Day to day

Currently focused on the doorway of every lecture theatre, cameras record students as they enter, matching their faces to university records. Using Hitachi Data Systems to improve student life at Curtin University,  in the black: leadership, strategy, business  I’m really stuck on this article. I’ve read it over and over. I think about the world we’re making, and the world we’re mining, and I’m trying to process something that feels like grief at the way we speak about innovation. It’s not…

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Unbroken

If we don’t sit with the rough edges of our journey, we forget how we made it. Kevin Gannon, The Tattoed Professor, ‘On being broken, and the kindness of others‘ 1 It’s Friday at the end of a long week of being trivially unwell. Trivially in the not-cancer sense, but disruptively in the whole-family-down-with-it sense, the “Oh, everyone has this, isn’t it dreadful, have you got the cough yet?” sense. Whole days in bed, shivering and sweating. And coughing. Having…

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In our own hands

To offer consolation is an act of generosity. Arthur Frank, The Renewal of Generosity ANZAC Day: dodging the memorialisation of war by gardening, trying to distribute worm casts without ripping handfuls of living worms to bits. I’m feeling the dirt packed under my fingernails, and suddenly hearing Thom Gunn’s poem that skids to a stop on the matter of our cellular form: when we die and fall into the earth, we become dirt, and there is no intention in this, it just is. This poem ends with…

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Enhancing life

When a person dies, they leave behind, for those who knew them, an emptiness, a space: the space has contours and is different for each person mourned. This space with its contours is the person’s likeness and is what the artist searches for when making a living portrait. A likeness is something left behind invisibly. John Berger,  ‘Steps Towards a Small Theory of the Visible’ It’s been hard to write, evidently. It’s March. This morning I was over on Plashing Vole’s…

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Stop it, step in

If you are white, you can make sure where you work, doesn’t do this, look around you and if you see something happening stop it or step in. Colleen Lavelle, Subversive Racism, Aug 2016 1 I’m sitting in the rain in my car listening to the radio, waiting for my daughter. There’s a senior corrections officer from the Northern Territory on the phone to the radio station explaining why restraints are used on “challenging prisoners”. He’s talking about Malcolm Morton,…

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Never let me go

In an interrogation, blows have only scant criminological significance. They are tacitly practiced and accepted, a normal measure employed against recalcitrant prisoners who are unwilling to confess. Jean Amery, ‘Torture’ The perverse bureaucracy of a well-mannered killing is cranking up so fast in Indonesia. Plastic chairs, fresh paint, name tags to sort out family members from spiritual advisers, coffins. Again. Executions are scheduled for tonight. Fourteen people, their families and loved ones are slowly sinking into this pit. They can’t save themselves from what…

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What you cannot accept

So, how can we productively guard space upon terrain where agency is constantly affronted? Sean Michael Morris, ‘The Place of Education‘, Hybrid Pedagogy July 2016 I pray you find the courage to show mercy, as one day you will no longer have the power and will be looking back at your choices and your mistakes and the decisions you have taken. Raji Sukumaran, letter to President Joko Widodo, July 2016 1 Over the last two weeks we’ve turned like sunflowers,…

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Networked professionals

Ambiguity is always at the centre of an interesting experience because this causes us to question, to wonder why a thing holds our attention. – Bill Henson, Oneiroi How will the professional identity or professionalism of academics be supported, rather than eroded as the University is proletarianised? Richard Hall,  ‘On the HE White Paper‘ I can’t pin down when I started to say “professional” so much. Maybe I’m gesturing towards something that might help students think outside of the frame we place around…

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Making kin

A purpose built hospital can be an act of kindness. The politician spoke about a hospital she visited in Oslo that was built with the intention of making everyone there feel good to be a part of it. Lea McInerney, ‘Join the Gathering of Kindness in Creating a Better Healthcare System‘ A couple of months ago I was included in a two day event designed to create a better vision for Australian healthcare, that is safer for patients and offers a more…

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Faith

I think about the day a person dies, how the morning is just a morning, a meal is just a meal, a song is just a song. It’s not the last morning, or the last meal, or the last song. It’s all very ordinary, and then it’s all very over. The space between life and death is a moment. Stephanie Wittels Wachs, ‘Yahrzeit‘ 1 The internet is curled in on itself with grief, again. Someone loved and admired and puzzled over and copied and with a place…

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