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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: January 5, 2007
Latest Update: January 7, 2007

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January 7, 2007:

Dear Jeanne and pat's world,

As Jeanne promised in her comments of this weekend that I would tell you my story. That story is about how I was certain that I could/would not fall into the hierarchial trap of believing that I could even entertain the thought of not sharing information that I had become and will become, over the next few weeks, privy to is absolute nonsense. It can happen to all of us who are socialized in the current educational system. I had decided that instead of a thesis I would take the comprehensive exams (comps) for the M.A. Recently, I received the comps study questions, and of course contained within the questions on my specialty areas were listed the names of theorists of whom I had either never heard of or with whom I had only a passing acquaintance. Why is this? Did I not study adequately in my areas of concern? Absolutely not! Just as has happened in the past only the chosen few are asked or are willing to submit questions to be included within the hallowed halls of the competency examination. And we all understand that Curran is not included in the "chosen few" category and that those in charge cannot use the excuse that Curran is retired because "charge people" have never asked for her input.

jeanne's editorial comments: Sorry, Pat. The "charge people" (??) did ask me to contribute questions. But so much of what I teach is interdisciplinary that I felt such questions would be unfair to those who had not studied with me. For example, would graduates who hadn't been in our classes be able to explain how Bakhtin's concept of answerability helps explain injustice in today's world? I don't think such questions would be fair unless the department offered a Comprehensive Exam Seminar in which we reviewed the theory that prompted all the questions.

As I perused the questions, searched frantically for the unknown theorists, raged around the house and attempted to uproot my hair from my scalp, I realized that,while the theorists were unknown to me, the theories and concepts were the same that I had learned - just different author's names. Well for a fleeting couple of hours I reflected strongly on the idea that I wasn't going to share what I learned and will learn because, after all, I wanted to win and I was not going to allow anyone to partake of the food on my table. When my senses returned, I realized that this is not what I learned. This type of behavour would only negate what I learned from Curran, Montessori, Friere, Maria Pia Lara, belle hooks, Fanon, etc, etc.

And when I told Curran - oh yes, I raged to her also and declared that when I finished I wanted a "pat's world". I think I told her that I deserved a "pat's world". Her response came on Sunday when she called me and told me that I had a"pat's world," and she had put it on dear habermas already, and if Idid not submit anything she would immediately remove it. What would Alfie Kohn in Rewards and Punishment say about that?

jeanne's editorial comments: Very probaably that I shouldn't have threatened you. And Pat's World wasn't really a reward. It was more like a carrot to get you to write. I was tired. It had taken hours to get all these pieces up. Oh, and by the way, "good dog" for sending me your letter.

Ok, so welcome to pat's world! In the next few weeks I will be receiving books with the established (by the department) theorists' theories and concepts. I will read them and send you the concepts vis a vis e-mail and curran. What I have discovered about the names, which were listed only by surnames (of course, without first names). I have listed them below. These are recommended for the education speciality.

Recommended Texts:

  • Rothstein, Richard. Class and schools using social, economic, and educational reform to close the Black and white achievement gap
  • Valuenzuela, Angela. Leaving Children Behind
  • Oakes, Jeanine. Teaching to Change the World and Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality
  • Cummins, Jim. Language, Power and Pedagogy Empowering Minority Students
  • Bettie, Julie. (here I had two first names to contend with!!!!) Women Without class In this book, she recounts "how working class chicas get working class lives"

The following should be an excellent resource for information that you need for the comps:

  • University of California Press.

    This is an excellent source to also plug into the Department of Sociology and it should take you into the different areas of speciality for all of your comp questions. I discovered it in my search on Bettie, Julie. She is faculty at UC Santa Cruz.

  • another excellent resource is the University of Chicago press website, specifically the Univ of Chicago Deptartment of Sociology
More later love, pat

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