We are all talk–without the talk.
We agreed to challenge each other. I want to call us out on the silence we had during our Week 5 class session. We had the space and time to discuss anything, and so many of us, myself included, really missed the mark.
Those of us who spoke… what conversation were we in? A conversation is a two-way street. We were not listening to each other or responding appropriately. Were we unprepared? Were we confused?
I was confused about the dynamics of the conversation. At one point during our silence, I truly thought about asking why we were so quiet. Maybe peer pressure got the best of me. As a creative writer, I do better on this sort of platform. But I should have taken the risk to ask. Would have been something great for us to address. And it may have sparked the musings of a real dialogue.
I am ashamed that the instructor had to be the one to address the elephant in the room. He had to be the one to tell us when it is appropriate to engage and when it is not.
Why did we spend so much time on expectations at the beginning of the semester? We had the opportunity the other day to honor those expectations in what could have been a great conversation. Instead, we chose to sit quietly and uncomfortably.
Was the silence a defense mechanism?
Were we scared of offending one another?
I hope we can agree that the gaps of silence were a mistake that we can learn from. Roughly 15 class sessions are not enough to discuss and share with one another. I suppose that is why we have the blogs. Are we even reading them?
Many of us live in the Loyola community and can easily get together to discuss outside of the classroom. Some of us do not have those opportunities. The time we dedicate to discussing whatever we want is sacred–no one outside of ELPS 432 can touch that space for us. Talkless talk breaks our commitment to better understanding social justice.
I can respect silence in the form of self-care. I just highly doubt that the majority of us were engaging in self-care last week.
I request that the next time we have the opportunity to converse that we are prepared to do so. Be prepared with readings (both assigned and unassigned), experiences, feelings, and opinions. Be prepared to listen-and-respond.
I will leave you with this: