Unclear on American Campus: What the Foreign Teacher Said

Aurolyn Luykx aurolynluykx at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 27 19:48:45 UTC 2005

Ditto to Ron's rather cynical reply, but I do think
one has to keep trying. At the same time, while I
agree that it's the folks suffering from linguistic
prejudice who really need the therapy, I won't hold my
breath (it's like the old light bulb joke -- the light
bulb has to really WANT to change). I hear similar
comments about intercultural ed in Bolivia, which is
mostly focused on rural areas -- Indians & campesinos
insist it's the lighter-skinned city folks who REALLY
need an injection of "interculturalism", and of course
their right, but agaqin, I'm not holding my breath.
When I teach sociolinguistics or ling. anth classes, I
figure if I can get across the one big idea of
"standard dialects" being purely social constructions,
in a way it'll stick with the students, I've
accomplished something worthwhile.
p.s. Ron, you're about to turn 60? Now I really feel

--- Ronald Kephart <rkephart at unf.edu> wrote:

> At 1:28 PM -0400 6/27/05, Francis M Hult wrote:
> >This goes back to an issue I've brought up on the
> list several times 
> >before--how do we go about actually getting noticed
> where it 
> >'counts' (publically, politically, etc.) so that
> people at large 
> >actually heed (or even believe) what we say?
> As an anthropologist, I have similar concerns about
> issues like 
> "race," "IQ," "Intelligent Design / Creationism" vs.
> evolution, and 
> so on and on. Frankly, as I am about to turn 60, I
> don't see things 
> getting better any time soon. We have as a culture,
> I think, always 
> valued what I call Willful Ignorance ("ignorance is
> bliss"). But now, 
> in the current climate, we have entered a period of
> Bellicosely 
> Intensified Glorification of Willful IGnorance, or
> "BIGWIG." People 
> like us who actually know a few things about stuff
> are portrayed as 
> pinheaded ivory-tower leftist academics who don't
> really work for a 
> living, and every knuckleheaded opinion about
> anything is given the 
> same weight as one we might develop from years of
> careful research. 
> For a non-linguistic example, see W's flat-out
> rejection of the 
> scientific consensus on global warming.
> I've pretty much given up on large-scale change in
> these areas; I 
> just focus on my classes and do what I can. Oh, and
> play my banjo.
> Ron

 "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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