Once I said “esa,” (the female form) of “ese” (meaning homeboy or homegirl) from around the way way back in the day, during class and a student responded with “what?! you’re a scrap.” I didn’t know it, but I guess to him I was. I was talking like “a scrap.” And come to think of it, I did useta kick it, for a quick minute, with some vatos locos back in the day. Instead of inviting language diversity (my own) into the classroom, I alienated him because “esa” and “ese” are forbidden adversarial terms in his cultural language community.
I’ve grown since that uncomfortable first experience with multiple intelligences. I understand that learning and teaching is a balance between abstract truth and common sense. And at the same time life is balance between chance and choice. Vico, very early, scrutinizes that “those whose only concern is abstract truth experience great difficulty in achieving their means, and greater difficulty in attaining their ends.”
The perspective, neither on the outside looking in, nor on the inside looking out, hooks’ place, a “trangression of borders,” allows us to learn about the ideological forces that both constrain and liberate us.
Is there a point in the teacherless classroom when people stop being polite? I’m not sure I’m looking forward to that experience. That is perhaps why I always wait for the last minute when a “paper is so late [I] finally stop worrying about how it will be perceived.” However, I’m not sure that the fear comes just from the thought of my peers’ honest responses. Instead it comes from an imagined amalgam of all those past hella smart and articulate peers I have encountered, and their (not my) even more hella smart profs.