B.F. Skinner, Champion Of False Consciousness - Knowledge Cannot Be Built Upon A Crumbling Criminal System Of Authoritarianism - The Excessive Spiritual Costs Of Compliance - The Impossible Embodiment Of This Alien Knowledge - Desperate For The Space To Contemplate - School A Revolting Abomination - The Intolerable Outgassing Of Shoes And Chemical Solvents
The Spiritual Costs Of Compliance With The Educational System Are Way Too High - I Can Feel The Stress In My Bones - Graduate School As Hazing Process - The Chairman Won't Let Me Leave - The Impossible Embodiment Of This Alien Knowledge - Comprehensive Examination Versus Project, Which Is Less Harmful? - Bouts Of Depression From The Smallest Of Aggravations - Housemate Interviews At 7-Eleven - Spirit Rebelling Against The Circumstances - Desperate For The Space To Contemplate - I Want An Objective, Presentable Record Of This Inner Turmoil, So I Must Type - I Need Great Deal Of Mental Space, Clarity, And Physical Wellbeing To Address My Self-Actualizing Needs - My Experience With School All Through The Years Has Been One Of Revolting Abomination - I've Hated Every Step Of It - The Despair Resulting From One's Own Perspective Being Squashed - Some Mysticism Classes Were Interesting And Helpful - Academia Fosters A Detachment From Self-Perspective, An Objectification Of Mind - Spirit Requires Personal Synthesis, Not Just An Agglomeration Of Externalities - The Modern University's Lack Of Personal, Social, And Moral Enrichment - For the K-12 Population Small Class Sizes And Deep, Engrossing Projects Essential - Intolerable Air Pollution From Outgassing Of Shoes And Chemical Cleaning Solvents - The Healthfulness Of My Physically Active Career And My Classroom's Natural Air With No Heating Or Cooling Systems - My Partner Teacher's Disgusting Selflessness - How Her Daughters Adore Me, Want Me To Be Their Dad - The Insanity Of Intellectuals - You Cannot Task Analyze A Human Relationship - The Bullshit Of Behavioral Outcomes - B.F. Skinner, Champion Of False Consciousness - Class Size Ratios Of 1 Teacher To 5 Students, With An Educational Assistant For Each Child With Special Needs - The Learning Process, For It To Endure And Achieve Positive Results, Must Have At Its Foundation A Concern For The Rapport, Relationship, And Indeed Love Between The Teacher And The Student - Knowledge Cannot Be Built On A Crumbling Criminal System Of Authoritarianism
Tape Transcriptions - Tape #8 - July 15, 1993
1993.7.15. (tape 8, side B, continued)
(at home, music playing) I'm just so depressed right now. I'm trying to quit my master's program and just get a P.D. [professional diploma] but the chair won't let me. The guy is so persuasive. He just wants me to get the master's degree. My point is that I've learned enough. I don't need to learn anymore. It's not about intelligence. (sigh, pause) I mean, at this point, to wield the willpower to see this through...the spiritual costs are just too high. Just way too high. I don't want to be part of the program anymore. The stress is to my bones. It hurts. What I've learned is that I've gone through this hazing process, and now they want me to be a champion -- a cheerleader -- for it. That's what this final project is. I'm supposed to exemplify and embody the messages they've forced upon me. I can't do it anymore. (sigh) I don't know what to do. I'm so confused and hurt. Out of it. God I hate this program. It's like the thing that will never leave. I don't know whether I want to do the exam, which would be a little more quick in a way, or do a project, which would be more drawn out. But at least it would be something more external to me that we'd be working on. I wouldn't have to muster so much existential commitment to do that paper.
I mean, surely, if I'm going to be true to my spirit, if I'm going to allow spirit to make the call in this particular situation, I'll definitely... I had two confrontations with this chairman already. Both times he's been wielding as much power as he can to keep me in the program. In the third encounter I can be decisive and just blow him away. But it's my loss, in a way, externally, to be cast into the oblivion of an inferior certification. And for someone like him who's spent his whole life wrapped up in the granting of degrees, that's a very sad, sad, a very very sad thing to do. (sigh) I think I'm leaning toward letting him just dictate this. I'm just going to try to do it for him.
