Evan, like many other former students, have been visiting us through the years after graduating. Evan only took our program during his Evergreen experience and it may be interesting to you to find out what he has been doing since graduating in 2003. It is quite a remarkable young life developing to his full potential.

From: Evan Hastings []
Sent: Tue 3/15/2011 12:06
To: Peterson, Yvonne; Peterson, Gary; Nakasone, Raul
Subject: Follow-up
Raul, Yvonne and Gary,

Nice to see you last week! Here are the links for what I'm upto:

   - Gender Shadow-
   - Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference-
   - My blog-
   - Teacher training in Boston-

I'm looking forward to returning to Olympia to present Gender Shadow again
for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
I'll be presenting 4pm-6pm on Friday April 1st (room yet to be determined).

Evan Hastings
phone: 617-319-9372

From: Emily Johnson []
Sent: Fri 10/1/2010 4:11
To: Nakasone, Raul
Subject: Hi Raul!

Hi Raul,

Sorry I didn't email you before, I've been traveling around a lot. i'm in Spain and have been for the past month. Everything is going really well, but the contrast of Spanish culture makes me miss Peru a lot; being elsewhere has really made me realize just how magical Guadalupe and the people really are. Though I am still staying open minded about my experience here and learning many different things.
It's been really interesting and a little upsetting... It seems that many of the  Spaniards with whom I've had conversations, still feel proud of spain's victory in the conquering and colonization of south america, and many people I've spoken with don't see anything wrong with colonization and the way in which the spaniards conquered south america. Of course I haven't been going around and asserting my opinion and telling them they're wrong, but I guess I was just a little shocked to find out that some are still proud of that history and don't recognize the dehumanization involved in it. But maybe thats just my own judgement. And I know that the English were just as brutal in conquering north america, they used different tactics but still were just as dehumanizing. And I know there are people in the U.S. who don't recognize that 'America' originally was, and in my opinion still is, native land. So I guess there isn't a reason to be surprised about Spain since the same unconsciousness happens in my own country. But another factor that has really bothered me is the way some people in Spain view the people from "the colonies of Spain" (-I actually heard someone use that terminology to refer to south and central america). The comment that bothered me the most came from the Spanish woman, Maria, who I've stayed with for three weeks of my trip. At lunch one day, her friend was talking to me and told me I speak Spanish well, and Maria, who knows I learned Spanish in Peru, interrupted to say "No she doesn't speak Spanish she speaks Peruvian." And she said it with such disgust, so I said back to her "Wait, you didn't know they speak Spanish in Peru too?" And I only finally said that because I had listened to her constantly criticize the Spanish from South America for two weeks.
Anyways, thats what I'm puzzling my way through at the moment. Have any suggestions on how I could expand the way I think about this?
I was wondering is you could recommend a book about Spanish history for me, or any other books relevant to Spain.
If you want to read my blog, I've written a lot about my travels. Go to:
How are you doing? How's everybody in the house?
Talk to you soon,

                                                                                                             June 8, 2010
                                                                                                             Senior Synthesis

Senior Synthesis – The Three Evergreens

     My mindset before I started college was to “get my paper” and get out. I didn’t realize I was starting a journey that would be so life-changing at the Evergreen State College. I was referred to Evergreen by my English teacher at Seattle Central Community College who said “you could think for yourself there”. I was able to experience three different college experiences within Evergreen – the Olympia campus, the Tacoma campus, and the Spirituality Program with Native American Studies. I started with the Olympia campus, focusing on sociology and psychology. My experience there was in general very negative. I realized quickly I had chosen the wrong school and immediately made plans to leave. I went directly to the University of Washington Tacoma campus but did not have the extra funds for application fees, so realized I was to stay in Olympia. At that time I wasn’t aware there was a  Tacoma campus.

