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—Katherine Hepburn and Pinnochio

Don’t we as distance students sound a bit like Pinocchio, with our study-minded conscience as Jiminy Cricket and our benefactors as ol’ Gepeto?  The pine-based puppet, like our digital avatar selves, promised, “I will study, I will work, I will do all that you tell me, for indeed I have become weary of being a… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Textbook Presentism

Deep in a chasm of irony lies wreckage of the past.  Within that imbroglio, amidst the shattered glass and broken dreams of countless worldviews and ideologies, a ray of sunlight catches a shard of sheered bottle.  Light concentrates into heat and with magnification a tiny plume of smoke ensues; a fire begins lapping at its… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—The Hobbesian Dilemma of Digital Technology

Perhaps, as we cut a swathe through the underbrush of knowledge at AU, an intellectual clarity will be attained amidst our preconceptions and predilections.  Learning is about more than having the right answers; it’s about engaging curiosity to ask pertinent questions.  Despite our natural tendency to righteousness about our tolerance of all manner of Others,… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Are we Mother Nature’s Morons?

Are we as human beings essentially destructive forces within nature or are we exclusively destructive to nature?  Nature’s paradox appears whenever our feet alight on soil alive with life; crushing and maiming, even bare toes cause fronds to break and insects to cower.  The metaphysics of humanity as unnatural occupant of our planet strains credulity… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Guess What I Am Thinking Of?

One day my grandparents brought me an intriguing new plastic toy.  Pulling on a string would induce an enticing, though robotic, voice: “Guess!  What I am think-ing of?”  It’s sentence structure was in broken English, a fact familiar to us all when we watch many closed captioned programs, but it’s beckoning inquiry held a certain… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Vaccuums and Brain Fogs

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by deadlines and study material, there’s a philosopher to the rescue.  The Greek Parmenides believed that gaps, when explored, are redolent with activity and each instant contains an infinity of information overwhelming the concept of flow so much so that to think of motion belies the reality of the universe… Read more »

Alberta’ 2023 Election

Elections in a parliamentary democracy are much like a high school dance: sometimes there’s a core theme and often there’s fixed dates for their occurrence.  Human dates matter too, as any dance attendee knows.  It’s a reason why many students stay away from prom; on the other hand, if you had a special someone dance… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Ouch, That Smarts!

It seems that no one proclaims that they’ve taken an online IQ test and found out that they’re really dumb.  Either that or those who fail to pass genius muster are smart enough to keep it to themselves.  I’ve never attempted one of these tests, figuring that at AU our inborn intelligence proffers less rewards… Read more »