Saturday, February 7, 2015

Don't Go There?

People don't like to talk about it, don't want to hear about it either. They just want something pleasant to fill the time.

Widening gaps in wealth, declining opportunities in education, climate change, cyber attacks -- all of it just seems to be too much, over the top.

Even if there is a flicker of interest, the talk goes along the lines of "it's always been like that," or "it's not a good time to rock the boat," or "I'm doing OK for now and don't need to really act or wake up."

Those are just a few the messages I get to change the subject.

And they have started to wear me down.

I am so tired that I can barely move in spite of losing ground in most of the areas of my life.

A course I designed has been canned because it costs too much. Never mind that the data show better retention, faster time to degree, and improved achievement. Or that national award.

My bosses just go along with whatever comes down from the tower of administrators and encourage me to do the same.

My chosen field, education, operates on fundamentally wrong-headed assumptions about the values of testing. The whole testing enterprise and "data driven" frenzy has wrecked what I think is good about education: problem solving, creative expression, and critical thinking.

There just "isn't time for those things."

Corporations and billionaires tailor political structures to better control what is left of a democratic system.

Prison gates shut tight on the poor, the marginalized, the mentally ill, the throw-away people.

A prison industrial complex has grown into big money as it grooms governments to lock up more and more as a way to make money off of the declining education and work opportunities.

Even those who can find jobs, can't make ends meet because wages are so low.

It is a bad time to run a small business or to work for a living in America.

And only a very few are willing to talk or think about the issues, much less act on them.

So I keep it all to myself and try not to offend polite conversation.

The truth of things is usually too much to hear, too unpleasant, to close to the bone.

And so we coast along...

Until a story pulls us in enough to entertain even the most aversive and unpleasant of facts.

It's up to the writers, movie makers, and artists to tell the tales that might matter enough to push others to take a stand. 

1 comment:

  1. Toso. You know exactly why you fight this fight. It's not to convince people who have given up or are satisfied with the status quo. It's not for your colleagues. It's not for your students.

    Though everyone of these people may benefit from your actions, it's not for them--it's for you. Because you want to live a life of working toward justice--not for the fact that it's intrinsically good to do so, either, but because _it's the only choice_. There is no other way.

    Remember: you are doing important work.