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Teach Out! Towards Day 27 (Tues, 4/28/15)

Anne Dalke's picture

Teresa is locating us in the classroom, as the most convenient site for the teach-in

I. Anne’s coursekeeping

* Tosin will select our class site for Thursday, when we will finish our teach-in, discuss it and the semester, and do course evals.

* I sent you all an e-mail asking you to write and schedule a writing conference with me sometime during the next three weeks.

* I also asked you to review the portfolio instructions—what are your questions about what I’m expecting from you before you leave campus?

*I thought the discussion we had on Thursday was a very important one. I was also blown away by Rosa’s write up—if you haven’t seen it, look @ her post: it's “a political, social, racial, gender writing experiment," recording what we said as “a collective undertaking,” rather than as statements by individuals…

Thank you for that, a great, concrete example of using language to reflect a different way of thinking/enacting the interactions among us.

I also had the contradictory thought that, in focusing on how we handle differences among ourselves, we very well might have been deflecting the even more overwhelming questions raised by Klein and Macy—what we can do about issues like climate change, and the storage of nuclear waste.

II. So as my contribution to the teach-in (!), I want to name/quickly review the essays
I asked you to read last week, to which we did not do justice, and which I hope will continue to haunt you:

In her Intro and Conclusion to This Changes Everything:
Capitalism vs. The Climate,
Naomi Klein says we must stop
deflecting our fear of what is happening; she offers the "wild idea"
of challenging the fundamental logic of deregulated capitalism;
in her review of the book, Elizabeth Kolbert says that Klein
"ends up telling a fable she hopes will do some good,"
and in an interview, Naomi Oreskes says that--
after getting lots of pushback for documenting
"The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change"--
she also turned to the genre of sci-fi, which gave her the freedom
to look back on the present, by extrapolating into the future.

If we had world enough and time, I would have liked us to begin
imagining a children's story that speaks to these concerns...
how might we teach children what the world is?
how might we invite them to get to know that world?
to love it? to intervene to "save" it? or @ least not to
damage it further...?

Then I would have had us go back and re-write that story,
with further nudges from Zadie Smith's elegy, her lament for what is lost;
from Freyda Mathews' invocation of a mutual relationship--
a ritual? a pilgrimage? some communicative encounter--
with a world that matters, and has meaning (Marian did a
nice reflection on the utopic possibilities and problems of this sort of
"desire-based environmental work"); and from Joanna Macy's vision
of that world as the "Net of Indra," in which each part is a glittering jewel
that contains and reflects back the whole
--all self, all loved--
including the "beings of the future": she says that we must begin
dreaming of our grandchildren, as we are the dreams of our grandparents.

Those are my final invocations, going forward. What are yours?

III. All: Teach In!