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 – 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 »

Fly on the Wall – This Thing Called Boredom

Boredom: what is its substance? Poring over schoolwork on dark January days can easily bring about this question. Last decade one answer presented itself as I was visiting some relatives out in the Maritimes. While they discussed their newly-acquired farmhouse I sat sequestered in a corner with my binder full of readings for SOCI335. “That… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – Lost and Found in the Moment

Snorkeling in clear and bright Okanagan Lake the other day allowed me to ponder future course opportunities and dream up esoteric ?Fly On the Wall? Topics. Just as I began to suppose that I’d see no fish on this swim, a huge carp glided into my peripheral vision. Had it been watching me and decided… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – Lost and Found in the Moment

Snorkeling in clear and bright Okanagan Lake the other day allowed me to ponder future course opportunities and dream up esoteric ?Fly On the Wall? Topics. Just as I began to suppose that I’d see no fish on this swim, a huge carp glided into my peripheral vision. Had it been watching me and decided… Read more »

Fly On The Wall – When the Should Hit the Fan

There’s a moment, in Chapter 11 of Jack Kerouac’s classic On the Road, where he’s riding the Greyhound across America and sits next to a fetching country girl. He engages her in a conversation, which amounts to an interrogatory attempt to suss out her meaning of life. As he ogles her tanned breasts she describes… Read more »