In an effort to keep a lecturer at UCSB, we presented and recited this scroll to the Dean of Creative Studies

To the Good Queen’s Kingdom of Creative Studies:

Us groundlings have been waiting. We go to class in good faith; we sit on the lawn and watch the trees grow – in good faith. We sit on the OLT benches, burning cigarettes, compose. We wield plastic hammers at the gods of poetry – in good faith. We’re waiting for the CCS trees to scrape the sky, but in the meantime, we’ve learned to read–and we’ve cultivated intellectual fleas that quiz us incessantly as we bathe in the dust. We’ve watched our rags unravel in the scorched late afternoon sun – until now, this moment, when the prayers we never knew we had were answered. All this time we’ve had our ears pressed to the ground, and finally, we heard the news:


Us groundlings have a proposition.

In the name of Love–for knowledge, literature, and the dear and wonderful college as a whole–we express our joy and gratitude to Rob Wallace–a bright new liberating philosophical king of the classroom–and nominate him to fill the void.

Rob is a rare and noble spirit. He is so intent, so solid, so dedicated to the protection and integrity of the mind–as well as that which lies beyond. To Us groundlings, it seems as if many scholars these days have disembodied heads–their love for knowledge is for knowledge alone and serves little purpose in the world. They’re archaeologists so obsessed with cobwebs that they’ve forgotten about the spider which hangs above them.

Rob, on the other hand, is a living musician, and he loves spiders. He strums on cobwebs as ancient as any lyre, and has the ability to bring facts and history back to life. With Wallace, the classroom is not just a classroom—it’s a divine theatre that contains the whole world–past, present, and future. The classroom is an image of eternity where Rob can play Orpheus and we his inspired Cerebus!

Rob Wallace is a priceless treasure. Rob Wallace is an IED, an improvised explosive device, except instead of exploding soldiers and curious children – he implodes our minds with the secrets of the cosmos. Rob Wallace isn’t a spark, he’s the Big Bang. When Rob dies, valkyrie will fight over his corpse. Three days later when Rob brings himself back to life; we will tremble in fear and awe.

And honestly, Rob Wallace, our valiant Dao troubadour, forges struggling artists into struggling heroes. His criticism unites two areas of inquiry that traditionally necessitate each other, that of scholastic euphoria and artistic novelty. With Rob, Art and Academia finally consummate their awkward sexual tension and engage in some serious improvised baby-making.

Nor does Rob consider the production of art to be limited to mercantilism –he treats artistic creativity, awareness, engagement, and transformation as a lifestyle. Rob Wallace utilizes CCS as a platform from which Us Groundlings develop the ability to creatively engage with the world–to think for ourselves, to question what is taken for granted and blindly accepted by many, to wonder what we might do with our lives instead of what we should, to live more fully. In this way, Rob would be MANificent as a CCS professor. From putting on class performances to after-hours film screenings to independent studies courses to his own concerts at the Biko House in IV and Muddy Waters in Santa Barbara – he’s the most dynamic and yet complete creative writing guru we know.

But we are just simple groundlings. All we can do is say that we love Rob and that he would be a wonderful addition and asset to CCS. Please consider!

Thank you,

Seth J. Miller

Desmond White

KCSB AS Media Center. Pictured, left to right: Vanessa Valdivia, Ian Vargas, Desmond Wilder, Victoria Hungerford. This is my team.

Alternative Teaching Model, i.e. Video Games

Under the Prussian Model, schooling becomes a choking prose; the ring of the bell its punctuation.

A Quotation for Consideration

Professor Michael Merzenich, who works at the University of California, San Francisco, said that “our brains are vastly different, in fine detail, from the brains of our ancestors… In each stage of cultural development… the average human had to learn complex new skills and abilities that all involve massive brain change… Each one of us can actually learn an incredible elaborate set of ancestrally developed skills and abilities in our lifetimes, in a sense generating a re-creation of this history of cultural evolution via brain plasticity” (Doidge).

In essence, culture changes the way we think.

Historical Context

Before I propose an alternative teaching method, let’s take a brief look at the education system implemented into schools today. What we have here in the United States is what is called the “Prussian Model of Schooling” which includes mandatory courses, a national grading system, and specific instruction necessities for all students and teachers. This education model dates all the way back to the Kingdom of Prussia and its 18th Century curriculum Volksschule.

