Monday, January 21, 2013

USA Education System - the Trap

Update: Saturday (1/19/13) i learned a lot.

And now i see why the academic model, even as revised by Antioch, will not lead us to the inclusive, vibrant, abundant future.
Building the Bridge as You Walk on It, was one book we discussed in the class i was invited to attend at the Seattle campus of Antioch University. I resonated with this title, as it spoke to how i work. But the discussion was on all the problems that stop us, students brought up their reasons for not going forward, their rational excuses- all the stuff that stops chi. (the energy of i can, thanx David Dorian Ross and PBS this AM) True, empathy was handed around liberally but baby steps, writing ideas down, going slow and careful or just plain stalling doesn't work for me.
The book suggests eight practices of transformation and wow, ok- no- there are a million ways to access transformation so this not a product of system itself, where the logical, linear, rational, head learning approach is maintained because it's a product of said educational construct?  
So even as this was a doctorate level class in Leadership and Transformation, i felt it was a revisit not a step forward. When we broke into groups, i was frustrated by the learning gap i encountered.  i tried to expose the principles of belief and system limits, the new possibilities that arrive when you see through new windows and/or choose from the heart/mind space. They asked for evidence. 
So i tried to share fashionRIP experiences, how the "doing" opened the door and the magick of that vision manifested. I tried to explain how fashionRIP is my alter ego for public experiments with the conscious approach to energy, empowerment and change.
So even as yes, i see the wall many are facing, please, step back, turn left and walk 100 yards and voila the wall ends. You do not need permission, in fact you probably will not get it if you ask!
It is amazing how quickly that turns into a wall discussion, all the bricks, cement, the height...all the reasons one is stuck are true but again "not the point."

Then another class rich with theory, supported by data compilers (facts culled from the past to superimpose on the future, how wrong is this?)  was interesting.  However, when challenged by the idea of western agenda, the profs (team teaching -one man, one woman -nice) were at a loss. This broke the conversation open and two other women chimed in to challenge the "accepted" dogma. Great!
To be fair, the Antioch shared learning approach (much like Evergreen) differs from the usual university model. This was pointed out during the orientation briefing. Most universities are highly competitive organizations. professors are set into pecking order constructs where individual "kings" rule discipline silos. So principles of monarchy are guiding our democracy..really.
Well i can see that learning about co-operative constructs in this situation would be a hoot, for if process and event don't synch then the dichotomy is akin to hypocricy ..and just no.
I credit Antioch with having at least seen some of the problem, though they appeared unable to really question the sanctity of western manmade "reality." AKA they were still there to help plug workers into the system, either because they trust the system or they fear the consequences or both.  
(So what bridge are we building as a culture..when we agree to see walls while being taught not to see them?)
I also found it disconcerting that these profs were not willing to discuss more than a subject/object perspective. The theory for the next level was put off for the next seminar session several weeks away.  (I am hoping/guessing that will be on the the integrated vision or perspective, which when expanded, really gets exciting)
So i am ever more grateful i had the temerity, the gut instinct to veer off the path of the "smart kid" accelerated advance to UW classes that Rainier Beach pushed. Seems the trap of the  academic institution feeds your head as insidiously as the trap of the economic Oz.  
The best part of this experience was that I met a gutsy outspoken, artist poet from Tunisia who wants to work with local talent and the new story hub!! 
And this is how the bridge is built!
bridge my Uncle Nick built in Gig Harbor,
he also did the head-less critter in last post.

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