Give Them Cause To Fire You While Rhyming


Photo by Lupuca
Photo by Lupuca

“Too many educators have pigeon-holed their disciplines. This or that does or doesn’t fit in my classroom. Old school nonsense, particularly with the way in which high tech utilitarianism is bringing everyone down, preaching that the only way to fit in lies in acclimating to our momentum.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor

If you’re an educator in the U.S. — teacher, tutor,  mentor or administrator, even a counselor, let’s say — and your take away with the ten points below is that —  No! — that’s not important and/or I don’t have to change my ways, well…I’m obliged to tell you that you’ve failed this test. Meaning, you shouldn’t continue in your educational capacity. Or you should alter your interaction… at least a bit.

Don’t be an academic twit. Open your eyes and ears. Look past your personal tears and tune into the fears of the masses who are taking a pass when you offer them traditional educational fare. Be fair to one and all, call the spade that we’re burying ourselves with educationally… a spade. It’s not that a Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, it’s that there’s Thunder on the Mountain already, and we’ve all got to get our academic act into proper gear. Doing what’s not popular. Teach truth… way down. Cause trouble. Give them cause to fire you. [Pause.] Just make sure you rhyme on the way down.

“There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” — Flannery O’ Connor

O bailan todos o no baile nadie — The Uruguayan Tupamaros

In no special order:

  1. The Opioid Onslaught, as delineated in a recent interview, is not something I talk about with students, not a phenomenon that I’m addressing with civic engagement of any kind.
  1. I don’t inform my students about whether or not they’re working on, playing around, or studying near as Super Fund site, and I’m very much like one of the educators spotlighted at last year’s Social Forum held in San Jose, California.
  1. When I pass a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King on a campus, and the inscription makes reference to his Civil Rights work, but doesn’t mention his anti-war stance, I neither complain to authorities nor generate movement in solidarity among students to deal with the abominable omission.
  1. Although industrial capitalism has been sacrificed to a form of finance capitalism that is looking more pre-capitalist with each passing year — as per Michael Hudson’s latest article— I don’t stress the importance of their doing something in solidarity to deal with our horrid economic momentum.
  1. I do not vigorously call students’ attention to what’s unacceptable with regard to today’s most popular films.
  1. I do not vigorously call students’ attention to the dangers of Wi-Fi(or any high tech gadgetry).
  1. I do not discuss with students — ever — how gang violence in the U.S. is contingent to a great degree upon misinformation and misguided federal policies.
  1. I do not discuss with students — ever — the fact that we have very little time left to save honor our democratic principles, that we have “deadlines” respecting the disappearance of the American Dream.
  1. I never bring up AFRICOMwith my students.
  1. Less than 50% of my students could give you a list of our most pressing collective crises. Less than 1% are attempting to do something about our daunting challenges. None are acknowledging the need for personal spiritual transformation.

Valleria Ruselli is a member of the Oxman Collective. She can be reached at [email protected].


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