When looking at Middle and High school, we find that education has become categorized learning separated by brief bouts of “free period” (typically approximately five minutes in length, as students transition from one classroom to the next). In college we have the same, except these “free periods” continue even longer, at times lasting up to several hours.

However, in this past century we’ve seen the rise of a technological implementation in which we, as human beings, can engage for hours without interruption. That technology? Video games.

Reform, the Proposal Stage

We don’t live in the Pleistocene Age anymore. Nor are we 18th Century Prussians. The Millennials, as we’ve been nick’d by the media, are an impatient and visually-impressed zeitgeist generation. Education as lecturer and pupils encaged inside four classrooms walls is sentimental at best. New blood clamors for a new body and we must deliver. Thus, my application of video games.

Specifically, video games that have been tailored to educate with sequential precision, “play world” architecture, and yet inestimable developments of critical thinking. Games should be capricious enough to avoid proscribed thinking patterns. What we’re looking for is “neuroplastic” stepping stones that allow children to fully articulate internal disorder into both individual and societal remuneration.

That means the consequences of failure will be gentle, while “in-game” rewards will reimburse hard-work with virtual pleasures. Or will they? As this is all theoretical with very little exploration of subject matter, even conceptions of this proposal’s project is limited to preconceived philosophy on video game potential for tutorage.


Doidge, Norman. The Brain That Changes Itself. Penguin Books: New York City, 2007.

Conspiracies Peoples Report

YO YO! I now have a radio show broadcasting every Thursday afternoon from 6:30 to 8 PM at KJUC 880/770 AM from local Santa Barbara radio channel KCSB 91.9. It’s going to be the shizrocks so get your notebook out and tune in. While other shows are saturating themselves in Indie bands and alternative rock, we’ll be exploring intriguing topics like MAN’S PLACE IN THE COSMOS!

CPR, or Conspiracies Peoples Report, is dedicated to descending into madness. Like a snake eating its own tail, humies preoccupy themselves in the consumption of resources and Brave New World levels of leisure that they’ve ignored the signs of our super-weird, super-mutual destruction. The natural order is helter skelter.

Our show will investigate a variety of topics pertaining to you, the cosmonaut, including: Graphic Novels, life philosophies, life sophistries, OST, Spoken Word, the supernatural, the paranormal,, non sequitur humor, fish, the superhorny, magical realism, conspiracies, religion, religious conspiracies, conspiratorial religions, private detective fiction from the 20-30s, cryptozoology, fringe science, anime & manga, westerns & cowboys, stand up comedy (and sit down tragedy), Crime Mystery Theatre, science fiction, interesting histories, obscure books, and brain-washing celebrities (like Lady Gag… or is it Godga?).

Our musical accompaniment will be soundtracks to our favorite TV shows, with an emphasis on Science Fiction, Spy Espionage, and Detective Drama (i.e. The Prisoner, The Wild Wild West, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The X-FilesFringe, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Kojak, The Rockford Files, Starsky & Hutch, McMillan & Wife, etc). Plus we’ll include music pertaining to the supernatural, music pertaining to nerd culture, and music we really, really, really like. Think of this as kaleidoscopic arm-swinging insubordinate wit to twit.

I’m teaching a class next year!

LITERATURE CS 15 Section 1


Disney and analogous animations are a medium not usually perceived as high art, but are just as applicable for critical analysis. In this colloquium we will perilously engage in deconstructing archetypes, mythological figures, and conflicting ideologies in the Disney “universe.” Disney’s persistent use of adapted story, dead family members, gender roles, race, distorted history, as well as manipulation of visual presentation, music, history, popular culture and subtle sexuality – makes the Disney oeuvre a thing that can be explored by both the childish and cerebral. This colloquium will also explore new methods of telling story when universal brand and a globalized audience must be considered. Writing projects will include critical essays and creative writing within the topic. Students will turn in a portfolio of collected stories, poetry and essays at the end of the quarter. Exploration of other forms of media, like Hanna Barbara, Pixar, or Hayao Miyazaki films, will also be allowed.

Note: Student Colloquia are limited to a maximum of Two (2.0) units Pass. Units for this class are lower-division UCSB units.

 Recommended Reading:

Byrne, Eleanor. Deconstructing Disney. Pluto Press: London, 1999.

Griffin, Sean. Tinker Belles and Evil Queens. University Press: New York, 2000.

Wasko, Janet. Understanding Disney. Blackwell Publishers Ltd: Cambridge, 2001.

Student Instructor:  Desmond White

Faculty Advisor:  Jim Donelan