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—Taking Toxicity out of Xmas

December holidays can be a wondrous and positive time.  Also, holiday cheer can be an oxymoron.  Participants are implored to be joyful and to keep the Christmas spirit while still being themselves.  And, well, it’s not so easy to feel festive all the time.  Likewise, we’re asked to remember the reason for the season (family,… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Space and Sounds

Space can be on a page, between our thoughts, when no one’s around, or in between planets.  Ideas connect our minds between moments just as words connect our selves with others.  Space makes things what they are.  In outer space there’s the planet Mars, that blank canvas of potential and mystery for human history long… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Putting the Horse Before Descartes

The sound of a door locking behind us can be unsettling, especially in an automobile.  It’s as though moments of potential are, at least symbolically, closed off to us.  One commentator describes the process: “it’s an emasculating scenario when going to dinner with friends: riding in their backseat to the restaurant.  When one attempts to… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Reality and Remembrance

As we remember those who fought and died in past wars, we could easily feel like all of this carnage happened in far away places and times, in landscapes sequestered into monastic cells of historical periods where the rest of our life need not tread.  Or at least not for more than the morning of… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Classy and Wise

The individuation of education need not be a lonely or isolating experience.  Distance learning need not imply distance from reality.  We get to write our own themes, develop our own mantras, and largely learn at our own pace.  AU is like life itself that way. If you reduce life to your annual tax forms or… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—A Pleasure To Have In Class

Around the autumn report card season teachers and students are presented with the mutually doleful task of assessing one another.  The former sometimes find themselves faced with parents, overbearing or irate, and the latter with a raw sheet of paper printed with assorted means of demarcating progress and personality.  Whenever grades and scales are used… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Beasts or Best in Class

Monkeys with smartphones, is that us?  Pressingly, is AU part of our cultural decline, where we sink to the level of proverbial beasts?  Eek!  Or, maybe digital devices themselves are the truly mindless animals that draw us down to their level?  The internet brings out the beast in so many of us; it’s as though… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Mollify Our Minds?

Class discussions express as much about participant egos as they do about the topic at hand.  Professors aren’t immune from becoming over-zealous about their pet topics and students, well, even the best of us can be carried away in flights of fancy as we expound our points of view.  But where loquacity lets off real… Read more »