Students and Engagement

I gave my students the option of observing #OWS in Valley or film at film festival.

One, so far, chose to see rally.  Here is her report. “Occupy Wall:street: Coming to a Small Town Near You.”  My students can probably guess, but I have not been overt about my support of the protest.  Like any social movement, I get it emotionally even if I worry also about its coherence, strategy, and the taint of the “weird ones” who will associate.  You can’t always control who gets invited to the party.  Their reactions, as likely future businesspeople, are an interesting set of responses.  I try to engage them and let them figure out the reality of politics, power, economics, ideology, and the possibilities for alternatives on their own.

Overall, I feel Bucknell students seem to have an aversion to public spaces and the messy side of democracy.  This seems to me some sort of long hang-o0ver from the 60s and 70s and the success of the Archie Bunker frame that anyone who speaks up is “just a trouble maker and dirty hippie.”  Hopefully, this and other moments can help them develop a deeper appreciation for how change happens, warts and all.

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About Jordi

I am an assistant professor in the Management School at Bucknell University. I specialize in organization theory, social networks, and studying the network society. I have three children, including twins. They love bouncing on the couch, legos, music, and my waffles. My wife teaches English at the same university. I am interested in most things, but these days, networks, social entrepreneurs, the environment, innovation, and virtual worlds. Finding Hidden Abodes and Shaking Iron Cages since 1972

One thought on “Students and Engagement

  1. I imagine it is difficult to appear “at odds” with the universe when you’re 18-22 years old. Most people don’t have themselves figured out at that age, let alone the ways of the world. Most people are still very high-schoolish and would rather be a part of the “norm”.

    Also, not that I’m trying to put people into groups or boxes by any means, but the vast majority of Bucknell students come from affluent families. They are most likely *not* the 99%. Not everyone graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, with an unlimited credit card paid for by their parents, and a job lined up right out of college . Some never have to worry about bills at that age. But I can tell you one thing: Being “poor” at some point in your life gives you such an appreciation that some might not ever have. And nothing teaches you more about humility, human rights, human equality (regardless of income or socioeconomic class) and true democracy than being “less than wealthy”.

    One of my favorite quotes is from an Apple commercial, and it is fitting, due Steve Job’s recent passing:

    “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
    About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_Different

    It’s an amazing quote, and so true. I suggest you not give up on your students… You’ll find your round peg at some point.

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