It had been the first program day of this year’s study visit with a group of students from Ireland: The Higher Diploma in Social Policy. A small group of students, entering with entirely different backgrounds from their first studies, doing this postgrad-course in order to be able to move on in studying social work, social policy, or just to leave it there after obtaining some fundamental knowledge in social (political) science. I had been near to write “basic” but it is really more about fundamentals. Not so much about how this society works at the moment and what contemporary issues are about. It is more about gaining an understanding of the principles …
…, and of course this includes some fundamental issues on political economy – what do figures mean: from the changes of some figures we don’t learn much as long as we do not know that the profit rate is not just a different name for turn over, corporate income or the like) and philosophy of law (paragraphs and regulations may change more or less on a short term basis – but law, legal systems will maintain their character as means of control: oppression and establishing a very specific hegemony for a long time, lasting much longer than their frequent offspring). And for the first time I took the opportunity to include a little bit history of arts: the tour through the exciting exhibitions of the old and the modern Pinakothek.
(Sure, mighty proud that Martha and Lorena, colleagues and friends from the Institute, joined – aren’t we all glad if people listen who do not have to listen, people who just are interested in what we are saying?
And also glad that the students asked me if I would join them the afternoon – apparently they cannot get enough from me 😉 – so we went for a visit at the memorial: KZ Gedenkstaette Dachau)
… the first program day, visiting two agencies, one working with ‘unaccompanied minor refugees’, the other an umbrella organisation, supporting self-help.
In the evening I still have some time left, thinking about the insights from the visits, also thinking about the words I read the other day:
that one cannot write about social policy issues like writing a music score, with the different chimes coming together, building one large symphonic piece.
And then I come across a sad news: Vaeterchen Franz …
Franz-Josef Degenhardt, born in December 1931 in Schwelm in Westphalia passed away the afternoon. Our first study day – the day he drew his last breath:
bearing the academic degree of Doctor of Law – a great poet, satirist, novelist, and – first and foremost – folksinger/songwriter left us, standing for decidedly left-wing politics.
Remembering having met him, remembering his songs … – perhaps he had been doing the impossible with his songs as it is perhaps more in general arts we have to pay more attention to as it is about:
writing about social policy issues like writing a music score, with the different chimes coming together, building one large symphonic piece.
He is gone – so it is even more now up to us not to forget and to move on, looking for the truth.
And we have to continue – we can hear the challenge ahead here: ….