EXCO

By Ray Tricomo

Almost four years ago, a new old idea was born on your campus. It has come to be known as EXCO, or the experimental college. It is based on the proposition that everyone has the right to teach or to learn, regardless of economic circumstances, or any other circumstances for that matter. In the fall of 2006, I took my place with other facilitators and started teaching a class that was then called “The Great Law of Peace, Past, Present and Future.” This effort had to do with the role of Native American Philosophy in reframing democracy here and everywhere else. Today the class is called “The Indigenous Imperative” because it covers First Nations People from all over the Western Hemisphere. This semester, we meet in Room 011 of Old Main from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday. So far, no one has shown up. I mean no insensitivity. I understand that today’s college students are hyper-busy. In fact, EXCO was created to challenge this increasingly corporatized conveyer-belt version of education. You will forgive me, but I am sensing something far deeper than the “busy mantra.” I am challenging all of you to prove me wrong. American exceptionalism is so toxic and it’s so deeply embedded in the psyche of just about everybody that I’m beginning to fear an aggressive lack of interest, if you will, in Indigenous societies that actually worked and could work again. Supposedly liberal people love to see native people fail. That probably explains why Sherman Alexi and other contemporary Native writers are so popular. Let me also refer to this as the “Woody Allen Syndrome.” Dysfunctionality is all the rage, and people like Sherman Alexi have milked it all the way to the bank. If you come to my class, you’re going to hear about and respond to one of the greatest and one of the most successful experiments ever conceived and carried out by human beings beginning in 1142 A.D. You’re also going to hear about the Renaissance running from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and from Hawaii to Greenland. And so, my friends, simply register with EXCO and come to my class. Make the time and take the time, because as my late and lamented father used to say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

Hopefully we’ll start seeing you on Thursday nights. I also teach a class on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in room 009 of Old Main. It’s on cinema and we’re looking at the intersection between cultural enrichment and a kind of co-dependance where we simply want to watch movies and not tell our own stories anymore. Thank you for reading and responding to these words.

American exceptionalism is so toxic and it’s so deeply embedded in the psyche of just about everybody that I’m beginning to fear an aggressive lack of interest, if you will, in Indigenous societies that actually worked and could work again. Supposedly liberal people love to see native people fail. That probably explains why Sherman Alexi and other contemporary Native writers are so popular. Let me also refer to this as the “Woody Allen Syndrome”. Dysfunctionality is all the rage, and people like Sherman Alexi have milked it all the way to the bank. If you come to my class, you’re going to hear about and respond to one of the greatest and one of the most successful experiments ever conceived and carried out by human beings beginning in 1142AD. You’re also going to hear about the Renaissance running from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and from Hawaii to Greenland. Moreover, there will be an emphasis on brother and president Abel Moralez, the new president of Bolovia, who is a native person. And so, my friends, simply register with EXCO and come to my class. Make the time and take the time, because as my late and lamented father used to say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

Hopefully we’ll start seeing you on Thursday nights. I also teach a class on Tuesday from 6-8pm in room 009 of Old Main. It’s on cinema and we’re looking at the intersection between cultural enrichment and a kind of co-dependance where we simply want to watch movies and not tell our own stories anymore. Thank you for reading and responding to these words.

Ray Tricomo can be reached at 651-714-0288 or at [email protected]