I don’t like Frank Lloyd Wright. There. I said it. My reasons are not just aesthetic (i.e., this brings to mind this, and this invokes this, or this), but also theoretical. Specifically, this belongs to this, and takes us down a road going away from this, which is where we should seriously think about dropping anchor, hitching our horses, or parking our bicycles.
The problem with publically expressing this dislike is that I live and teach in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, Frank Lloyd Wright is revered. Being considered a native son (the good kind, not this) and being famous is enough to elicit this uncritical reverence. I suspect few of my students know much about FLW, but their parents have told them he’s a fellow Sconnie, and this seems to be enough.
Few college professors teach on their home turf. We are a wondering tribe, rarely plying our trade in a place of our choosing (e.g., only one of my 40 or so colleagues is from WI). Consequently, we have little connection with the intuitions and sundry traditions our students carry. What might seem to us as traditions worthy of critique (at the very least) are often sacrosanct to our students (e.g., I don’t dare publically state my opinion that he overstayed his welcome and was never that good in any case).
What obligations do we have, if any, to the traditions our students bring to the classroom? Shall we be like Socrates and try to unteach everything they have learned from their parents? Shall we make efforts to understand, learn, and/or adopt local traditions or shall we unteach them? Do we have to pretend to like Frank Lloyd Wright?