Re: Beyond these walls...

Nick Carbone (nickc@MARLBORO.EDU)
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 12:18:02 -0400

On Fri, 27 Sep 1996, Jeffrey R Galin wrote:

> What has interested me about the recent discussion on academic
> alternative is how few folks have noted that to call yourself an
> alternative to academic or corporate models, is to define yourself in
> relation to those models. No matter how much we may want to escape them,
> if we want to serve some of the same "student" population, then we do have
> to acknowledge the relationships we have to the instituions, formalize
> them, and play, in part , by their rules. And, as many of you have
> pointed out (as I say above) if we establish such formal relationships,
> then we can't expect dramatic change quickly.

I agree that we're beginning our definitions in relationship to models we
know or are reacting against. Heracles, the Greek name for Hercules, is
made of two parts: Hera and cles, from cleos, the word which means,
loosely translated, reputation. Heracles earned his reputation because
he spent most of his life responding to Hera's wrath. All which is to
say what we're kicking around will be no less an herculean task, and will
begin by deciding how we are different from present institutions and why.

One reason why, and this goes directly to 'their rules,' is that they are
now changing some fundamental rules--in this case, or for the origins of
this discussion, tenure rules at U. Minn. However, since we're positing
this as alternate ways to make a living teaching--and all that goes with
it: research, writing, mentoring students, being part of our communities
(both digital and flesh)--you're right about adopting some rules from
what we are leaving. To get paid money has to be raised--grants are
tenuous, hand to mouth means; steady income needs to be made, pensions
arranged, insurance paid for, mortgages met, computers upgraded, and
upgraded and upgraded. So there will be some institutionalizing at some
point, if only to get a name on a checking account and a tax exempt

We'll be able to make up some rules, play be others, but will need to
port others on over to what we do.

Nick Carbone, Writing Instructor
Marlboro College
Marlboro, VT 05344