Subject outline

Above their heads, whether the visitors are sleeping, dreaming or making love, the laws keep watch. Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality It’s that time of year when the deadline rears up for next year’s syllabus. Where I am, we call this a “subject outline”, and I’m momentarily stuck on all the ways we could take this. Who is the subject outlined here?  Whose subjectivity are we trying to confine? There’s a template, of course. It’s there to assure compliance with codes of…

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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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All the routine jobs

All the routine jobs will eventually be replaced. Someone talking on the radio one morning 1 It’s the morning routine. I’m driving to work, and thinking about my job, and all around me are the people doing their jobs as I’m on my way to mine. Right there in the morning traffic, there are two men laying out bollards in a row, because something’s up and today’s the day. And beyond that the freeway and all its stuff that’s only there…

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Unconverted

Once you have a conversion, that doesn’t mean game over. Your first exchange with a prospective student is only just the beginning. Nurturing leads through the enrollment funnel is a complex process. Christina Fleming, ‘4 Quick Stops on the Road to Increase Student Enrolment‘ Colleagues in university sales and marketing, we need to talk about the language that we use when we talk about student recruitment. I work alongside you, and I’m writing this respectfully and appreciatively: you are trained and…

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Who we are to each other

We are not in a place the way a tree or a rock is in a location. David Kolb, Sprawling Places 1 I’m at Heathrow, standing in the line of non-EU nationals with my EU passport in my pocket because my daughter is only Australian, although I’m a dual national. I’ve filled out the arrival form with my usual sense of awkwardness about what I do, and as usual I’ve said it’s “academic”. Academic, as in moot. Academic, as in “the…

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Kith

Kith originally meant native land or country, not just in the sense of one’s place of birth or ancestry, but in the sense of a loving, intimate, friendly relationship with the landscape of home, the place you come from and the people and things that share it with you. Kith is not only the place you know and love, but the place that knows and loves you back. Susan Beal, A Place of Love We’re watching the UK election, and…

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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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Shared values

It happened because our corporate policies were put ahead of our shared values. Oscar Munoz, United Airlines CEO It happened: a passenger hauled by his arms from a plane to enable airline staff to get from airport to airport. His reaction to being grabbed out of his seat seemed to take everyone by surprise, and from the moment he refused to go along with things, every mistake was made. He was physically harmed, mentally harmed, and then further abused by media and social media investigations…

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Connectedness and learning: an invitation

How much capacity for empathy do we have, for ideas and people whose worldviews are very different from our own? How much hospitality do we have in ourselves, beyond mere tolerance, for this kind of difference? Maha Bali,  ‘Whom do you listen to? And why I’m hoping to go the US this August“ At Mary Freer’s compassion lab last week I learned new things from systems researcher Fiona Kerr. Fiona advises large corporations on social neuroscience, and is a robust and articulate…

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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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