Why I’m Leaving Formal Education

I began teaching in 1993, as a TA at Arizona State University, the year before I went to the Peace Corps, where I was also a teacher. I’ve worked as a tutor, teacher, trainer and guide, most recently as an adjunct instructor for the accredited online university American Public University System (APUS). There I teach beginning French and Spanish, starting in 2007.

The university at that time was still quite new and online universities in general have had a difficult time overcoming their poor reputation. Still, as an avid learner myself, but one who didn’t really enjoy the classroom experience, it was a natural fit for me. Change in the cyber-world is the greatest given, and education is no exception to this rule. I felt I’d adjusted over the years fairly well.  I was apparently quite mistaken.

Jumping through new hoops with the ever-changing demands of the ever-changing administration is not for the veteran teacher, and I believe they are coming to rely heavily on that fact. In the last year the turnover is something I haven’t experienced since age 16, working at Shoney’s Big Boy.

This university caters primarily to our military professionals and that was a mixed blessing for me. On the one hand, the students are more diligent and respectful than those I experienced teaching high school or a typical community college or university. On the other hand, I did not feel comfortable being employed by a tentacle of the military industrial complex. In hindsight perhaps I should’ve taken that misgiving more seriously.

Most recently I’ve been ordered to not correct student grammar. This was after last year being ordered to not only correct student grammar in the target language (French or Spanish) but also in English, as many students were deficient and the cultural forums are written in English. We’ve also been ordered to actively monitor students’ performance and “engagement” and make weekly contact with inactive students. This is masked in concerns of “retention” though to me it looks more like accustoming the student to regular surveillance. I was also informed I was being monitored with equivalent consistency.

When I try to voice my concerns about normalizing such practices I’m met with comments like “get on board or get out” and “we’re all in this Brave New World together.”  I wish I were exaggerating.  I doubt these colleagues have any idea the gravity of the reference they make so off-the-cuff.

Apparently, to correct grammar for beginning foreign language students, is being “critical” and “negative”.  It was actually likened to spanking.  Again, I wish I were exaggerating.

What I most wish to share with these colleagues fearing for their jobs to the point of following whatever new command is coming down the pipeline without question: Do your research. You are supposed to be academics. Do you know who these orders are coming from? Have you heard of the Tavistock Institute? Do you knowingly follow the designs of the Council of Foreign Relations? Do you know why? Do you know their end game? Are you willfully or blindly engineering your own demise?  Do you care?

Have you felt the shaming and manipulative techniques they are using to make sure you fall in line with the program, or to weed you out if you don’t?

Because, I have.

Spies in Academic Clothing

The Fall of the Faculty

Technocracy Rising

The Underground History of American Education














Agorism, Anarchy, Action

A workable slogan.  First word practically unknown, the next totally misused, and the latter too often hastily employed, or far too often not at all.

In brief agorism is a worldview or philosophy that requires anarchy and action to function.  Here anarchy is defined simply as a counter-force to State power. State is capitalized because it means the over-arching control grid manifested through coercive government.

Action, even wrong action, is preferable to no action.  The current coercive State relies on the affluence, self-indulgence and complacency of its citizenry.  The bread and circus are provided expressly to keep you from complaining about how you’re being ruled, to what end, and by whom.

It is our effort to get off both the proverbial Western couch and Eastern cushion.  The beige matters, the survival efforts engender peace of mind.  No, it’s not exciting, not anymore.  At one time, five years or so ago, I felt pretty powerful digging my first garden plot, with the help of only Handy Hubby and a wheelbarrow and shovel.  Shoveling poultry manure and plucking feathers have long lost their short-lived novelty.

I noticed on one site large duck eggs going for $10 a dozen, we’re feeding our surplus to the dogs.  Bless their hearts, we do love to spoil them, but wow.  Just for the record, I also make a fabulous duck paté, which I enjoy with a mild pepper jelly and homemade sourdough bread.

By far the best part about homesteading for us is, we eat like royalty.  Yeah, we don’t have the servants to show for it, but it’s still worth it!


Beginner’s faux pas: Don’t pluck on the deck, Duh, because, flies!










It was a new word to me too, but one I learned is the oldest and simplest of concepts: bartering. I’ve looked more deeply into it–into the origins of the term and the philosophy and politics of it–and I suppose one of these days I’ll write more about it all.

For now, I’m thinking only one thing: We have surplus sometimes. I’ve been giving it away and usually happily so. Occasionally we find an opportunity to trade, but it’s relatively rare. Most often the surplus we can’t give away goes to the poultry and the dogs, also happily, but less so.

One year I took it to the local Food Bank, nearly an hour round-trip, thinking I was doing a good deed for the community. After one particular drop-off I remained in the parking lot for some time engaged on the phone. I watched as several people in vehicles far finer than mine strolled into the building and back out again with my hard-won, organically-produced fresh vegetables. Another avid gardener said she overheard complaints from patrons of the Food Bank that those vegetables are useless since they don’t know how to cook them, and they often take them just for show, along with their preferred items, only to throw them out at home. After that, I changed my mind I was performing any real social benefit. I doubt that supporting the poor choices of the so-called poor is a good idea, sustainably-speaking. If one can afford to drive an SUV, one can surely afford to pay for one’s produce. Otherwise, let them eat Ding-Dongs.

Agorism, otherwise known as bartering, solves our immediate practical problem of surplus, and while all the accompanied philosophy and politics are important to me, they are not as important as this. I’m reminded of one excellent quote on the topic, and that’s as political as I’ll get this post, I promise.

‘When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.” Ayn Rand

Bartering encourages the producers, rewards the producers, as it should be. Either you have something I value to trade with me, or you don’t. Simple economics. I might need a haircut, or a lesson in business development, or maybe I’ve got a real hankering for a pint of pear hooch. Do you need me to have a licensed dairy to trade you my cheese for one of these?

If you do, go to Wal-mart or Whole Foods, no matter, and do your thing. Pay your taxes, vote with your dollar, give the banksters their unfair share. But if someday you decide their cheese sucks, you know where to turn. That is, if you have something worth trading.  How about some gorgeous carrots for some . . .?

Links to share in my on-going research:






Agorism Texas Style

We take our homesteading adventures to the next level.

I wrote a blog during our beginning years called Homesteading: Starting from Scratch. At the time we had just moved rural, very rural, to raw land in East Texas.  We hauled in water and camped while we built a cabin without the convenience of electricity, intending to get off-the-grid.

Five years later we’re still not off-the-grid!  Not even close really.  But, the next step means, we’ve committed to . . . something.  Something more.  That includes me quitting my job, for real this time.  I’m excited and anxious but especially determined.  We are aligning our life with our values, it’s been a slow but rewarding process.  Thank you to any who are curious about our next steps, for reading and maybe even relating.

We have managed quite a lot these last years even if we are still far from our goals.  We’ve learned much about the unique requirements of gardening year-round in East Texas.  We’ve had chickens, turkeys, ducks, Guineas and decided chickens and ducks are all we need, or really like.  We’ve taken up beekeeping and cheesemaking and are eagerly awaiting pigs.  Sheep will follow, maybe goats, soon maybe even a cow.  Right now to make our cheese I travel to a dairy which is a 4-hour round-trip for Grade A raw milk.  Not sustainable.  Still, despite the clear necessity, I am scared to get a cow!

We don’t barter much, yet.  That’s where we’re heading.  It’s about principles and ethics and holistic health, and the future of man and the planet.

Kensho:  Zen for “the moment of insight”