Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A scene from Evergreen...a failing of the place

From The Evergreen State College in Olympia. I was in a year long program designed to give a more theoretical background to activists who were on the ground level and to give a practical background to people who had mostly theoretical or academic experience; there was also a video/media component to it. Anyways, a strange thing happened, which was that the people who were in it with practical experience who were supposed to be learning to think about that experience critically constantly objected that the theoretical concepts were irrelevant, that the people who knew them well were rich spoiled brats, and that their knowledge of things on the ground level trumped all of that. They then parlayed this attitude into not doing any of the work everyone else was doing and justifying it through shaming all the rest of the people with all of this. Yet for all of their complaints they didn't drop out of the program and in fact received lots and lots of college credit for it, while being almost open in class discussions themselves that they hadn't read the books and didn't care. In private they were a lot more forthcoming about not having done any of the work. So something that started out with potential ended up as another exercise in futility.

No comments: