Posted by: bwoof | May 22, 2015

Surprised by Tupac!

Tonight was the last class for grad school course LHAE3029 Educational Ethics with Prof John Portelli and a fabulous group of co-learners from many different countries, backgrounds, and perspectives.

Surprisingly, Prof Portelli often comes with a little piece of literature, or a children’s book or a short story. He reads to us, then enquires how the reading might demonstrate ‘ethical’ teaching. I love this approach and will sometime write about Camus, Aristotle, Shel Silverstein and others, all of whom we encountered in class.

But tonight’s literature caught me totally by surprise! And that was the point. Here’s what he read…


By…guess who?  And this is what surprised me.

tupacTupac Shakur! The late rapper of whom I had thought not much, other than general dismissal if not disdain. I had assumed that he was just a pile of noise and annoyance, a low-class, perhaps even violent and vulgar has-been-pop-artist. Not someone I’d ever care to know.

Indeed…how ashamed I am now (as was Portelli when he, too, misjudged) to realize that my own bias prevented me from imagining that such beauty could come from someone I’d pegged as someone less.

It seems I have a lot to learn about ethics.

Grateful for:

  • surprises about people and a link to a site where Tupac’s poetry along with a host of others’ invites me to explore and wonder.
  • the last class and a sad longing to spend more time with the incredibly interesting Masters and Doctoral students whom I encountered this month. I’m so very humbled…and feel small and weak in their presence.
  • very easy and uneventful drives to the city and all the way up Spadina and then across Bloor to an underground parking lot for my classes this month

Curious about:

  • how did I not know about Tupac? Why did I let media coverage taint my perspective?
  • what other artists ought I to know about or explore? What else might I be missing?

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