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 – Brick & Mortar Domestication

Studying on a summer day is not everyone’s glass of ice tea. We at AU may be elite at managing our time, but July heat can drive a wall between our studious desires to further our education and our carnal drives to go out and play. At such moments, It’s helpful to reflect on the… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall – The Muchness of Many

I like to think that at AU we learn critical thinking such that almost anything may be seen in a new light; our engrained presuppositions about other people and our traditional interpretations about thingsbecome questionable. This ability to find new; or, what Gilles Deleuze referred to as minoritarian viewpoints is a sublime aspect of being… Read more »

The Fly on the Wall – Students of the World, Relax!

At AU we have all felt a lingering shadow of dread as a deadline approaches. Maybe we’ve squandered spare time we could have used to apply ourselves; perhaps life just got in the way. It’s as though we’ve revelled amidst plenty only to realize that our privilege can be crushed at any moment. Yet we… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – Escaping the Fandom in Academia

The quotable Steve Jobs once claimed that “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough?that It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing” (Jobs). Variety is the spice of life may be a worn-out aphorism but the positive results in terms… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – What is A Book?

“What is a book?” “What do you mean, what is a book, it’s wood pulped and pressed and imprinted with ink. Your philosophizing is always so preposterous.” “Ok, well, get this. I know a recently-retired professor who cleaned out his office and tried to give away some of his books. Yet neither the local library… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – The Chattering Class

While walking for a study break I looked up and noticed five squirrels silently scampering along a mesh of branches above my head. After hearing so much spring squirrel ruckus in recent weeks their stealthy passage came as a surprise. “Hmm,” I thought, “perhaps I’m seeing another side of squirrels.” Maybe all conflict contains more… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – Islands of Education

The classic film Papillon illustrates the life of a convict who, immured on an island, counts waves crashing onto the shore and eventually realizes that one out of every seven will carry his raft to freedom. Distance education likewise recounts isolation in a way that no other life experience touches. We students choose our sentence,… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – The Chattering Class

While walking for a study break I looked up and noticed five squirrels silently scampering along a mesh of branches above my head. After hearing so much spring squirrel ruckus in recent weeks their stealthy passage came as a surprise. “Hmm,” I thought, “perhaps I’m seeing another side of squirrels.” Maybe all conflict contains more… Read more »