Back to School – ABCs

This blog was inspired by the ABC book A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara, which I highly recommend for all.



A is for Academic.

Your professor gives you academic credit to read about a pandemic. It might seem esoteric. Even though it is not generic it could have merit, and clarify the polemics around socioeconomics, and even pathogenics.

B is for Backup.

If your plan blows have confidence you’ll find a backup. It is hard not to get hung up when everything seems to pile up, but remember life is full of first tries and things will lighten up.

C is for Collaboration.

If you care about the planet work with others to support immigration, education, and fight against subjugation.

D is for Disability.

If you have a disability you have a right to accessibility. If you see yourself as only having ability and people with disability as living in futility learn that life is about variability and vulnerability.

E is for Exercise.

Exercise it turns out make it easier to rise, cognitively optimize, and even helps you memorize.

F is for Financial

The cost of school is substantial. Don’t be bashful apply for scholarships that are often quite substantial.

G is for Generalization.

Generalization can lead to bias, false causation, subjugation, and opposition to immigration. False generalizations lead to stagnation. So focus on cogitation and while you’re at it smell the carnations.

H is for Hegemony.

Hegemony means it seems acceptable to claim supremacy. There can be a penalty for challenging hegemony in the process of fighting against white supremacy. Let’s work collaboratively to better the human legacy.

I is for Indigenous.

Learn about the land you are on. Fight ubiquitous prejudice and ambivalence. Acknowledge the dissonance and willful ignorance.

J is for Jeopardize.

Don’t jeopardize your career. It is easy to do with everything digitized, so make sure to put your work through plagiarism software and avoid being penalized.

K is for Kind.

Life can seem like a grind. Be kind and you will be in a better frame of mind.

L is for LGBTQ -What are you?

Say no to heteronormativity and make the world a place that allows creativity, subjectivity and reflexivity.

M_letterM is for Measured.

Knowledge is tethered by thinking all that matters must be measured. So let’s not allow knowledge to be severed even if it can’t be measured.

N_letterN is for Never.

Never think it clever to say,  “Whatever, did I miss anything? Seriously? What should a professor say, “No because you were away we just sat a did nothing, we thought that would be better.”

O is for Outline.

An outline helps you see the coastline so you can get to the finish line.

P is for Privilege.

Know the difference between being privileged and pillaged. Acknowledge the pillage that led to your privilege. Go beyond the drivel and read the primers on privilege.

Q is for Question.

Question oppression,  Question what and who counts in the economic, medical, educational, academic, corporate professions.

R is for Respect.

Respect don’t deflect, and try not to interject when someone is trying to recollect the definition of the  Doppler effect.

S is for Sex.

No one is an object. We all deserve respect. Consent is not complex. Don’t be a tyrannosaurus rex.

T is for Time.

Give yourself time.  Please don’t email a paper in the morning time  and expect your professor to give you feedback before your  bedtime.

V is for Vote.


W is for Will.

Will this be on the test? I understand you want to know the drill but asking your professor this question is like offering her a poison pill.

X is for Xenophobia.

Xenophobia threatens us all. Imagine utopia and say no to dystopia.

Y is for You.

You are important even if you blew a test or drank too much brew. Sometimes it might feel you are expected to pass through a corkscrew. But remember many of your professors one day felt this too and they got through and so will you.

Z is for Zillionaire.

If your dream is to be a zillionaire think about the millions who have little more than a pillion. The decisions of a wealthy few mean less money for students and the billions.

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Michelle L. Stack

Michelle Stack is associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her research centers on the role of media and market logics in the transformation of education; media education; and media-academic communication aimed at expanding public debate about what a good education is. Prior to becoming an academic Michelle was a communications director and policy consultant.

Michelle can also be found on twitter at @MichelleLStack

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