Papers, Please

While we here at JCISP recognize that we have a much easier time with the bureaucracy than many of our comrades at other facilities, Dan Steinberg shares this vignette of dealing with obstacles in the Free Will, Intention, and Responsibility class he co-teaches with Bryce Huebner and Rebecca Kukla, to procedures that many teachers take for granted:

“My colleagues and I have had some trouble getting our readings into the hands of the students. As a fail-safe, Bryce Huebner brought paper copies of the reading we had assigned to the class we were going to teach on it, so that if they hadn’t received it in advance, at least they’d have it to review. We were stopped at the entry gate, though, and told we couldn’t bring anything unapproved, even the printouts. (They started to flip through the papers, to see if anything in the material was subversive I guess, but they stopped trying to evaluate it and then just told us we couldn’t take it.)

When we were let in, the students told us they had not, in fact, received the readings. We told them what happened. In frustration, I noticed there was a stack of paper on the desk in the front of the room, just as big as the pile we had tried to bring in. ‘That’s what we couldn’t bring in!’ I shouted. ‘That’s exactly what they didn’t want us to give you! Here it is!'”

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