     It was a culture shock moving from the city to a small country campus. I felt at the Olympia campus that I was in a school that was like some kind of private, exclusive club for the privileged. For me the school represented the status quo, everything I had stood against my whole life. If I had known what the school was like I would never have chosen to go there. I found the classes to be very oppressive, surrounded by very entitled elitist students, and professors that were equally patronizing. Prior to Evergreen, my community college experience was very exciting, representing the world and all it’s diversity of people, nationalities, ages…I felt stifled and cut off from humanity at Evergreen. Academically I liked what I was learning but I felt overwhelmed with the course load as many of my 4 credit classes were equivalent to 8 or 16 credit programs. I felt like I had to do a lot of cramming to keep up, which to me takes away from the learning. College there felt soul-killing; “all head, no heart”.  I had some good professors but I felt they were all dehumanizing as they tended to be belittling and objectifying towards students. I came to Evergreen because I thought it was a place you could express yourself and your mind freely to learn, but I found the classes to be the opposite of this. If I challenged or disagreed with the text, I was negated by the instructor and entire class, as most students do not think for themselves and accept whatever is told by the authority or text. I realized it was not ok to express yourself unless the language used was entirely formal, scholarly, and academic, or one would be set up for attacks from the entire community. I found this atmosphere to be oppressive, as many students stayed silent. I felt myself changing to adapt, and feeling much less human in the process. I find the Evergreen State College to be a horrible and dehumanizing institution.

     My perceptions were shared by a student I met at the Tacoma campus who had also gone to the Olympia campus, who stated that the Olympia campus had a “bad spirit”. This is true. Many of the classes had a very racist atmosphere, so it would be particularly dehumanizing for students of color. My last class at Olympia was a social work skills class, where there were many racists. I tried to speak up for the people of color in class, and because of this was attacked for the rest of the quarter by the class community, via public hate mail, and verbally on campus, and by the teacher and students throughout the class. I am not writing about this looking for acknowledgment, but only to shed light on the reality of the destructive negativity of the Olympia campus. The African American girl in this class dropped out of the class because of the perpetual racism there (she explained this to me), and the teacher did nothing to address this. I do feel the Evergreen State College is a horrible learning place, and I would absolutely never recommend this school to anyone I respected. My theme song for this time was Hole’s punk rock song, “When I went to school, in Olympia…they talk the same, they look the same…they are the same…”  It is a very disturbing and chilling experience to be surrounded by only soulless empty people, with no other kinds of people - another student stated the Olympia campus is like being surrounded by “zombie people”. At any rate, I realized I could not stay at the Olympia campus in such a horrible, miserable, oppressive, negative place. I met other, wonderful students that also left to go to a different college for the exact same reasons. (I did not experience racism towards myself at Olympia, I am not a person of color, but it is negative to be around a community of white elitists for any kind of learning environment – there is a very clear message being given at the Olympia campus - that white, middle class students are the “norm” and working class, people of color, disabled, gays are “othered”/seen as the “other” which creates institutional bias and oppression.) The Evergreen State College is not a healthy learning environment with its narrow-minded, dogmatic view of the world.

      I transferred to the Tacoma campus the next quarter and was much happier and very much satisfied with my education there. I remained there for the next year. I found the Tacoma campus to be very enlivening and exciting, I was meeting peers my age that had lived a lot of life experience and were engaged in learning and excited to be there. Many peer students I met there were actively and passionately setting goals to change the world and change the community, and were very inspiring to me. It was like bringing my soul back to life after feeling so dead inside from a year of study at the Olympia campus. I was back in humanity again. I felt I could freely express myself in classes, and my professors were brilliant, inspiring, and encouraging. It was liberating to be back in the city in a healthy, diverse environment, where there was not the basis of institutionalized racism that I had seen at the Olympia campus. (Again, as I am not a person of color the racism was not towards me at Olympia, but it is still a negative learning environment for any student.)

     At the Tacoma campus I was pushed academically and creatively more than I ever had been in my life. My focus was still sociology and psychology. Many of the class assignments combined creative projects which I loved. I was challenged with teamwork and creative collaborations. I was amazed and empowered to be learning how to do films, photography, make posters, flyers, t-shirts, theatre, and community presentations. I worked hard and am proud of the work I did there. I struggled through some of the teamwork, but learned how to do teamwork much more effectively. The weekly Lyceum speakers were a great gift to the community. I did feel the coursework was too heavy and overwhelming at times, since the campus is geared towards working adults, and at first I felt like the stress and cramming did take away from the learning process. I learned how to manage this towards the end, but the Tacoma campus does use some of the same military, cramming, formal education style of Olympia and most colleges. However, overall I found joy, passion and humanity that I never felt at the Olympia campus. It was difficult at times but I have very positive memories from my education at Evergreen State College Tacoma, and am very glad I transferred there.

