Monday, January 16, 2017

Slice of Life - Thoughts


       I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always a pleasure to read what everyone writes about their lives.
         
       Among all the not-so-great things that happen to me, dental problems, car breakdown, plumbing needed, I feel pretty good about my life. Having been married to a special man makes me feel very lucky. Teaching was a very special time in my life. Parenting and grandparenting continue to be. Those things make my life feel full of many more ups than downs. 
        I guess you feel a "but" coming. Yes, there is one. Since I was a wee person I could read, and I loved it. I loved the learning, adored that I could open this thing with covers, full of pages, and learn something. It might have been about emotions and how a young girl took good care of herself when flung into a new situation. It might have been an adventure out in the ocean, and a captain who faced a life and death decision. It could be a book about horse training.You who are readers know what I mean. Whatever it was, I gobbled it up and returned for more. 
        This is not just about reading, but this week especially, and a thread running through my life these past months, or a slice every day I suppose, is a heightened distaste for ignorance. I don't mind teaching or knowing someone who doesn't know something. I realize that there are hundreds of topics of which I know little. However, when I do not know something, and wanted, or more important when I needed to know, I read and learned and talked with experts if I could, then read more.That was my stance in teaching students and my own children, too. Search and discover the answers.
        And when I hear our incoming president unable to answer a question from someone who refers to historical events, to economic concepts, to the human facts of our United States, or other topics, I am outraged. That's the word. In all my years of living, teaching, parenting, I have not accepted ignorance. There are reasons for it, but there are also ways to change it: research, read, discover books that teach. I've learned more history and the ways of governing in the recent past than probably any time in my life. And then this week I read this New York Times article about President Obama's way of living and managing his presidency. He read. Not everyone agrees with everything he's done as president. That's okay, too. But he is not ignorant.
          I am trying to consider other points of view. I am trying to discover hope for these next years by finding/learning ways to question what I believe is not right, is not good for all those who live in our country, in the world. 
          I won't stop learning and reading.  

        "It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."  James Baldwin

22 comments:

  1. Yesterday I spoke with a friend, a college graduate with an MSW, who thought Chicago was a state! She laughed it off, admitting she knows nothing about geography. How does this happen? I would like to hear from our president elect's teacher, know what books he read in school and what he wrote his essays on. That's an idea for evaluating politicians! Thanks for your eloquent words echoing President Obama's.

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    1. I'm not surprised, but dismayed, and love the idea of learning from our politician's teachers. Perhaps we aren't looking far enough back in their records? Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I echo your thoughts, Linda. I shudder at the possibility of the lack of knowledge that will be dealing with issues facing the nation. It is also so troubling that the people he turns to has a lack of experience and knowledge, too.

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    1. Thanks, Elsie, I do intend to keep watching and checking up on what premises the decisions are made.

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  3. Ignorance of a leader is dangerous. In this case the ignorance is a danger to the whole world. Isn't it strange that most leadership jobs require qualifications and education and skills, except for the leader of a country?

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    1. I wish there were more qualifications, Terje! As you see, I'm hopeful that our leaders start doing their homework! Thanks!

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  4. Hear, hear! Beautifully stated, Linda. I'm with you on the ignorance thing. This election has revealed there are many who are willfully ignorant, which is totally unacceptable. Surely that's a sign of close-mindedness, which I feel is what we're battling against like never before. You don't have to be a scholar or have a high IQ to realize that knowledge is power. It's going to be such a shock to go from a President who loved to read and read widely, to someone who doesn't read at all. And he tries to compensate for his ignorance with lies, double talk and personal attacks. It's also insulting because he assumes we can't see through his ruse.

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    1. I am gritting my teeth, and will watch his words, and then the actions carefully, Jama. Thank you!

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  5. Ignorance in a country's leader is a scary thought, Linda. Read...Talk...Learn...These are things I will never stop doing. I hope and pray that our leaders do the same before making any kind of policy that might be detrimental to our nation.

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    1. Thanks! Well, you know that I hope so, too.It is amazing to me that people appear to be ignoring the lies and the untoward actions happening.

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  6. We continue to learn to keep the hope going. Ignorance is inexcusable when there are many outlets to find the resources to build knowledge. Amen to what you believe, Linda.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. I will continue to keep watching and learning!

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  7. The James Baldwin quote just sent shivers down my spine. I feel your pain, Linda. So, so true. I am unbelievably sad these days. Keep reading! Keep researching! Keep believing!

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. Yes, a sad time for many of us.

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  8. The James Baldwin quote is powerful. I am TRYING to be hopeful and optimistic..... It's hard but I know it's the only way to find a bit of hope....

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    1. I'm trying, too, Anita, but will not stop being watchful about most everything. Thanks.

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  9. Who was it that during the campaign made a comedy act of interviewing Trump supporters? My husband says, "You can't cure stupid." I am worried. How can a whole country be run on stupidity? Yikes!

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    1. I do think that many Trump supporters believed what he said, and made the decision they needed to, but it's hard to understand.

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  10. I was excited and interested to learn of Obama's passion for reading. If anyone has the excuse of being "too busy" to read, it would surely be the president, right? And yet he read! I shudder to think of the ignorance that is out there, and that is going to be running our country... but we must hope that there are also so many trying to fight it that some good things will still happen! Right?

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    1. As you read, I do agree that our leaders should be readers and learners, hence my post. I hope that those in the rest of the government will step up and do well.

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  11. