So, it is 1:30 in the A.M. on the left-coast and now, three days later, I finally am beginning to digest and respond to this week’s question…how did I get here? Or something along that effect.
When I really think about it, how I got here, how I have made a difference and become the “progressive educator” that I currently am, it is really, quite boring. I hope that you keep reading and do not stop here, but if I am truly honest with myself, basically, I believe, it is my privilege that has allowed me to physically and mentally become opened to the ideas of education on a grandeur scale.
There should be some back story, right? Something that tells the “American dream” or oppression or struggle that really opened my eyes, that allowed me to fight against injustice or recognize the dysfunctional excuse for an education system that we currently structure in this society…but really, there is not. It is simply my privilege that has allowed me to be here.
It really is not as odd as it might seem at first. Examine this: I am a white, male, Protestant Christian, low-income family (but working family, not exceptionally poor), two-parent household, only child, who grew up in the suburbs. I am, if not completely economically, at least socially, spiritually and emotionally as privileged as it gets. But its not as odd for me to be fighting for injustice, oppression, progressive ideals and democratic education as this breakdown, categorized listing of my character might presumably assume.
It is my contention, that privilege and ideals span across political, economical and social boundaries or leanings. My choice in determining my philosophy, my dream, my ideal and my collaboration with others is based on many factors, but mostly and firstly, myself. I could critically think about my place in the world, the struggles I have overcome in order to reach this most privileged institution, but I doubt it would change the fact that I am damn lucky to have made it here and even more so to have embraced Goddard and the ever-expanding culture and discussion I now find myself in with this group of like-minded educational brains.
So I guess, for me, looking at the past and the arrival of this moment in time, is really a referendum on the privilege in which I have been granted and instead of focusing solely on the privilege, I hope to spread that experience to others who are currently are not as lucky to have the exposure of such amazing self-actualization, cutting-edge philosophers, and the belief of their ability and role in changing the world.
I will not pretend that there is a great story behind my experience or some tremendous struggle that had to be overcome, but I will also not pretend that this privileged means I am required or socially constructed to follow a specific creed that indicates my preference for war, banks, environmental harm, or religious persecution. Arrogance about myself has not gotten me to where I am today, neither will I let it carry me to where I am headed. My experience, truthfully, is A-Typical, not-one-of-a-kind, or anything special, but that does not limit me, guilt me, or stop me from working towards love and away from hatred, towards empathy and away from tyranny, towards learning and away from regurgitation.