     I decided to extend my education after Tacoma, with two extra quarters with the Native American independent studies program in Olympia. The program is held at the Longhouse and is like a completely separate school than the main institution. After spending two years in a more traditional institution (the machine of empire and capitalism), the Spirituality program was mind-blowing to me, like a lightning bolt to set me free. It is here that I really found myself again, and was able to completely be myself and take charge of my own education. I loved my experience in Tacoma, but I did still feel somewhat “institutionalized” from the heavy course load, and was very glad to find the Spirituality Program where I could learn at my own natural pace.  The program is based on the Native American philosophies that the student is on their own quest to find their own passion, instead of being told by the institution what and how to learn. (I believe this is how the Evergreen College originally started in the 70’s). It was incredibly liberating for me.  I learned that education and learning does not have to be painful or high stress, but that it can be a joy, a natural process.

     I studied Genealogy for two quarters and immersed myself in learning about my ancestors and myself, at my own pace. My learning process was from within, not from outside sources or pressures.  Here I could really think for myself. I found I had become stronger and more disciplined from the heavy course load in Tacoma, and was able to stay self-motivated. I loved seminaring with my instructors, and always learned a lot about life from great conversations, and never felt dehumanized, patronized, or negated. I felt treated as an equal and a human being. I felt encouraged and supported not only in my learning process, but in liberating my life to not limit myself to being “in the box”. I applied the great liberation I gained from the program to many areas in my life. I felt my heart starting to open after the negative Olympia experience, and feeling stifled by too much academia, and started to feel like myself again.  I greatly appreciate this program.

      I am very grateful for learning about Native American culture from the Saturday school of the Spirituality program. I learned about Native American history from films and lectures, and was able to learn basket-weaving. My learning of Native American culture helped change my way of thinking as well, that there are ways to live more harmoniously.  I also gained in awareness and a deeper appreciation for the first people of America’s culture and values, and for the earth-based cultures that we all have in our pre-colonial ancestry. Overall I found the Spirituality Program greatly liberating to help save my soul from the institution.  After spending two years squeezed into the machine, I was felt myself begin to relax, and feel my soul begin to come back into my body. The liberation and grounding I found in the Spirituality program is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was like I found a center inside of me – society may have its own agenda – we are surrounded by this noise - but I will listen to myself and live my life for me, how I choose. I am very glad it was my exit route in my college experience, to become “de-institutionalized”. I learned that I have to live life on my own terms, and that I don’t want to ever set foot on a college campus again for the rest of my life, but to always learn on my own. I learned that so much of our society and institutions are oppressive brainwashing, but it is possible to become free. I do not have to live up to “society’s expectations” or let others define myself, only I define my life. I am becoming free.
     This is my senior synthesis and this was my experience in the “Three Evergreens”.  It was a journey of leaving “home” (my body, mind and soul), losing myself, and then coming full circle and finding myself again.

When I read the program description for Persistence, I knew it was the program that I wanted to take.  Having attended the academic fair and talked with students taking last year's program, I knew it was the program of my dreams.  But, I thought it was all too good to be true. Every couple of weeks I'd log onto the last year's program website, reviewing the information provided there.  The information didn't change, so I starting planning what I'd study. During the summer months, I carefully plotted all the academic knowledge that I should cram into my head in the next year.  However, my strategic plan of study began to unravel the moment I walked into the Cedar Room on the first day of class.  

The aroma of the wood surrounded me, enveloping me in memories of my last week of summer.  I'd travelled to New Denver, British Columbia in order to live in cedar domes, while creating culinary delights for ten women on a Yoga retreat.  While there, I also found time to luxuriate in saunas, hot tubs, long lake walks, and scenic mountain voyages (spotting much flora and fauna). The week before the Yoga retreat, I'd helped straighten and roof a shed for a wheelwright in Northern Idaho. Suddenly, I realized that I didn't want to be in class. After the past two weeks of creative activity employing multiple intelligences; I wanted to be out doing, being, living.  

