Monday, March 03, 2003

A badge of honor 

The students have had a faculty member post an explanation of their peace protest on Wednesday.
The students decided early on in the organizing of this walk-out that although faculty and staff would be encouraged to participate, that this would be a student organized, student-led event. We have decided to participate in the national walk-out because we feel that it is the best way in which we can make a statement against this unjust war.
No problem there -- they decided to hitch their wagon to the national protest by a bunch of hard lefties who started planning these protests a couple of weeks after 9/11.
Some may think that with the title "bombs not books" that it seems counterproductive to walk-out of classes.
I think they meant "books not bombs". As most professors will tell you, students mistake Microsoft's spellchecker for proofreading. And as OpinionJournal points out today, "what do these youngsters plan to do to demonstrate the importance of books? Cut class."
First of all, we have just chosen to use the national organizer's theme for convenience sake.
"We were cruising the internet one night, and this looked really cool."
Secondly, we would assert that although classroom participation is important and vital to gaining perspectives about our world, including the war, we also see the valuable opportunity to have education outside of the classroom.
"Classrooms are boring, particularly when we could have a pajama party and sing songs."
This event will have several educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff.
That would be the sleep-in? The open microphone? (When I played in a rock band, this was called "amateur night".) Or would this be the educational videos? At least NYSPC is clear on this. "No really, long speeches are never a good idea." So are boring documentaries.
We, the students, do not want this walk-out to seem as if it is a student vs. faculty/staff event. Instead, we strongly encourage and invite faculty, staff, students and community members to attend and participate in any way they see fit. In fact, we think this type of event is a powerful way to make a difference.
But you identified yourself as "we", which implies a "they". So you've already "made a difference".
In closing, we feel that missing one day of classes is a very small price to pay in order to protest the possible murder of thousands of innocent li [sic]
Well then, you shouldn't mind me charging the price. Indeed, I could give you a sheet saying '"I went to the protest instead of attending class because I support Saddam's taking of thousands of innocent li," suitable for framing. I'll PhotoShop something for you, even. In your world, you could call it a badge of honor.

Damn. Just checked the schedule, and I have a Dean's Council meeting. I think it would be important for me to have an educational opportunity outside the administrative rigors of a chair's life. Where are my pajamas?