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—Meandering and Growing

“Going somewhere?” Intoned as a mocking phrase, maybe when an adult has quietly confiscated a teenager’s car keys only to dangle them perspicaciously at a crucial moment, or when a friend appraises the sudden donning of hat and jacket by an erstwhile interlocutor after an especially barbed rejoinder, the notion of going somewhere carries a… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—The Zen Garden of the Mind

At last it is Canadian spring, when finally we burst into action.  Pens and paper, laptops and textbooks, they are all thrust to the wayside as we celebrate what there is to do outdoors. But wait, there’s work waiting for us in the yard!  If we’re privileged enough to have some outdoors of our own… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—We Are What We Read

Whatever we put into our bodies goes into the makeup of our being.  Years ago I attended a restaurant in Nelson, BC, specializing in delicious garlic dishes.  The glory of that mighty plant was on full display and for months after I enjoyed roasting garlic cloves with a little salt and olive oil.  Garlic, like… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Discovering The Real You(s) at AU

Ever wake up feeling like a different creature than you were yesterday?  We at AU emerge from the cocoon states of our less educated selves every day; the learning is ongoing and that’s why it’s called continuing education.  As we study harder and glean faster, we may see the world anew and feel our essence… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Language by Any Other Word?

Language is an indispensable tool for learning and, lest we dig our own academic graves by failing to utilize language to our best advantage, a brief survey of the technology of words as tools is in order.  We know that crows and anteaters use tools, and that rock-dwelling mammals like marmots have specific warning calls… Read more »

Fly On the Wall—Why Stress, Why Suffer?

Why, as adults (or in our case adult students), do we at times find it difficult to focus on gleeful and joyous moments?  Why does doubt and anxiety creep into our being and how is that negativity exacerbated by our studies?  Distance education can inflate our stress to soul-gnawing proportions.  So, in true critical thinking… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—The Personal Measurement of our Studies

“Sure a cold one, eh?” “Warmer now that you’re here! Nothing’s more banal, or adroit, depending upon its users, than a conversation about temperature.  But did you know that the gendered pronoun controversy can blow like an Arctic front into the temperature mix?  Consider the French term, il fait froid, normally translated as a way… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Joyful Sloth and Indolence

The post-punk Marxist band Gang of Four once sang, with plaintive aplomb in the face of the mixed results of industrial job creation, “please send me evenings and weekends”.  We at AU might relate to this sentiment; the gift we purchase for our futures selves by furthering our education can arrive with attendant difficulties of… Read more »