You know what’s hot, hot, HOT in academia? Multitasking. Yes, it is heaven for me, thank you for asking. But here I am, desheveled and looking out from under my heavy plate, and deciding that I’ll just post my homework reading response. Oh it’ll be dry, it’ll be random, it’ll be quirky, but strangely it makes a good blog post in re-reading. Really, it will probably only interest R, the only other certified English person in my midsts. The rest of you are posers. That said, we welcome you to the Dark Side at any time.
This chapter seems to relate to me in the tentative steps I have taken in higher-end academia. Just in the last semester, the physiological safety wasn’t quite there in certain classes. In other classes, out sprouted a sense of deviancy toward the norms, which I conclude, and still believe, justify a means to an end.
As an example, in the History of Rhetoric I felt so ill-prepared, specifically, that my background didn’t give me the tools to concretely manipulate the topics in class beyond issues addressing a common sense analysis of the readings. I never really spoke in class.
Now in the Studies of Literacy class I took last semester, I felt a bit better prepared. Everyone came with a background, but it showed that while they could relate some of their previous experiences to the studies of literacy, essentially we were all working with the same framework in class. We all read the same literature from the emergence of literacy theory to the current debates, and thus, I felt more able to speculate on the theory. What seemed interesting and baffling to me, is that using the theories to spring onto wilder notions that didn’t actually seem ‘safe’ to other, more experienced students anymore. The talk was so tempered by the notions of political correctness that even when discussing how to break barriers they had to skirt around barriers that academia provided and they had been indoctrinated into. It seemed ineffectual.
I dislike nothing more than being told, “This is how we do it and will continue to do it because this is how we have always done it.” It seems to me like a barrier to invention itself. What I do see as a counter activity to that is using the spring board of multiple theories from multiple fields to be able to throw out one or two crazed and mixed-up ideas. From there, let other people raise a skeptical eyebrow, mumble, but eventually, have their own light bulb turned on as a direct influence of the mad hatter ideas that are presented. Somehow it seems like the a conceptualized idea of “work flow” being pulled into reality. At any rate, someone always has to be the crazy one in the group. I’ll volunteer my services.