(later, hiking) Alright, intellectually here's where I'm at right now. Due to the strength of that guy's conviction, I'm going to try to plod it out in this program. I don't think I can have the comprehensive exam because it calls for me to embody this stuff. I can't do it. I mean, if it were fewer questions I could do it. I'm smart enough to have some information in my head and deal with it pretty well, even though I don't appreciate it. But with this vast amount of information, and this high a level of intellectual analysis, I cannot do it. (heavy breathing, sound of quick footsteps going up the trail) It hurts too much because I hate this stuff and I don't believe in it. There's no way I can embody it -- or at least hold it all in my mind at one time, enough so that I can take this test. I'm going the more long, circuitous, painstaking process of rehashing this major paper of mine for my seminar in severe handicaps. I'm going to do a project on integrated related service delivery -- on how related services are delivered in Hawaii, and where they fit into in terms of the spectrum of best practice considerations for that specific question. Maybe targeting severe classrooms in the State and getting some questionnaire back from these people. Uhmm, so I'm not happy about this, but there are a couple of fruits to be gained: one is, not letting the system get me down. I mean, being a success within the system. Having this degree. You know, making everyone happy. I will have pursued it, and gotten it. The other is an added dimension of job security in case I move, in case I want to move upward in the system. Both of those options are more readily dealt with a master's degree. And lastly, I will receive three units this semester just for doing this project, so I'll be killing two birds with one stone. I'll be getting a few more units toward my degree and at the same time closing in on the next pay scale classification. It's very painful emotionally and spiritually -- and physically -- because I have so many disagreements and problems with this stuff.
And as I sat so depressed most of the day, I spent two hours with [my housemate] X getting into his morass of problems after his calling me a "fucker" and threatening to punch the wall because I was bothering him as he was laying about watching TV when he should be applying for a job. He finally gets the gumption to call 7-Eleven (pic 2, logo), and there within an hour of this verbal interchange he's asking me to drive him down to this place to apply and I end up waiting there an hour and a half while he takes a test and gets interviewed. I mean, this rollercoaster emotionally with him is just a real drain. I was just sitting there dying because the dude's a black hole. I mean, he's so self-involved. He doesn't see what other people do for him. I need to do so much more for myself. I'm truly like a fish out of water, gasping for self-knowledge. All I'm getting are external expectations and obligations. I'm gasping for space in which to contemplate, and all I'm getting is a pre-designed and configured box to crawl into. But, as I lied down after that today, I felt energy just boiling in me, and rising in my brain. (breathing hard, spitting) These feelings of mine are not necessarily the death throes of spirit being conquered by this world, but more of spirit being incrementally invigorated -- growing -- and rebelling against the circumstances. So I am to expect this kind of response, this total nihilistic depression even with the smallest things that I don't want to deal with.
Also, another thing this project will allow me to give myself some mental space once in a while because it won't be something that I have to embody. So I can just put it away for a few days and really take the time off because it's not something that I have to memorize. It's an objective product, as opposed to the more internal product associated with the comprehensive exam.
But it pains me really to no end regarding how I want to get moving on my inner work in terms of the production of some sort of objective process or product that is a reflection of my inner turmoil. These cassettes are nice, my scribble is nice, but I want to log it all onto the computer, get something that's presentable. I need a great deal of mental space, clarity, and physical wellbeing to address my self-actualizing needs. This paper is going to cause for more of a postponement of this. I figure, realistically (laughs), I'll have the master's by May of 1995, so four more semesters. It's a long time to wait. I'm afraid that my experience with school, all through the years, has been one of just revolting abomination. I've hated every step of it. Not that it's true. Total denial of something is generally dishonest. But the thing is is that the negatives outweigh the positives so greatly that my own perspective was squashed and all I was living with was a sense of defeat and hopelessness -- just utter despair. There were some glimmering moments -- like my mysticism class -- where information was given to me that was very helpful and interesting. But all of it -- throughout the whole thing, including Bellah -- was basically a detachment from self-perspective, a detachment from world. The whole thing has been a process of objectifying the mind. Forcing the individual to identify with a set of standards created by society. Just squashing your perspective, replacing it with the "wisdom" of some body of scholars. It's wrong. The whole thing should have been much more intimate in nature -- for example, a smaller number of students per teacher in both K-12 and higher education. And engaging students in deep, engrossing projects that interest them. Reading should have been at a grokable level, in terms of the number of pages assigned. I was always buried by the reading. No chance of embodying that much information. Trying to just splits the mind from the body. Projects and expectations should have been ones to call for a personal synthesis rather than this external agglomeration. Like chemistry -- it shouldn't have been about the pursuit of science. It should have been readings of the lives of these chemists -- very intimate, personal accounts, and only very lightly touching on the science. People coming out of college today have no political or social or moral perspective that's been enriched by their studies. Very few. The ones that do are coming from tiny programs that are underfunded, or these teeny branches inside these giant schools. I don't know. I'll think about it.
