Monday, May 10, 2010

Why I have fallen in love with Ruth First

Today Rhodes University hosted Judge Albie Sachs to launch the Ruth First Scholarship.Apart from the launch, Justcie Sachs spoke about "Ruth".Simply put,he told a story about a woman we've only read about in books and articles.He finally did her remarkable character justice.I was inspired by her rigour in scholarship as well as the daring nature the Justice described.She was simply human,and not afraid of asking difficult questions.

This made me think about my role as a scholar and what I will do about my education and insight.This is not to suggest that knowledge is only found in the walls of universities but somehow there's a different elememt here that shouldn't be taken for granted nor viewed with derision.Ruth First saw scholarship as a platform to engage with people and not empty discussions that have no effect on the real world.

I was inspired on many levels by this speech(warm and fuzzy feelings),but also afraid as this kind of relationship with the academy suggests being bold and asking the right questions. Furthermore,it suggests that the people researchers engage with can no longer be seen as subjects or objects of reserach where the reseracher simply arrives in their lives and gets the information needed to get ahead, but I have to see the teachers I work with as they are,human beings with voices that deserve to be heard and understood.This may add to the complexities of a discipline where one is advised to be objective,but I can only hope the experience will be richer.

I was also inspired to learn that Ruth First was also stylish and stood out in the crowd because of her dresscode.Yay for that!

And sadly technology betrayed me!I recorded the beautiful words of Judge Albie Sachs but I can't seem to attach a link to them on this blog.

1 comment:

  1. Tendai once said that the church needs to earn the right to be listened to. Similarily with us as people, society seems to be more willing to pay attention, if one is backed by some kind of scholarship. It's platform, not for you to sit and be your own adoring fan but rather to be a learned commentator of life.

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