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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prodded/Prodding to Write

At our meeting last night with Bill Torbert, Ginger brought up a hugely important point which addressed power and self-censorship among other things. She had earlier offered to help people get going in writing and in writing this I wanted to echo some of her points as well as ask her to post some of the points she made last night.

I find myself in many different situations doing a lot of self-censorship. I often find that in my own department I have become this node of sustainability -- not necessarily in a positive sense but, maybe, in a knee-jerk sense. I bring up issues of sustainability but with this expectation that it will cause a bit of eye-rolling and, often, I caricature myself in the process (as those who know me, I don't usually pass on opportunities to be a little funny). In retrospect, this is me holding back a bit, not wanting to be seen as overly tedious or tendentious. This feeling has also kept me from pushing SUSTAIN with my own department's students as much as I should (which I am beginning to correct). Bill Torbert commented that this recognition of what we do in the face of power and the changes that we make as a result can change that power dynamic. I think Linda commented that it is not that the people in position have inherent power but that we tend to give it to them and that when we recognize it and remove that power that we somehow convinced ourselves to give the people in those positions, we are in fact giving ourselves back the power.

It was a great evening last night, in spite of the exhaustion and headaches that many/all were experiencing. A cleansing laugh, some honest evaluation of where we are at and, best of all, a continuing sense of community.

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