(still hiking) My spirit needs are becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy. I was with X [edit, housemate] today at 7-Eleven. I went into the 7-Eleven and the Redwing Shoe Store next door, and both those places with their air conditioning -- and all the chemicals in there, I don't know where this shit comes from, coming out of the shoes, the carpets, out of the various refrigeration and heating systems -- there's no way I could tolerate it. Absolutely not! I mean, I'm working myself into a position where I cannot handle an air quality that is any less than what I have right now on my hike; and for a work environment, I can never work in an office: sedentary, chemical smells -- no way. I'm in the best goddamn career I can find. It's an awesome career. It's got to be the best fucking career for me on the planet! The only way to improve this would be an independent-type thing where I'm working out of my house. But even with that, I don't know that I would want it. (continued heavy breathing) But at least with education, that school's a pretty nice setting. But I was just freaking out thinking that if I were ever fired from my job, I'd be totally freaking, in terms of what to replace it with, because (laughs) my options are severely restricted.
I just had a flash of strength. I was reflecting on just how pernicious M's disposition was, especially in the beginning. The way she just operates off of external obligations. Totally selfless, always. Oh, I just hated it all. And how (laughter) she loves me now. And her children, when I am around her two daughters, I'm just reflecting on how I am just a fucking magnet for them. They can't get enough of me. They even talk about how they wish I was their father. I mean L, this major intellectual dude [a department chair at U.H.] -- that's their dad, he's certainly not an absent father, he's quite a good father in many ways -- but that's just the effect that I have on people. And when I feel so marginalized and unappreciated and ahh -- what's the word for it? -- off base when I go to U.H. and talk to these professors, it's not my fault. These fucking so-called intellectuals -- they're fucking insane. They identify with all these behaviorists -- left brainer types -- who seek to grasp a human relationship. They're reductionists. For me, they want me to task analyze and take data on tooth brushing; and for me that is a human relationship that you can't quantify. It shouldn't be quantified. Behavioral outcomes are bullshit. They can't be the focus. The focus has to be the inner relationship between the two individuals. It's a meditation on love in the context of something worthwhile. We can talk about what's worthwhile and engage in that. But to break down and analyze various methodologies to the very nth and have that be your sole concern is total false consciousness. (spitting) If you were to put enough money into these classrooms, bring down the class ratio to five kids per teacher -- and have the difficult kids have an EA -- and just focus on rewarding experiences, our society would be far better off. You focus on the relationship -- the rapport -- between the teacher and the kids, in a context of reading the book, writing your name, doing some math problem -- but the main focus is on love -- and that's the focus -- and what you build there is a foundation that all knowledge can easily rest upon. Knowledge cannot be built on this crumbling, criminal system of authoritarianism which in my view is almost necessitated by the numbers. So...God...we just have to have a spiritual focus. I am absolutely crucified by all these external considerations that are the sole preoccupation of my so-called mentors. I just need to be out of there. I mean, I've been hurt for so long that really, I've lost all perspective. So much of me is invested in that. So much of me has suffered under that. That my own voice has been largely stilled; and all I have left is a whole thing that is crumbling -- if you look at the way I feel... END OF TAPE #8.
Tape #8 ends 7/15/1993
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