IKJ, JKF, and KK spring course load

Teaching Load for IKJ, JKF, and KK at Gallaudet for this Spring 2008

Karen Kimmel
ENG 442 Major Author, Lucille Clifton

Jane Fernandes
2 sections of Deaf Studies 101 classes and possible grad. course

IK Jordan
PSY 495 (special topic)
PSY 795 (special topic)

Fall 2007 – assistant instructor for scuba evening class

NOTE: while kimmel and jordan have degrees in the areas they will be teaching – Fernandes degrees are in Comparative Literature

Knowledge is Power

Again, i do not support aggression or upheaval* – any discontent with these instructors teaching their assigned subject matter at Gallaudet should be voiced via peaceful methods – petitions, “sit-ins,” etc

I am comfortable with them teaching this spring – if they can respond to the community on their present position re: their role in representing Deaf culture, ASL, and student rights to the public via the media, conference presentations, and or lawsuits.

If they have changed their anti-ASL and anti-Deaf culture positions (as of two weeks ago for JKF re: comments in Chronicles of Higher education), I would gladly like to know of this and I would happily accept their word.

I invite Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, and Dr. Kimmel to post a written statement with a short vlog (to verify they do endorse the statement and it is not some rouge document).

for all of us – i want to caution us against extremism.

On one extreme – we have folks preaching passivity and apathy – “do nothing, leave it alone, I dont have enough information, and the all time favorite, I’m NEUTRAL)

on the other extreme – we have folks preaching aggression and hostility towards these professors. *(i got an email after this post went up objecting to my portraying the protestors as being aggressive and causing disorder etc – i want to apologize for any wrong impression this original posting may have caused. When i caution us against aggression and hostility and disorder – i am not speaking of the protestors actions – i am referring to some comments posted in various blogs that i have seen over the past year – perhaps i should just ignore such postings but i think it is very important for us to think carefully on how we represent ourselves and our goals. I have seen character assassinations, I have seen calls for banning books, I have seen name calling, I have seen comment advocating for people to throw tomatoes, destroy property etc. Im just not cool with that even if its just a careless and uncaring anonymous blogger or respondent – it is printed and in the public view and seeps into our collective consciousness. an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

i commend the protestors – i honor the protestors – i hope i have made that clear in my past and current writings. When i was at gally after black friday and the protestors lined up to greet faculty and staff driving in from the 6th street entrance – encouraging them to vote no confidence – the car Jane Fernandes’ was in was surrounded by protestors – taking pictures some chanting at her “you are not the one” many simply signing “resign, resign, resign” it was a very confrontational moment. It was the STUDENT protestors who motioned for all the protestors to move back and let the car proceed. I was very impressed with that and many many many other tense situations in which the student protestors took the high ground

now back to the extremes of “DO NOTHING” AND “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY”

let us join these extremes together to come to the middle – we do not ask for anything but the truth and the best. If they are to remain teaching at Gallaudet – may they be assigned to the best suited courses for them that reflects an academically sound understanding of the field in which they are teaching.

If they have been misquoted or misunderstood, or have come to a new understanding of their role in harming the Deaf community and ASL, let them please share that with us.

If they choose to do nothing and keep the course that is presently plotted out – so be it. We can continue to record our discontent peacefully and positively. their choice of action is not as important as our own. we are only responsible for ourselves. if we choose to do nothing – we are part of the problem. if we choose to do harm – we are part of the problem.

Let us move forward positively and lovingly. “there is no way to peace, peace is the way” M. Gandhi


Patti Durr


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lolypup
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 09:47:49

    I have a feeling these courses are going to become the most popular courses offered next spring with people waiting in line to get overflow permission to enroll.

  2. ella
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 11:10:54

    Thanks for your opinion of what it means to protest peacefully. I hope you make it clear that its better to feel anger and frustration and analyze it and understand better where they come from. It does not mean being quiet and doing nothing is best. You did explain it is not that. We need to challenge, criticize, and figure how best to decide things.

    I worry that those on and off campus who took courage to protest PEACEFULLY last year may feel discouraged being critized and blamed too much by many of us for the “disruption” on campus while in reality it was the three Ks and others who are responsible for the actual damage and violence (in action and with words)

    We need to constantly challenge ourselves, our actions, our words–and be ready to embrace those who are honest and sincere when processing their actions and/or Deafhood, and to “love” those who are still doing the “bad” things without stopping ourselves from critical thinking and activism.

    In fact, I turn to the student protestors from last year to find examples of truly good examples of peaceful protesting. They have studied and trained themselves on various techniques and succeed. They deserve huge applause and not criticism or shame for that.

    Like you, I find it incredible that these 3 K’s are apparently huge deficit thinkers that they think they can just walk over the campus and discrediting the university without any consequences. Yes, there were some consequences, but they seem to beg for more. And then keep blaming those, who oppose them, for all problems. What are their values? What do they want out of life and Gallaudet? Just fame and comfort and control for themselves?

    Can’t they desire promoting the uniqueness that is Gallaudet where thousands of Deaf people growing up with oral education, in mainstreamed education settings, being denied their Deaf identity for a long time, COME TO DISCOVER, UNDERSTAND AND HOW TO ACT THEIR TRUE ROLES AS THEY ARE (Deaf)?

    Yes, Gallaudet is not perfect and a lot of the problems come from the Oralism Colonialism the past 128 years, yet Gallaudet has survived those years.