I expected my three professors to walk in, hand out a syllabus, and drill me with all their expectations for the coming year.  In other words, I expected there to be a grid of strings, restricting acedemic movement within certain areas.  Essentially, I expected that my summer "syllabus", which drew primarily from my logical and linguistic intelligences (standard acedemic fare), would be the typical style of study expected.  Instead, I was shocked to find that this wasn't so. I learned that I had total freedom. I left the second day of class inspired to develop a new plan of study, one that would be deeper, incorporating my multiple intelligences.  

My first three weeks followed a cycle. I'd think of a brilliant possiblity of study, I'd research it, and then my enthusiasm would fizzle out. I couldn't imagine spending a whole year studying it. Then, another idea would pop into my head, and I'd repeat the process.  Massage, human resources, counseling, cooking, writing, dancing, researching world mythology, and reading women's literature were just a few of the topics I obsessed on then disgarded.   I had so many thoughts of what I could do.  I explored these ideas on the internet and at the library--looking through books, tapes, movies, magazines, newspapers, and websites.  I participated in many inspiring discusssions in class, on the bus, in the library, through email, and over the phone.

The world was my classroom, and my head was spinning with ideas. And yet, in that third week, while my boyfriend had a 100 pages of notes, assignments, and calculations I had nothing concrete. I seemingly had nothing.  Aside from a few concrete webx responses, all I had were unrecorded conversations,  untracked books, and unprovable research. I panicked. What had I been doing? Had I become paralyzed by the possibilities? What had I been thinking? How was I going to prove to my professors that I had been learning, studying, growing?

I felt overwhelmed, my academic history the antithesis of the freedom inherent in the Persistence program. I went to a highschool that was based upon a medieval curriculum structure (trivium and quadrivium).  All academic studies were intensely rigorous, and intensely monitored.  My studies at the University of Idaho were easier yet still contained the same structure of student-teacher interaction and expectations--likewise, my two quarters spent at Whatcom Community College.  I had choosen Persistence because of it's freedom. But now, that very freedom felt too free.

I felt I needed structure. Thus, the weekend before week four, I sat down and once again asked myself the four questions I'd been repeating to myself over and over and over: (1)What do I want to learn? (2)How do I want to learn it? (3)What do I plan to do with what I learn? and (4)What difference will this make? Only this time, I wrote out a tentative plan for my quarter.  Once I had something down, I started to calm. I started to realize that all that research had paid off, that somehow in the process of all the chaos I'd figured out what I wanted to do. Essentially, I want to live out a multiple intelligence education.  In the next year, I hope to employ as many intelligences as possible.

Thus, here it is, the first of my many revised and tentative plans:

Educating the Mind, Body, and Spirit
(Employing Multiple Intelligences in the World)
Literature of Persistence: 4 credits
Writing/Personal Exploratory: 4 credits
Individual Project Work: 8 credits

Response papers: Week 5, Week 7, Week 8
Website (blog) interaction
Research (practice?) on how to write Evaluations

As this is my first quarter at Evergreen, this aspect of my studies is primarily structured to prepare me for the evaluation process.  My response papers will draw either from ideas I encounter from my reading, from the website (blog), from the learning tool prompts, or from requests by you.  Applying myself in this area will give me the necessary practice to confidently complete my evaluations.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire-0826412769
Intelligence Reframed by Martin Gardner-0465026117
A People's History of the U S by Howard Zinn- 0060528370
The Art of Changing the Brain by James E. Zull-1579220541
Native American Testimony-Peter Nabokov- 0140281592
Teaching to Transgress by Bell Hooks-0415908086
Choice Theory by William Glasser- 0060930144
Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith-1856496244
Natives and Academics by Devon Mihesuah- 0803282435
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Steven C. Hayes-1572309555
Methodology of the Oppressed by Chela Sandoval-0816627371

This is a valuable body of literature. Through encountering the ideas within these books, I hope to learn more education, choice, and freedom. This knowledge base will then propel me, allowing me to directly apply this knowledge in my next two quarters.

