There is a question that has always haunted me, and to this day I am still looking for its answers. Why do we never theorize from mundane happenings at American University (grievances, fights, protests, denial of scholarships, kinky calls) to prove or disprove the theories that we are stuffed with at that same institution?
Whenever classes deal with authoritarianism or democracies “in transition,” we stumble across empirical cases like Malawi, Sri Lanka or Guyana. When we deal with the independence of the judiciary, the efficiency of organizations, the date of birth of our syllabus revolves around the median of the Fourth of July. I am perfectly happy to see primaries taught in an American politics curriculum, but what bothers me is the incessant oblivion of our dearest institution, AU, as a manifestation or a practicum of what we study in class.
I will use my case that was solved in order to achieve two things: send through this public forum my thanks to President Ladner for legitimizing my case and restoring justice in accordance with the spirit of our classes in political theory and show an internal inconsistency in the discourse of “liberalism” at AU.
I had a grievance with a faculty member and I tried first the normal route in conformity with AU’s code. I had the opportunity to learn that professors have a discretionary power of grading, and also that the grievance committee does not read papers, the object of a grievance. I believed my teachers, who used to tell me that the proof was the text or the document. It turned out to be that at the beginning was the word.
I dropped the grievance and I nicely explained my problem to the “boss,” Benjamin Ladner, who gave my voice weight and gave me remission of tuition for the class that I was supposed to pass, had its instructor (who was deprived through class evaluation from teaching the class until further notice) not failed in performing his task. Like in any institution in the world (is this rule a theory in need for hypothesis testing and operationalization?), the people with less money frame their pupils according to a moral discourse they themselves are distanced from. They are right because getting money works better with less competition and God knows how dear to their mortgage the shining bill is.
While the tenets of fake moral commandments bow in line to get their tenures and their meager salary adjustments, they expose our nave youth to a discourse of resistance. The deception that ensues generates a wrath that is ironically presented as a problem in their classes. In a jungle, the lion enjoys its nap while the insect tries to roar in a vain effort to rule over the dominion, but the jungle knows its lion and the roaring recognizes its vocal chords.