two bright minds taking one story in completely different directions. Can we experience and interpret events of the past in the context of the past, or are we always stuck with our judgments of the present when looking past?

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A Failure to Thrive

I ran into two former Hum 102 students today, one at lunch at the other on my way home from work. They both wanted to know if I’d be teaching with Phillip in the spring; I told them that, as far as I knew, I would be assisting with Phillip and Giorgia’s class. Both students lit up with huge smiles and told me that was just what they wanted to hear, and they were going to figure out how to get in my section for the class, because they really wanted to spend another quarter working with me. I’ve been thinking about teaching again, these last two or three days. Tomorrow is my last small group of the quarter. I have one more focus group, one more presentation, one more movie, and then that’s it. It’ll just be papers and a grade and goodbye. It’s a weird time of the

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I’m reading Beloved. For the third time in a little over a year. Have pity on my soul. Actually, pity yours, because I’m sure I’ll come back here in a bit with a mouthful of things to say. And I promise they won’t all be pithy, “who gives a goddamned whether or not Beloved was a ghost?” comments.

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The Function of Monument

We trust or not based on prior events; our experiences from the past shape our expectations of the future and tell us what is safe, what can be trusted. Time and trust are inextricably linked. Time and monuments Young defines monuments as “a subset of memorials: the material objects, sculptures, and installations used to memorialize a person or thing.” are also inextricably linked, for monuments funtion in conjunction with memory in an attempt to externalize a collective memory of an event. Are monuments then an attempt to rebuild a fractured trust, so that options once again limit themselves into a realm in which we can navigate? This appears to be an idea worth exploring. Monuments rarely go up to a person, but instead to an idea the person embodies, or to an event or moment in time; in all cases, they function as remembrance. Elizabeth Grosz would likely see monuments

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Well fuck.

Maybe Phillip’s way is right. Maybe it is better to keep everyone – at least everyone who has any contact with you as a student/teacher/power dynamic relationship – at serious arms length. At least then things wouldn’t blow up in your face when you weren’t expecting it. Today reminds me that I get too close to my class at large, and people in specific. Trust only so far – trust any further, and you’ll just get hurt.

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