Individual Project Work
1. Yoga: 1-2x/wk
2. Aerobic/Strength/Stretch Exercise: 3-5x/wk
3. Meditation:
    -Exposing myself to various religious/philosophical viewpoints on reality/life/being (derived from I Ching, Bible (NIV), Bhagvagita,
        Astrology, etc.)
    -Attending 2-day Yoga Meditation seminar in Seattle mid-November
4. Volunteer: Conversation partner
    I've applied to be an EF Conversation partner. I'm waiting for a response. If this falls through, I'll look into non-profit agencies.
5. Travel:
    -San Fransisco: Kasey Chambers concert, tour of city/museums, meeting a newborn (exploration of the experience of motherhood)
6. Counseling:
    -I will be seeing a counselor every week for cognitive strategies in improving life/emotional conditions.
7. Nutrition/Cooking
    -Continued research and practice in cooking, nutritional values, healthy diets, etc.

Through my individual project work, I hope to suppliment my academic work, making it more applicable to the intelligences of my mind, body, and spirit. Typically, when I am in school I sacrifice my body for my mind. Essentially, I am more unhappy and unhealthy. I tend to have more migraines, and more colds.  Through my project work (which strongly ties in with my kinesthetic, interpersonal, and existential intelligences) I hope to live a more balanced lifestyle.  This balance will be the foundation on which I hope to build on in the next two quarters.

Tentative Winter quarter plans:
-Read remaining Persistence books: The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav, Ceremony by Silko, Broad and Alien is the World by Ciro Alegria     (travellers toPeru),Genocide of the Mind by Marijo Moore
-Read additional books on mythology, religion, gender, and sexuality
-Learn Dreamweaver in order to build a webpage for my winter and spring experiences
-Travel to Portland.
-Possibly attend the Art of Living course, a six day meditation/yoga/spiritual training
-Start developing some photography techniques
-Enroll in a dance class (Orissi, or other)

Tentative Spring quarter plans:
-Travel in Hawaii: visit each island, experience my cultural heritage
-Native Hawaiian studies: history, mythology, and language
-Learn hula: two halau's are a possiblity, or study with sister-in-law
-Practice photography
-Continue website
-Help plan and facilitate a Yoga retreat in Hawaii (with Yoga instructor worked with in New Denver)


