Posts By: Jason Sullivan

Jason Sullivan

An unofficial AU advocate at large, Jason never misses a chance to recount the merits of an Athabasca education. Jason’s studies began alone in front of a rustic rural fireplace in December of 2003 and carried on through various brick and mortar college classrooms yet always with Athabasca as part of his journey. In 2014 he completed his BA in Sociology and in 2022 graduated with an MA in Cultural Studies. To this end, his columns seek to explore edifying moments of learning how to learn within the challenging ideological terrain of that great bugaboo facing students everywhere: the real world!

Throwing a Wit Wrench into the Machine of Orthodoxy

Social chemistry is hard to quantify.  Sure, ethnomethodologists with names like Harold Garfinkel have given social explication the old college try using conversation analysis.  But for every hmm and ih’f and umm studiously recorded and analyzed for academic posterity there’s rhythms, rhymes, seasons, and reasons that defy the gravity of scientific inquiry.  Much of life… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Dude, where’s my Freedom?

The freedom to wallow incessantly in inspirational memes and gratitude lists, not to mention the peaks and valleys of our course material, came from war.  It’s sad, and true, and easy to forget.  Yet, it doesn’t take a history major to know that a real fascist regime in Ottawa probably would not deign to fund… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—New Answers to Topics of the Day

Well, you walked into that one, I thought to myself when asked a pop quiz sort of query about my educated take on a current event.  See, the challenge with having an academic major is it lends itself well to what we might term mechanic-worker syndrome.  Having a friend who excels in mechanics and general… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall—Be Yourself, but Not Like That!

Candied apples, like Eve’s temptation in microcosm, represent the timeless sweet treat of adding a cloak of flavour to an otherwise predictable product.  The desire to consume oneself anew may be the basis of fashion as well as the key to the unique tradition of Hallowe’en.  Unless we dress up as a local Santa at… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Pondering the Essence of Learning

We’re all born dumb, literally lacking the facility of language and any semblance of deftness or acuity when expressing complex thoughts and feelings.  Much later, after socialization teaches us to translate our wails and tantrums into words and essays, we might rest on our laurels and come to an age-old conclusion: maybe all our learning… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Spontaneity’s Pitfalls

Why Critical Thought Means Thinking Past Our Instincts Geese were once said to spontaneously germinate along riverbanks; their nests were nestled amidst thick reeds and when the goslings emerged in trails of swimming fuzzy cuteness people assumed they’d hatched out of somewhere tiny.  One goose species in particular, the Barnacle Goose, was thought to honk… Read more »

Fly on the Wall: Horsey Rides of Essay Ideas

Atop a noble steed I gallop toward my fate.  Wait, really? Topic sentences, like essay themes, can seem a bit pedestrian unless they’re backed up by some substance.  If we just write freely without notes we’ll end up having learned very little and saying even less.       Our AU education allows us to extend the… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Eyes Up Here

In a timeless instant, simultaneous and thereby immeasurable, a Queen passed away and a King occupies the throne.  This instant transfer in power serves as a reminder that, lest we forget the centuries of history that have culminated in our clickbait culture, aversion to even a moment’s pause weighs heavily on many institutions.  Ambiguity breeds… Read more »