Thursday, January 19, 2006

"It's My Life! I Can Do What I Want!"

This afternoon I was in a meeting that got . . . relatively heated. "Heated" for academia means that 2 or 3 "free thinkers" talk and talk and talk, and everyone else sits there thinking, "Oh, here we go again," but they don't say anything. The result? High tension -- averted eyes, red faces, nervous laughter -- that kind of thing.

There are a few reasons why that happened at today's meeting, but the thing I am still thinking about two hours later is the subject of autonomy. One of the committee members mentioned something about this -- he is, of course, faculty. He seems to be of the opinion that faculty should be able to do whatever they want because they have academic freedom. What about the fact that faculty members are, in fact, employees of the university and the government? I don't think it matters to him -- it's all about academic freedom.

And this got me thinking about that "Academic Freedom" umbrella. Everyone's protected under that. Don't people understand that even though you can do whatever you want because everyone has agency, you also represent something larger than you?

>> Insert the "But it's my life!" cliche. <<

I'm so sick of that sentiment. I don't really think there's such a thing as a "my life." Each of us affects everyone else around us, and similarly, each of us is affected by everyone else. We all have agency, but mine affects yours, and yours affects mine. That's why we have to be extremely careful with it.

Thing I'm thankful for: My sweet critical thinking skills. :) Just kidding. Sort of. I'm thankful for my parents, siblings, church leaders, and a few teachers for teaching me how to think.


Blogger Blake said...

well said sa'. Stick it to the man!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Leezy Lindsey said...

I AGREE! I really like how you said we need to be careful with our lives.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Unfortunate Event

Young occupation;
Corrupt politics breeds
idealistic death;

5:41 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Man, everytime I see the heading to this post, I start singing that Bon Jovi song. "It's my life. It's now or never. I know I won't live forever." Or something. More lyrics that are crowding my brain.

9:30 AM  

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