Mostly Freire, a little Buddha

by jesse m

Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a handbook for revolution. Freire analyzes oppression and the steps that occur in the transition to a more egalitarian situation. The book is dense and juicy, no words used unnecessarily, which makes the reading slow but rewarding. I feel like I could read it ten more times and get something new each time. The below is what seemed important to me on this first journey through Freire. The oppressor is living a lie. He is not free because his existance is materialistic--to him, "to be is to have," and in his eyes, everything is an object, something to be taken and used for his benefit. The oppressor exists only through his possessions, and thus he has no authentic existance. Since possessions know no love, he experiences no love. Since the oppressor is obviously suffering within his suffocating cage of materialism, it becomes clear that revolution is actually an act of love for the oppressor as well as the oppressed. But before revolution can occur, we must understand the plight of the oppressed. After a person is constantly treated as worthless and stupid, he begins to believe it. When oppression becomes a person's reality, then the oppression becomes internalized within, and she begins to buy into the lie that she is intrinsically less valuable than the oppressor. Once people believe in the oppressive system, they begin to enforce the system on each other, taking on the role of sub-oppressor. "Submerged in reality...and chafing under the restrictions of this order, they often manifest a type of horizontal violence, striking out at their own comrades for the pettiest reasons." People who are deeply submerged in a system of oppression often long to become oppressors themselves, seeing this as the path out of their own oppression. The Internalization of oppression keeps the oppressive cycle going. People who have internalized oppression cannot work for liberation because they do not recognize the oppressor as seperate from themselves and they are afraid of freedom. Before change can occur, the oppressed must realise that they are oppressed. Thus, revolutionary leaders must bust out the pedagogy, also known as mad dialogue about the existential situation of the oppressed folks. Carrying out this dialogue requires faith in the oppressed. Without this faith, it the would-be leader will fall into monologue, addressing the people as objects, which would accomplish nothing but more dehumanization of the oppressed. In order to understand why open authentic dialogue is so essential to the process of liberation, we must analyze traditional educational methodology. The traditional teacher-student relationship denies the humanity of all involved parties. Students are treated as receptacles for information and the teacher's role is fill them with knowledge. Reality is presented to the students as a cold, motionless set of facts. In Freire's words, "Education thus becomes an act of stead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This the 'banking' concept of education..." This system is based on the assumption that the students are completely ignorant; this projection of absolute ignorance onto the masses is a recurring theme within systems of oppression and is used by the oppressors to justify their domination. Besides the oppression inherent in the banking method of teaching, the presented facts themselves are often propaganda which deny the reality of the oppressed students. An example of this in the present would be a white professor teaching black kids about African History from a Eurocentric perspective and then discounting their opinions. Revolutionary thought does not develop in a classroom where the oppressor's ideas are taught--it develops from the bottom up, through the oppressed discussing their existential situation. Thus, liberated education is free from hierarchy; it is people communicating with each other on a common plane. Liberated education occurs when the teachers and students step back from their distinct roles and realise that both parties will learn and grow through the dialogical process of education; for this to happen, the teacher must have faith in the students and their ability. Liberated Education, by posing problems in a context of reality, leads to cognition and critical thinking--not just the transfer of facts and the banking perspective of a motionless, disconnected reality, which further alienates the students. In revolutionary work, the idea of "winning people over" for the cause of the revolution is fundamentally flawed because authentic revolutionary work begins by identifying the needs of the people, and "winning people over" means telling people what they need. Since many revolutionary leaders come from a background in the dominating class and have been educated with banking methods, it is all too easy for them to fall back into banking-style dictation, which will, if anything, work against their purposes. This is a crucial point. Revolutionary leaders must be aware of this.
"The People must be authors of their own liberation;" revolutionary leaders cannot carry out the revolution for them, making them objects, continuing the oppression. Only thorugh dialogue comes education, and thus a transformation of reality--revolution.

II. connections
I read Osho's book Courage: the Joy of Living Dangerously at the same time that I was reading Pedagogy of thed Oppressed and this led me to start thinking about connections between Freire's ideas and Eastern philosophy. The first time this occured to me was when I relised that Freire says "revolution is love" and Osho says "love is revolution." (Those aren't necessarily direct quotes.) Courage is a necessity for liberating pedagogy: you have to have courage to break out of the cold, suffocating banking system. It takes courage to open yourself to another and communicate as two humans. There are some other basic connections:
In both Freire's philosophy and Buddhism, no one can liberate anyone but himself. Freire makes it clear that an effort to liberate someone else will actually just objectify that person; real liberation occurs through
solidarity--and each person must realise the need for liberation and work to make it happen. In Buddhism, you must look at your own mind in order to reach peace; no one else is in your head so no one else can do it. Osho writes about the importence of not letting prayer become a monoluge, a meaningless repetition of words: "Religions, organized churches, have destroyed prayer. They have given you ready-made prayers. Prayer is a
spontaneous feeling...Bring love into prayer. It is a beautiful thing, a dialogue with the universe..." This is straight-up Freire, it seems to me--institutions have removed the authenticity of our existance, and through dialogue we can reclaim this joy. A final connection is that Freire says that dialogue can't happen without
love, humility, hope and faith in human kind. This strikes me as Buddhism's loving kindness, a means for transforming reality.

