We believe that it is crucial for our community to strive for an education promoting critical consciousness surrounding issues of identity, social systems, and cultural structures. We hope that Out of the Blue will take one step in the process toward a campus culture that emphasizes critical thinking, reflection, and understanding. Through these stories, we hope we all may come to a fuller understanding of ourselves and each other.
As we go through life, our journeys are complicated by the structures of gender, race, and class that we must navigate, sexualities that we must accept, cultures that we must inhabit, faiths that we must discover, and physical capabilities that we must live with. As the stories in Out of the Blue attest, the foci of this book inform our every action, word, and deed, and deeply affect our experiences at Andover and in life. We do not live in a post-race, post-gender, or post-class society. We do not yet live in a community that welcomes all religions, cultures, sexual orientations, and abilities equally. We do not live in a society in which these things do not matter. We live in a world in which these traits define us, whether we like it or not, and inform deeply how we will experience the world.
In order to make this community as safe as it can be, and in order to more fully understand ourselves, we must also understand each other. The only solution to microaggressions that build up to marginalize individuals is education. The only way to come to terms with our own identities is to understand those of others.
Andover should not serve as a machine that sends students blindly into existing structures; it should produce alumni who question, think critically, and challenge normalcy. Beyond the personal and cultural changes that we can all create in ourselves, many graduates of school will, later in their lives, have the power to create tangible, institutional change. PA must give students a foundation of social awareness early on. Changing the world is a process that isn’t easy, but we get there by finding out more about ourselves and others by enabling dialog
Excerpt from the Out of the Blue preface:
In Out Of the Blue, members of our community have presented their truths, in order to provide knowledge about experiences that might be different from yours. In telling these truths in the form of stories, poems, and art, the contributors to this project want to help build a stronger community through which we can better understand and communicate with one another. As the CAMD Office strives to create an inclusive community that embraces difference and celebrates all cultures and identities, we have discovered that through telling our individual stories we can bridge the gaps that often divide us and create stronger bonds that bring us closer together as a community.
Understanding and valuing each other for who we are may not always be easy, particularly in areas we are less familiar with. Our hope is that you will not only enjoy the stories contained in the following pages, but that you will expand your own understanding and thinking about the challenges and triumphs of living in such a richly diverse community.