discrimination vs international students

Some domestic students were at the press conference against the new surveillance fee for international students but the University is corresponding separately with international students (via email)…another divide and conquor technique? Here are two stories on yesterday’s press conference, in which George elicited wild, spontaneous applause (causing those of us who know him to wonder at the rebel within…)
The UMass-Amherst campus newspaper ran Groups speak out to uphold civil liberties.
The local tv channel 22 also posted a story on their website:
Proposed Fees Controversial to International Students
AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS
(WWLP, December 11, 2003) – International students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst are angry over a proposed fee being imposed upon them. The University is proposing a $65 fee each semester to fund a federal program to track international student and these students say that it is discrimination at its purest. The proposed $65 fee is not required by any governmental agency but it comes out of the controversial US Patriot Act, which was passed shortly after September 11th. Many critics say the law infringes upon the civil liberties of citizens by giving the government too much power. Students feel they are being asked to pay for their own surveillance; a surveillance they say is racist and discriminatory. “A lot of us are angry at this monitoring system as a whole and we’ve sort of felt the backlash since Sept. 11th

Life at the Beach II

I acquired a pair of sexy black panties. Not mine!
An omission – being “disciplined” as a member of the collective (“Resistance is Futile”) was a challenge because of the introvert factor. How do introverts survive in more group-based societies? The social rules must accommodate various forms or degrees of “less” participation in order to prevent too much grumpiness, let alone outright anti-social behavior.
And – those of us who didn’t attend 4-5 workshops a day were only making up for Leda, who presented somwhere in the range of 7-9 times, sometimes simultaneously! Someone slow that woman down….

the meaning of absence

Briankle wowed us with another surrealist chalkboard work of art last night. Will post a photo once I get ’em developed, scanned, and uploaded. (At the outer reaches of my technology learning curve.)
Taste-tested pumpkin beer later (practically tasteless) while Raz sucked down a Dark and Stormy and Sarbjeet nursed cinnamon tea. I’ll be sticking with Massatucky Brown.

the planet where people are snakes

Scott goes down in history for this example, but he’s in competition with Raz for the best joke in rhetoric last night. Iris “shot” Dan with her hands as guns and Raz blew away the smoke.
Maybe you had to be there? 🙂
Class went a half-hour over again (I think everyone who stayed WANTED to, some folks trickled out after official time was up, including me eventually) but wouldn’t you know we started talking about Romania right at the buzzer? Iris was rockin’.

Why is there a tree?

I’m in two of the most dynamic COM classes this semester. About a dozen students in each, and the most interactive, highest percentage of participation I’ve experienced to date. In Briankle’s class (roughly, philosophy of translation), we’d spent a huge chunk of time talking about a piece by Walter Benjamin in which the garden of eden figured prominently. George asked the deconstructivist question about the presence of the forbidden tree…ahhhhh, we had no answer.
In Stephen’s class, not only are we highly interactive in class, but for the first time an email discussion has gotten underway and kept up steam for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Most recently, about Stephen’s father’s passing and what/how to commemorate it with him. My original plan was to blindfold him, lead him to a local swimming hole, and toss him in to mark the rite of passage. We’ve settled on just bringing food to the next session…probably more “proper” , and even that has some folk nervous….who are we to publicly acknowledge Stephen’s loss?

First day of classes yesterday

First day of classes yesterday for moi. Cohorters will gather tonight…should be fun. Most of us still seem to be sorting out which courses to take; I’m thinking I’ll probably not take Benjamin’s as it seems I can’t use it in the way I’d hoped (with the backlog of FLOW data). I’ll withhold my decision though until checking out the courses; Donal’s this afternoon, Stephen and Briankle’s next week.
Li and I were almost goofy yesterday – had a series of our own mis-readings of each other, confessed the internal stories we generated about them, and laughed at ourselves. Bodes well for the overall project. 🙂 We both went to the International Student Reception last night. I taped a great interaction with Carolyn explaining about audits (mentorship in action!) and had my first chance to really talk with and start to get to know most of the new cohort. I’d only really talked with Jung Yup previously. David’s interests seem to align with mine pretty closely, which is quite exciting as I’ve felt a bit isolated in my area. Danny’s work with identity and memory may overlap/stimulate the piece James and I have been working on…Zeng Ya is very interested in the mentorship project; perhaps we’ll be able to “follow” her through some of her ups and downs over this first semester? She seemed open to the idea. Li and I must talk more though – ideas from Benjamin’s class, and some decisions about WHAT to focus on & pursue and what to simply let go. Kyung Rae seems shy. Srinivas was a bit too tired to enjoy himself, I think.
The TA looks good, with Donal and my esteemed peers Naho & Kirsten. Scheduling our team meetings was a bear, but we figured it out.