Things are happening at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

If you attended one of the two rallies organized by the IUP’s faculty union APSCUF last week, it would be impossible not to take note of the many young people giving speeches to protest cuts to their programs and teachers. These individuals, it seems, care deeply about the areas of learning to which they have chosen to devote their time, energy, and student loans. …

It’s 3:35 on a Tuesday. I’m behind the wheel, waiting in a line of cars to pick up my two children from school in Athens, Ohio. I’m steeling myself somewhat for what can be a tense moment. They’re hungry most of all. But they’ve also been subjected to the usual physical and mental demands of an 8 hour day at a public elementary. The bodily conformity expected of desks, of single-file lines and scheduled bathroom breaks. They’ve also been trained to control and display themselves in particular ways at certain times. There are appropriate moments for speech, for issuing the correct type of responses, and moments for not speaking, for staying silent, for listening. There are moments when they must raise their hand in a certain way and occasions for other physical transactions, the scripted movements of physical education. Even during the 20–30 minutes of outside recess they are allotted, there are spatial and physical conventions for play and athletics they need to conform to, often, in order to successfully navigate the social circles of the playground. …


Matthew Vetter

Associate Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Writing, Rhetoric, Digital Media.

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