Posts By: Jason Sullivan

Jason Sullivan

Even erudite flies get smashed now and then for sounding too ‘school smart’. As one of many AU students not immersed in an academic social sphere, Jason’s ‘Fly on the Wall’ column seeks to aid and abet the success of others in his cohort. We won’t always be understood when we speak of what we are learning in school but we can rest assured that our education still has value.

His lighthearted approach to sociological philosophy stems from conducting field research at bush parties and working his day job reforesting the mountains of BC. Born in the city of Vancouver and raised on a farm in the Fraser Valley and an orchard in the Okanagan, he attained a diploma in Horticulture in the Creston Valley and then returned to school as a Sociology major. Today’s he’s an AU Master’s of Integrated Studies student who spends his spare time enjoying nature walks, snorkeling and reading whatever philosophical and sociological tracts capture his fancy.

Jason is fascinated with the micro-sociological thoughts and interactions that frame and demarcate our experience of daily life as well as the philosophical realm considering essential questions about what it is to be a human. It’s dense brush but Jason seeks answers where murkiness holds sway.

A Few Theoretical Influences: Louis Althusser, Isaac Asimov, Jean Baudrillard, Simone de Beauvoir, Aime Cesaire, Carol Clover, John Cummings, Kurt Cobain, Jacques Derrida, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Erving Goffman, Antonio Gramsci, Martin Heidegger, Thomas Hobbes, Agnes Martin, Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Max Weber

The Fly on the Wall—Kant We All Meaningfully Agree?

The meaning of life: what can that mean? Possible answers run the gamut of human thought and experience.  Meaning is both personal and general; each of us has our own private mission statement whether we think of it that way or not and invariably there will be affinities between ours and others.  As AU students,… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—The Truth is in the Tools

What’s the meaning of life? It’s a timeless question apt to induce eye rolls.  Ever since cave people digested a dinner of mastodon under moonlight, humans have pondered purpose and mulled meaning.  As denizens of the universal cave of AU, the question of life’s meaning is eminently answerable for us at some level simply because… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Joined at the Hip, Wired at the Brain

Group activities can be wondrous and, in theory, so can groupthink.  There’s little more inspiring than when individuals come together to present unique and multiple perspectives on an issue or topic.  The problem is when groupthink lives up to its name and morphs into an oppressive consensus beyond the bounds of which neither words nor… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—To Dream, To Grow

In some sense, all that goes into making us who we are at the academic level cay be summed up in the immortal lyrics of the REM song “Losing My Religion”: “that was just a dream” they sang (REM, online).  And what a wonderful dream it is; AU sets us off on a previously unimaginable… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Eternal Dump Runs of the Cartesian Mind

Living out near the town dump is better than it sounds.  There’re stunning views east to the rugged volcanic batholith of Giant’s Head mountain and, beyond that, an open vista with Okanagan Lake (and the mythical Ogopogo) out of sight far below.  Along the horizon the line of mountains further away frames the picture like… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—The Sky’s the Limit

Birds, bees, plants and humans all love the onrush of spring as the life forces of growth gain momentum.  Everything seems exuberant and energetic and, if you’re like me, you’re probably enjoying more outdoor activities as a pause from your coursework.  I mean, we might enjoy AU but typically it still means we’re stuck inside… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Putting Procrastination on Pause

Let’s put procrastination in perspective.  It’s a nagging worry that can engulf us.  Like being lost in a hall of mirrors, there are a lot of daily distractions to dissuade us from our studies.  To take confident strides over the hurdles life erects we need a clear-eyed assessment of our big picture.  Where are we… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—It’s Our Time

Procrastination whispers through the hallways of our studying minds.  With ironic and grim efficiency, it prompts a desire for flight from productive pursuits.  We know that moments of aversion can add up to days of lost productivity.  Nothing is easier to brush aside than a textbook, nothing’s quicker to minimize than a window on our… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Love for Learning

Like learning our course material and then applying it to our lives, to understand something is to become part of the process of its existence.  The answers may be in the back of a math textbook, but, in the broader plains of AU life, the answers are to some extent within us as we learn… Read more »