Friday, December 03, 2004


Let's hear it for the subconscious!
I had the most therapeutic dream: Among many other Alice-in-Wonderlandish happenings, I hooked up with Young Jimmy Stewart. Could there be a more seasonally appropriate dream for the lonely straight woman?? I think not. Plus, Betty Davis was our buddy and kept saying all sorts of clever bitchy things.
Thank you, subconscious. Ah, I feel refreshed!

So refreshed, that I'm going to do a little practical blogging here, on two fronts. First, does everyone know about the nuns who are serving several years each for sabotage? These women are still in prison. If nothing else showcases the need to step up to the plate and fight the McCarthy-ist nature of this administration, this situation sure does it for me.

Second, for those of you in academia, I'm interested in your thoughts on this story. As an editor, I cringe at the cavalier attitude regarding anonymity, which is one thing that seems to have lit this bonfire...

1 comment:

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I think it's a really interesting case (the Fort Lewis one). I'm willing to accept that the professor was well-intentioned, but it sounds as though there was certainly some kind of miscommunication that comes across as disrespectful. It sounds as though he really did disrespect privacy - I would think he would need to get students' permission to be able to talk about them so explicitly. I think too also that there is a real sensitivity about voice in the Native American community (to the extent there is "one" NatAm community, of course) - who gets to speak for Native Americans? - which makes this even more problematic for the students. (Sometimes students take this to extremes, charging that if a scholar isn't an Indian they can't possibly legitimately speak about Indians, and while I don't agree with that at all, I'm sympathetic to the concern behind that idea that their voices are not going to be heard.)

The comment I found particularly telling was the one saying that the students shouldn't scapegoat this one professor for long-standing tensions, and I am willing to bet that that is a LOT of what is going on. One of my past jobs had a similar situation with NatAm students (tuition waiver) and there was a lot of resentment and misunderstanding of that on the part of the non-Native students that created really long-lived tensions. Complicated situation.

So while I suspect the professor is not entirely a bad guy, I do have a lot of sympathy for the students in this situation. (And I have none for the guy who didn't like the sage burning/prayer. I mean, we're in a country where people say Christian prayers over the loudspeakers at football games, what's burning a little sage going to hurt? It's a way to purify a space, remove bad feelings, and render it fit for important discussions such as the one that was clearly going to take place.)