Twofish's Blog

February 27, 2007

Freedom and slavery in academia

A post I made to the Chronicle of Higher Education forum

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,34595.0.html

I don’t think that is true. What is necessary is for departments to tell students “NO YOU WILL NOT BE A PROFESSOR IF YOU GRADUATE HERE!!!!!” There will be some hit in enrollment, but I think you’ll find a lot of people who still want to get into the system.

The reason this has been liberating for me is that I’ve found that not expecting to get an academic position has saved me a lot of guilt, which has released enough energy to do “useful things.”

The other thing that not expecting to get an academic position has allowed me to do is to be much louder and less afraid of bring up controversial ideas. As long as you have hope of getting a position in the system, that gives people power over you. You are afraid of rocking the boat too much or complaining too much because you are (justifiably) afraid of what the tenure committee is going to think.

Once I lost that hope, then I become a loose cannon. I can say things like I think the Spelling report on higher education is total garbage, and that I think that the world would be a better place if the AFL-CIO unionized the adjuncts at UoP and graduate students at most universities. I’m not afraid of talking about the internal politics of MIT, UT Austin, UoP, and I seem to be only person around here that signs their real name, because I’m not afraid of any consequences, because there are no consequences.

The dream of future freedom is the chain that academia uses to make people slaves. Once you look at the dream, and say “this is a lie” you lose the hope, but you also lose the chains.

And it is a wonderful feeling..

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1 Comment »

  1. Hello,
    I have been searching for previous students who attended the university of phoenix online classes.I am currently enrolled and I’m only starting my second class and I am concerned that this school is a farce. In the first couple of weeks it seemed legit, academic advisors calling in and checking on you to make sure everything is going well,but I was thinking about changing my major in the last two weeks and now no one seems to be interested anymore and I get no call backs I would like to find other students who have experienced similar situations and and start making some noise to the finial aid providers and all the other funding groups that provide this school money to do nothing but sit and wait for the cash flow to roll in. I am observing some of the responses from fellow classmates who have had some very unprofessional responses from instructors when needing help. I myself was told to talk to my academics advisor to find out if I could change my major or double up and his response was he had no idea. how can an academics advisor not have a clue. Would appreciate any feedback, Thanks

    Comment by Janet murphy — October 2, 2009 @ 1:57 am


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