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—Don’t Zap That Splendid Isolation!

Gregarious people can become AU students, but the reality of individualized study tends to speak for itself.  Ours is not a social butterfly experience replete with hallways full of chatter and leisurely times lounging with peers in a dormitory.  Study for us typically consists of our meek humble selves studiously applying our skills within the… Read more »

Descartes and his Demon of the Mind

Ever study so hard your brain hurts?  It’s common, but not everyone talks about it.  Maybe that’s because the traditional solution, a brain break, seems obvious.  Yet, what if that dull pain behind our eyes is merely our ego deceiving us into thinking that we’re suffering from intolerable mind cramps?  As we try and cram… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Making A Mess

This year, why not try finger painting your New Year’s resolutions?  While written lists of goals can obscure raw intentions, the tactile nature of hand paint can get us in touch with our primal natures.  Multiple senses are stimulated when we paint by touch.  As the paint oozes and traces from fingers to paper, and… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Virtual Convocation 2020

To all the 2020 graduands, congrats!  And for the rest of us grads, future and past, let’s rest on our virtual laurels for a moment and consider the conquest that’s been.  Many of our peers would shudder to attempt distance education.  AU is not for the faint of heart or slack of skill.  We learn… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Solstice and Our Chosen Fate

Winter Solstice 2020: it’s cold, it’s dark, and it’s isolated.  As the sun’s light declines to its nadir we might wonder what there even is to celebrate.  Like receiving an outstanding course mark by email and then looking around and realizing with a sigh that nothing tangible has changed in our immediate environs, the turning… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Two Sides to Every Dilemma

A notorious recent exposition of the vicissitudes implied by post-truth culture is Jeff Orlowski’s documentary titled The Social Dilemma.  At first blush the show elucidates just how far social media has permeated our culture and our consciousness.  Yet, when pressed to describe the problem in words (not only feelings, as would fit the standard definition… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Sentiments on a Starry Night

Why are we here?  Mars glows red as it traverses a starry abyss with the moon in tow.  Sitting outside on an autumn night, amidst Goliath Mulleins, ideas about meaning bubble to the surface of my mind.  What feelings guide their trail and where do they lead?  Like a zephyr breeze through dried tumbleweeds the… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Knowledge in a Moment

Every day holds potential for learning if we look at life that way.  Glorious new experiences are only ever a mouse click or a calm stroll or an exchanged glance away.  And knowledge is only partly contained in our AU course materials.  One can read a text forward and backward and still only know it… Read more »