It is a momentous time at the University of Puerto Rico! We are keeping the new silly governor from selling the university down the river. A groundswell of awareness has manifested in defense of this public institution and what it makes possible.
What could be a better time to blog about a series of Three Podcasts about GAIA whose underlying research was too visionary to be done under the aegis of any other institution? Developing a theory about the planet that hosts the life of our species, and the energy of love that sustains it, is what I had in mind 12 years ago when I came to Mayaguez to teach. "What is planetary health, and how can we practice love in ways that sustain this common well being?" was the one-million dollar question that ailed my consciousness when I came back to academe after six years of activism in the sexual freedom and holistic health movements.
I could not have found a better place to search for answers than the University of Puerto Rico. At Mayaguez, my soul was nurtured by a bunch of friendly, inspiring, passionate colleagues; my classes became spaces for intellectual communion and exploration of new ideas; and the most esoteric research projects were funded by benevolent administrators with a touch of the visionary.
In California I had experienced the consequences of a fatal mistake of the Reagan years: Investing in punitive rather than educational systems. You invest in universities and you produce people with college degrees, you invest in prisons and you produce delinquents. Which state is going to go bankrupt first? No wonder in the 1990s California had more prisoners than Italy, France, and England combined! Puerto Rico, I reflected when I arrived here, is smarter than the Golden State in this: It may be poor but it's putting its money where its mouth is. Students pay a reasonable tuition and that makes teaching pleasant. And free. Because I can be myself in the classroom. Because I can really give the gift of professing the wisdom my love of knowledge has graced me with over the years. And students know when that happens. Because authenticity excites and inspires young people. Even in a tough, demanding teacher like me.
Now that miserliness has taken hold of the island's state system, an upsurge of organized, peaceful, wise, humble activism has raised in defense of the patromonio comun. We were only teaching. Students knew. Their consciousness coalesced to live up to the contingency. Now is the time to thank the university for its multiple gifts: gifts to me, for being conducive of seeking answers to that million dollar question; and gift to the world well beyond Puerto Rico for hosting una servidora as I speak publically about these answers in the social media.
Thank you, Universidad de Puerto Rico, for being so gifted! The island-wide movement that is keeping you from being sold down the river models the paradigm shift the world needs. Eleven campuses acting in unison!
No more privatizations that lead to "markets" where the poor get swindled. Investments in the commons that will elaborate the sustainable knowledge of the future. Recognition that we are in this together, as a species! That we can only survive if we learn to love one another and appreciate our differences!
Here are my three small gifts.
An Interview on Gaia, Health, and Environmental Theory. On Progressive Radio Network: The Gary Null Show, March 24, 2010. Hosted by Gary Null (begins at 46th minute in 1-hour show).
Interview on Gaia, Global Heath and Ecology, World Peace, Empires that Upsurge and Collapse, the Sexual Freedom Movement, the Arts of Loving, Polyamory, the Abuses of the Pharmaceutical Industry, the AIDS Dissidence Movement, Tantric Form of Amorous Expression. On Truther, hosted by Sean Hardin.
Interview on Gaia, Interpretations of AIDS and other Epidemic Diseases, Holistic Sexual Health. On How Positive Are You? Hosted by David Crowe and Celia Farber.
Thanks for listening. Please support The University of Puerto Rico. Eleven Campuses, one UPR System, or Once Recintos, Una UPR! Today is a decisive day for UPR Mayaguez. Listen to the podcasts and share with your friends. Post your comments! Find out more about what's happening in the UPR system! Follow the Huelga day after day on Planeta Educativo! Recognizing what we share is the key to the future.