    However, at this point in time, Gallaudet without a clear “Deaf/ASL Identity” will cease to have a purpose to exist.

    Gallaudet must face this reality. Gallaudet must revisit what it means to be an university bound to freedom of thinking and speech FOR and ABOUT Deaf people that will promote their Deafhood journey in an academic setting. Gallaudet will need to be a leader that takes a stand against the narrow-minded “deafness” (and deficit) thinking that technology and society has that only aims to REMOVE Deaf people and Sign Language from earth. This is being done under the disguise of “opportunity” and “benevolence”. Gallaudet needs to realize that the world is READY for it to be a leader of the DEAF ACADEMIC DISCOURSE AND TRAINING that prepares people (both Deaf and hearing) for healthy lives (self, family and work) that aims to promote ALL Deaf people and Sign Languages.

    Sorry for being long winded. I need to stop, smile. Patti, more stuff like this please. And try to have an ASL version as well.

  3. Henry Gosebrink
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:30:30

    Hey Everyone in Gallaudet,

    If do you not want to see Jane K. Fernandes, I.King Jordan, and Karen Kimmel in Gallaudet next spring semester then you don’t have to sign up for their teaching classes that’s simple ways to avoid them than ignite another chaos in Gallaudet.

    Thank you,
    Mr. Henry Gosebrink

  4. DT
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:56:16

    IKJ teaching Psych, after a near 20 year hiatus? Given he doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about the psychological implications of his being back on campus is a double whammy!

  5. pdurr
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 18:43:17

    1. lolypup – r u being serious or sarcastic?
    sorry i cant really tell ur tone

    2. Ella Mae – AWESOME comments – while i was reading i was reminded of how the most powerful too of oppressing African-Americans in the south was to deny them an education – it was actually illegal to teach a black person to read and write. Once emanicipation took place, Jim Crow set in and woefully academically inferior segregated educational institutions were set up for African-Americans.

    Knowledge truly is power. The surest way to keep a group down is to keep them illiterate (functionally, linguistically, culturally, critically and spiritually). I saw a short article that Gally has the most fullbright scholars than other universities this year – that should go a long way of showing that academic rigor and integrity r surging at gally presently.

    I was thinking about the Spillman quote “Deaf People are Not Ready to Function in a Hearing World.” (she later said she was misquoted but many of us have heard this so many times we wouldnt be surprised if indeed she said it? i started thinking maybe what really happens at deaf institutions that resist having Deaf folks in leadership positions or put Deaf folks in leadership postions who can not or will not advocate for bilingualism and biculturalism – maybe it is because “hearing people are not ready to function in a Deaf world”

    I dont think we would find so much controversy at a College in Quebec or another bilingual city – if the president of that college were to be a native French Canadian speaker and advocate for bilingualism / biculturalism. i think the issue is due to the deficit model being so engrained in deaf education and the “specialists” having the REAL power

    It might be a case of Gallaudet administration and board being out of touch with its base and also fearing the mythological influx of non-signing, not really very hearing impaired at all students with cochlear implants and rapid decline of ASL/English Deaf folks.

    i still do not understand the harm of a Deaf person or any person on this planet being fluent in the dominant language of that society and the native sign language of that society – being bi-bi – how is that intolerant and exclusive – to know TWO languages would seem to be even more inclusive than to only know and do business and education in one

    re: Ella’s words of being careful not to portray the protestors as causing disorder etc – i got an email re: this same concern so i have added some text in my original post above re: the extremists who advocate hostility and aggression – in no way was i referring to the protestors but perhaps i was not clear. i apologize for any confusion i caused

    re: vlog – Ella – i can not tell u how many times i have videotaped myself and then deleted – i really feel that my ASL is not adequate enough. im not trying to bash myself – its just that i respect and cherish ASL so much and i know the power of the medium of film – i dont want to abuse either. ill keep trying – with ur encouragement. ive invested lots of time explaining Veditz and also my concerns re: the return of IKJ JKF and KK by videotaping myself and really i cant even edit it – i just always feel like UGH – so many of my heroes could do it so much better

    i wont give up but i wont post any vlog with little ole me signing until i feel it is at least good enough to honor the language and the medium

    i do believe it is important to have such discourse in ASL – i just dont feel im a suitable one to give it right just yet

    3. Henry – seems u have not read the other postings – none of this is about simply avoiding folks whom we are not crazy about – its about having folks who have actively propagated misinformation about ASL and Deaf culture hold PAID teaching positions at a University whose accreditation is on shaky grounds due to poor leadership, integrity, and retention which all took place under 2 of these individuals stewardship

    yes we can play ostrich – what is to gain by doing so? what is to LOOSE by doing so?



  6. Katherine
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 16:45:24

    Hi Patti:

    Please not to worry too much about your ASL not being adequate.

    Knowing you personally from the NTID/RIT days, you have so much to offer to the Deaf community and many of us value your contribution and existence. We know your attitude and respect for the culture (Deaf) and language (ASL) is enormous as well as your heart being in the right place. No doubt about that.

    When doing a vlog, most importantly, follow your heart and the message will come out.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. pdurr
    Nov 15, 2007 @ 20:22:25

    thanks to ella and katherine’s encouragement i made the Love vs. Fear vlog

    will make others soon

    thanks again



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