III. reflection
Learning about "liberating education" and systems of oppression through Freire's work has been extremely rewarding for me. I now have language to describe the emotions and thoughts that I could never put into words. In high school, for example, I knew that something was horribly wrong with the system, but since I couldn't complete my thoughts, I half believed that maybe I was the problem...maybe I had some attention defecit disorder, or maybe I was just stupid. The truth was, I was a victim of an oppressive system. (An important note: I as a white male was, comparatively, one of the least victimized people in that incredibly racist, classist, and sexist environment.)
This class was tough for me to adjust to, especially at the beginning. Now I don't blame myself so much for my frustrations; I realise that I am coming out of thirteen years of indoctrination--the dark, cold world of passive mindless loveless "education." Of course it takes some time to reclaim my humanity and realise that I can learn without a teacher ordering me around. At the beginning of the year, I was angry--how can these so-called teachers not tell us what to do!? Funny that, because I was not used to being treated respsectfully by teachers, I mistook it at first for disrespect. I know that someday soon I will likely be back in a classroom that is somewhat more "banking"-oriented. Now, though, I fell like I will be better able to deal with the system...more able to retain my humanity. I have a better understanding now of why I am at school. I realise now that I am pursuing this education for myself, not to impress some teacher, and I will never again waste my time satisfying requirements when the work does not inspire passion in me.  The other big thing I got out of Freire was a better understanding of the politics of oppression...both in my own daily life and on the larger level of society. With a basic understanding of how oppression works and perpetuates, I feel comfortable enough now to begin exploring issues of racism and sexism, which obviously involves sometimes-uncomfortable introspection--something that I was afraid to deal with before now.

A Program Description (Recognition program, Patience program)

michaeLg - 09:51am Apr 4, 2004

Hi everyone! I am simply transcribing my notes from class on Thursday and adding my own thoughts to what was said. I hope it sounds right and if it does not please forgive my poor interpretation of what I heard. – Mike G
PS- I very much dislike the term "Program", can we say experience instead?

Recognition to Patience:
Recognition is different things to different members of the community of learners who sign up for the class. It is based on Frierian relationships meaning, you learn what you want/need or are called upon to learn on your own and make your own interpretation! In this respect everyone including faculty are learner-teachers. This deconstructs the typical teacher-student relationship. The faculty in Recognition do not lead participants in learning and are not there to tell you what to do or how to do it but they may suggest places to begin, continue or finish your quest for learning when asked. They are always learning along with you. Some of the participants in Recognition/Patience are there to attend every class, they share in dialogue and query each other and the faculty. Other learner-teachers do not like class-room scenarios and want to go about their process on their own, un-interrupted by class-room dynamics. Both types of participants find a welcome place in Recognition/Patience as well as those in-between. Whatever your motivation for joining the experience it begins with the invitation to join the community and create your own structure. Your academic life is your own responsibility so don’t expect to be told what to do. Attendance is an invitation you come or go as you like. This enables some to pursue learning at other institutions as well as Evergreen and still stay in Evergreen!

Topics of dialogue in the class range from Western Science/Culture to Native American and other Traditional Technologies/Culture; a huge field. There may be 5 different conversations going on at the same time and people will drift in and out of the circles of dialogue as they like. All are welcome and all are accepted. One of the most important things we learn in this experience is how to be good listeners. The development of listening skills enables us to be comfortable with very different people and very different knowledge. This comfort is based on self-acceptance and helps us on our journey into community connection with other learner-teachers that makes our life more exciting through communal learning/growth. Again, the faculty is there to support your independent search for knowledge and do so in a non-judgmental way often responding with "that sounds great". The whole pace of learning in this experience is different as the emphasis is made on the development of relationship and making time to connect with others learning and each other. In real-life this equates to a systems-theory approach to your entire experience at Evergreen!

Each year you are offered a list of reading that may be used to construct a skeleton for continued exploration. One of the great points of the experience offered is that one has time to process information, follow hunches and intuition and to make connections to pre-existing learning. This is the way to deep knowledge about any subject! The invitation to gather is here. Feel free to bring your learning back to the class to share or not. As the class is based on invitation the process is a ceremony and participants will get a feel for this when they choose to attend. We must remember that all of our Western Science and Technology, while it has brought us much, has not kept our air, water and land clean, nor kept our elders honored nor kept our youth from violence and addiction. The basis for this lies in a thought pattern/structure. In Recognition/Patience you are offered the opportunity to re-align your thought process at a foundation level that will allow "change to take hold and drive", it is emotional, exciting and even spiritual for some! We learn to take care of the future by taking care of NOW!
Self-worth, dedication, humility, compassion, self-control and awareness of the moment are pillars of the experience in Recognition/Patience. "This program has made me more grateful and thankful for everyone of my days then I have ever been before. I have learned to take care of myself and my relationships and gained experience through wandering …"

Respect Course Evaluation

Juanita T

School Year – 2002-2003

    True education is never static; it moves and expands to every part of a person’s life, involving every facet of a person’s character in change. The freedom to choose books, interest, and to be supported by classmates and instructors in personal growth, as knowledge and experience develop conflict, was sometimes hard, but always exciting.

