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!

Fly on the Wall—Reflections on the Iraq War

20-years-ago, on March 20th 2003, American and British troops invaded Iraq to remove a tyrant who had used chemical weapons against his own people.  This ruling despot, Saddam Hussein, had received the South Park cartoon caricature treatment so we all knew he was a baaaad man.  Authorities and experts (spoiler alert: beware expert consensus!) claimed… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Pulling Up our Big Scholar Undies

Emergent within our adult lives are many facets to be proud of: kids, families, careers, car payments, mortgages.  Yet, where there’s responsibility there’s also the potential for stress and strain and the pressing need to, as the saying goes, put on our big boy undies or big girl panties.  Some realities of growing up apply… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—International Women’s Day & Emma Goldman

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, we might note one of the most vehement voices of early 20th century North American radical politics: Emma Goldman.  Her anarchist philosophies envisioned a world that embraced socioeconomic equality without either the heavy hands of industrial corporations or government bureaucracy.  For Goldman, taking a strong position with one’s feelings… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Is Education a Training for Herd Compliance?

Like Arctic Cariboo shifting en masse from the Northwest Territories to their Alaskan calving grounds, universities, from a bird’s eye view, can seem to be merely training paddocks for herds of sheeple.  Critics’ stereotypical assumptions are that pupils, shorn of individual thoughts, emerge trained in a series of right answers and proper methods.  Willing and… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Taking Enlightenment to the Outhouse

Wisdom is easily dispensed and sometimes bitterly believed.  No matter our education level, others may disagree vehemently with our conclusions on many a topic.  For Michel Foucault, an attitude of enlightenment requires us to adopt a stance of bravery in the face of external opposition and internal beliefs.  These latter may have worn themselves so… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—The Personal Project of Enlightened Heroism

Standing at a gas station counter there was a prod in my back.  A stickup?  Nope, an old acquaintance of mine from our rural valley in BC.  After the usual introductions, I inquired about his employment; he informed me that new ownership had brought unwelcome changes to his workplace to which he’d expressed disapproval.  Shortly… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—A Magic Spell for Inspired Study

With plodding precision, the dull monster of boredom creeps up behind you as you sit listlessly at your desk.  Probing an icy tentacle toward your shoulder you become aware of its presence just prior to the fateful moment when you realize your existential predicament.  You are bored.  Disenchantment has grabbed you by the short and… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Cultural Boa Constrictors

The purpose of health care is to provide the sick with succour.  Psychological care, however, is more complex than a series of band-aids and boo-boos.  What if society itself is, as the Ghostbusters’ script reminds us, “too sick to survive”?  (Reitman, online).  An unpleasant theory laced with hyperbole, if ever there was.  Yet perhaps when… Read more »