We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers. -Bayard Rustin.
We are entering Reading Days, which come before Finals, except that I don't believe in giving final exams for religious studies courses. I require a final research paper (on which the students have been working for weeks, in stages) and after that's all done, a final reflection paper so people can think about their learning experience of the past few months.
These are Reading Days for me too, and for others on the faculty, since I have to read all those student papers, plus the three last senior theses which the little darlings are "defending" tomorrow afternoon.
But tonight and tomorrow night I have final meetings of my evening classes* and in addition to handing out evaluations (required here in U.S. colleges and universities so students can --anonymously-- evaluate the course and the instructor, and yes, it counts toward tenure) and having a short discussion of one piece of reading, I am showing a movie.
* really class, this semester I had two sections of the same course, first time that has ever happened, so I teach the same course twice -- and the dynamics couldn't be more different, but more on that some other time.
I had scheduled the movie for a few weeks ago when it fit into the syllabus sequence, but someone (a faculty member whose name I am not allowed to know) did not return the DVD to the library. I had reserved it three months ago, too, AND my teaching assistant had contacted the library to remind them ten days before the class. Long story short, the library rush-0rdered a new copy of the DVD and it arrived before the end of term, hallelujah thank you Jesus, so I am showing "Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin" and if you have not seen it, you must must must.
Don't know who Bayard Rustin was? Have a look here.
Remember the March on Washington? The 1963 one with MLK, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech? Rustin organized it. The whole thing.
He has many other claims to fame, too. A remarkable man in the 20th century.
He was, by the way, an out gay man in a fiercely homophobic era. Which is part of why we don't read about him in the history books.
Bayard Rustin, ¡Presente!