    Starting a study with a list of books to read brought Evergreen College’s active method of learning into reality and was a good way to start a new program. Reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire, Paulo (2002) Contnuum International Publishing Group, NY) brought with it a confidence and opened a pathway leading to a freedom in learning that allowed the experience of learning to mean as much as the academic study. Intelligence Reframed Gardner, Howard (1999) Basic Books) routed out and defined unknown talent.  The Dancing Wu Li Masters (Zukav, Gary (1979) William Morrow & Company, NY) opened the mind to new ideas, allowing the enchantment of things never imagined to be thought about and pondered; opening up the imagination. Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States” (2003, HarperCollins) opened up a view of history not thought about and brought a critical attitude toward the indoctrination of others by those in power. Enothography, A way of seeing (Wolcott, Harry F (1999) ALTAMIRA PRESS, Walnut Creek, CA) placed a critical eye on how one understands and writes about another culture. Sunday Native American studies added to their reality as stories were told about generational hardship and the ability to survive. Dancing with knowledge and the experience of learning accessed a reality only known by those who dare to be truly educated.

    The liberty to choose an area of study was and is important to be able to develop a life style, which embraces learning as it treasures the freedom to do so. Volunteering to work

at the Department of Corrections in presenting a Leadership and communications program allowed a world of accepted oppression to be seen and experienced. To read about oppression and to be able to interact with compassion and empathy toward men who experience it every day are different aspects of learning, which together allow the mind, emotions and physical acts of compassion to work together. The heart-felt appreciation of the inmates is overwelheming and motivates the compassion of the volunteer to try to connect in a way that makes a difference; sometimes it is just being there, as many of the inmates have no connection to the reality of the outside.

    Interaction with the hurt and pain of others demands movement toward lessening of the destructive influence. The belief that knowledge builds paths that lead toward freedom and away from defeat guided the reading of books to be able to answer questions and build trust. Sixty-six percent of all inmates at Stafford Creek Corrections Center have committed a sexual crime. Obtaining knowledge from books allowed a connection to take place that nurtured understanding and healing. Reading How to Work with Sex offenders (Flora, Rudy, LCSW, ACSW, (2001) Haworth Clinical Practice Press, and Binghamton, NY) taught basics for those who work for Criminal Justice, Human Service, and the Mental Health professions. It defined the crime, the agencies involved, the role of the therapist and standards in treatment. Understanding Child Molesters (Leberg, Eric, (1997) SAGE Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA) informed of the psychology of manipulation, principles for relating to the offender, and community based custody. Treating Child Sex Offenders and Victims (Salter, Anna C. (1998) SAGE Publications, Newbury Park, CA) make a distinction between offender, victim, spouse, family therapy and issues. Attending interactive seminars provided for the human service worker included: DOC Employment Security workshop, Eleventh Annual Children’s Justice Conference, and Counseling victims of Sexual Trauma, and opened up understanding to conclude treatment of the offender and the safety of children is a community problem that needs a community solution.

No interest in the aspects of community is complete without experiencing the making of a community. The strong ties that were forged when lives are shared and diversity of interests celebrated opens up the soul to the need for the support of one for the other and builds a safety net that allows risks to be taken. To watch the Native American women talk and laugh, of things in common, gave the courage to put one’s self out there and connect with others. The Native American ceremonies of healing, cleansing and celebration echoed in the hearts of many who participated and the characteristics of community made their connection in the soul.

Communication of ideas, information and the needs of humanity demands participation in computer technologies. Building Web pages, using PowerPoint and the web to gain research information are today as much a part of education as reading books. The encouragement and guidance of the instructors to use varies technologies gave the class more opportunities to display talent and was informative and exciting to watch.

Does not education in its most profound sense involve knowledge, interaction with others and personal change and growth? Does it not contain the confidence to deal with life on its terms? To take risks? If this is the case, this year at evergreen has been a year of education surpassed by none.