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I’ve Got a New Post Up at Inside Higher Education.

It’s about students and professors and art and derangement.

Actually, it’s not up quite yet.

Hold on.


Here it is.

Margaret Soltan, December 17, 2009 1:42PM
Posted in: blog

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4 Responses to “I’ve Got a New Post Up at Inside Higher Education.”

  1. human Says:

    I really enjoyed reading that! Thank you.

    What you said about your student’s paper puts me in mind of a time I wrote an angry paper like that. It was just a short response paper, but the book I’d read was about the demonstrations in Mexico in 1968, and it suggested that it was all the students’ fault that the government shot them in the streets because they didn’t communicate wel with the workers in their movement and they weren’t even sure what they wanted, so it was impossible for the government to comply with their demands. (I’m not clear on how we got from there to mowing them down with guns being the only alternative, but that’s another issue.)

    I was furious. I told that book’s author where he could put THAT mess. My response paper was well written but certainly hyperbolic, and probably "inappropriate for a formal paper." I expected to be slammed for this but I didn’t care.

    The comment I got back was brief and positive – I remember exactly, but it was probably just "Good" or something like that. I was surprised. And pleased. It only took that much for me to feel, for the first time, that it was okay to feel strongly about academic things, that I was allowed to have and express these kinds of deeply held opinions. And that I wasn’t a freak for having that kind of a visceral reaction to a particular telling of history that seemed to me to be simply cruel.

    Of course I knew that all along, but I hadn’t known there was any academic anywhere who would accept that from me. I figured I’d have to sit down and shut up if I wanted to be an academic. This was the first hint I received that it’s not so. I hope you will encourage your student, likewise… it sounds like you will.

  2. human Says:

    P.S. I love the Messiah, too. My favorite is the ending of ‘And with his stripes we are healed.’ It needs a good long rich silence after, just to let the last chords sink in.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Thanks for both of those comments, human.

  4. RJO Says:

    > I figured I’d have to sit down and shut up if I wanted to be an academic.

    Well, that’s certainly true if you want to be a teacher in Minnesota.

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