On the outside…looking around

I’ve felt safe most of my life.  Not that there hasn’t been disruption and dissonance, but I have felt safe.  My early career was in a male dominated industry…and I always felt that I was valued.  My colleagues and I may not have always agreed – but it was a safe environment.  I’ve heard stories and I understand what many women face at work or home, but I have been very fortunate.  I never felt on the outside…until recently.

Academia should provide a safe space to explore, disagree, agree and transform…however I’m starting to hang around the outside.  I keep my mouth shut about a lot of things…I’m turning into a “what’s the point” person who feels that my ideas will not be critiqued but dismissed.  The outside gets lonely…

I don’t want my students to feel dismissed – I have my biases and so do my students – however I want them to feel comfortable articulating their ideas and able to take/use critique.  I feel successful in that endeavor but I guess I will never know for sure.

The outside has positives as well…I know what I don’t want for my students…I know what kind of environment I want to foster in my classrooms…I know that we can be strong on the outside.  Looking around I know I’m not the only one who is residing out here…I’m finding people outside my community…building a new community.

But for the moment I have to step back inside…bring some of my outside self to the status quo and hopefully bring about some change…

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3 comments on “On the outside…looking around

  1. I call myself the anti-academic. In part to remind myself that this world is comprised of people who never knew the “working-class” and those that want to forget they are/were “working-class.” I can’t forget. It is part of WHO.I.AM. The other reason is because I don’t want to become that “academic” who “dismisses.” I so don’t know what is RIGHT. What I do know is that I enjoy the exploration and conversation.

    I say outside is IN.

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