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

Fly on the Wall—No Terrain Too Tricky

If you’re feeling overburdened or out of place as your coursework mounts this Fall it might help to consider the peculiar case of gold rush camels.  Miners heading to Barkerville, B.C.  during the 1860s tried importing camels to lug their rucksacks and mining tools through steep mountain passes (UVic, online).  Our experience as independent scholars… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Over the Mountain, Over the Hill?

“No one here gets out alive” proclaimed a biography of Jim Morrison (Hopkins, Sugerman).  No matter our personal age we must accept that the year is waning and the life of summer has fled.  Autumnal chills with claustrophobic auspices may leave us feeling listless and trapped by the enforced hibernation of winter life.  Even our… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall—From Dullsville to Delight, Part II

Limpid thought and diluted meaning beckon us when we relax our critical faculties; our egos may inflate as we mow down course after course, yet it remains for us to be reflexive and consider what we’d hitherto discounted.  Only fools rush in and when we draw conclusions based more on our disciplinary assumptions than on… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall—From Dullsville to Delight

What if you awoke one day and were no longer yourself?  Floating without memory in a swamp of stimuli, you’d be disengaged from the meaning of your actions and the coherence of your identity.  Context and purpose having evaporated into a misty abyss, you might ask: What is going on? Writer’s block? A nightmare? A… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall

Let’s go play outside! Dawning summer brings the allure of outdoor study breaks that add an additional element to our matrix of procrastination.  But it doesn’t have to all be guilty romps through sunny avenues.  We can recharge our scholarly batteries at the intellectual level in several ways by stepping, proverbially, outside the bounds of… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall—Convocation and Destiny

How do We Select Our Electives? Why did the chicken cross the road?  What leads us to choose a particular elective? Sometimes the process feels purposeful, as though we are fulfilling an interest that has haunted or intrigued us for eons.  Other times we might feel like uncertain fowl meandering through the traffic of unexpected… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Roads of Perception

Winter months and distance education courses have one thing in common: they can both drag on interminably when we get bogged down.  Yet, as successes pile up over the years, and remembering how far we’ve come since early childhood education, we can feel confident in the face of what appear to be long odds for… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall—This, Too, Shall be Passed

Mired in coursework on a bleak February day I recall a common refrain from classrooms of my childhood.  A student would plaintively announce, “I’m stuck!” Often it was during math class and usually the problem seemed utterly insoluble.  As adult students these same struggles and doldrums can occur; in mid-winter it’s easy for even the… Read more »

Fly On the Wall—Truth Tellers

Last year, we addressed the idea of us, noble scholars, reduced to asinine drudgery and suggested that behind our mild-mannered veneers we have a cornucopia of fruitful intellectual possibilities.  We posed the question, is truth itself impossible? Education means philosophical inquiry, even if it’s only to realize that each act we engage in and each… Read more »