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By Abram de Bruyn

Weekly Reflection 5/7/16

This week has been all about the writing.  After getting over the hurdle of my first History paper, and treading water by preparing myself just enough for my classes (readings...).  I was so stressed out last week about the pending deadlines that I seem to have psycho-somatically hurt my back.  I'm sleeping on the floor to fix/straighten my back.  Long hours hunched over my tiny laptop have done their damage.  Rediscovered my love for writing once I could focus on writing the Philosophy assignment.  Now I'm worried that I'm writing two papers, not one (it's currently 1000 words over the limit).

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Weekly Reflection 4/30/16

This has been a week of stress about writing papers and shifting from a mentality of inspiration and reading to a production and assessment mentality.  The Spring Semester is coming to a close but I feel like I'm only just getting started with my writing work.  Something that has been foremost on my mind throughout the week, and the topic of my Philosophy final paper is the relationship between 'Communication vs. Strategic Utterance'.

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Culture and Society in the Caribbean: Week 13

Today we spent most of the class discussing issues around the move towards a more robust conception of ‘Black Studies’, as a response to the transcript I made of Kemuel’s talk at the Black Student Network conference.  The general discussion started with me explaining what I understood to be the speaker’s position and intention and then giving my own perspective that perhaps this is a return to Unity that is found in the naming of an Oppressor-Oppressed or White-Black dichotomy.   Read more

Weekly Reflection 4/23/16

This week was most notable for how many things I did in service to others.  I received an email from Alex Patz about needing help unpacking/tidying up after their move and decided to help out.  It was mutually beneficial, as all true service to others is.  Then again with supporting Jack Gray's IDF project as an usher.  This is what stands out the most for me this week.

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Culture and Society in the Caribbean: Week 12

This week I had prepared for class by having conducted two interviews and finishing the transcription process.  I’d sent these to Comitas the night before and it seems that he only got to glance at them.  Still not happy about talking about my project this week, but I felt that my project was taking form.  It felt kind of ‘cheatsy’ to do as Comitas suggests: to just interweave the words of the two transcripts as a dialogue.

Yet, having started to do this (thinking it will only be a part of the project, I just keep dreaming) I’m realizing how much work it is from my end and that it needs to be done with a great awareness of the complexities.
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White Folks’ Burden?

This Op-Ed, which will be printed in TCPublicSpace’s April edition, started out as an assignment for my U.S. Education Policy in the Historical Context class with Ansley Erickson.  However, it is less history assignment than critical book review, as it is primarily a response to Christopher Emdin’s incredible book: “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…”.  My hope is that by writing this piece a conversation might develop around the broader issues that I start to touch upon.  Overall, the timing for this writing could not have been better and I must give credit to the serendipity that made the connections possible.

The first draft made no mention on my part of Freire.  Then re-reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed for another class brought out that crucial argument which allowed me to side step a less clear issue that I wanted to touch on regarding the term ‘neo-indigenous’ but speaking from my White Australian perspective.  That is for another article, perhaps.

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