Thursday, April 02, 2009

Good use of a personal day....

Every year BNCC has a 'gathering' of what I've come to call 'BNCC re-education day'.

I suppose the timing of the day has something to do with my cynicism. It's generally in early April, thus I'm worn out by the semester and debate nationals. This year it's at the end of a marathon that started with debate nationals and ended with an intense committee obligation that had me on campus for many long days.

I'm also not someone who participates easily in these kinds of group activities. There's generally some kind of theme and usually speeches and poorly run group 'activities' intended to communicate this theme.

A few years ago we were pretty much told we were racists and ignorant about the world and others unlike ourselves. This was based on the results of a survey that seemed to be very poorly designed. For example, if we teach about diversity issues, international issues or other 'diversity' topics, we got no 'credit' for that activity toward our racist/non-racist score (it wasn't an option, neither was extensive travel, having an exchange student and many other options). Further, when we were asked to describe our attitudes toward X, Y, Z -- in each scenario we were given only two or three options, none of which were adequate to describe my attitudes...

Careful listening to their description of how the survey was scored revealed that, pretty much the only way not to be a xenophobic ass was to have lived in a foreign country. So -- someone who lived in Winnipeg is worldly, but someone who teaches classes like international politics isn't... hmmm.

When I looked into the credentials of the person running the 'day' --- it turns out her qualifications were pretty much that she was a grad student at the local U. So -- I'm supposed to sit by and be insulted by a grad student who can't design a research survey? I think not.

Since then I've ended up opting out of the day for a variety of reasons... at least one day I was sick enough that others advised me to go home. One year the food made me sick -- and today I'm taking a personal day.

Of course, today will be the spectacular day I missed... oops. I think I'll go see Hubby in Red State instead.

1 comment:

julie said...

Nope - you didn't miss the spectacular day: it's still to come. Someday. Sometime. Somehow. Somewhere else?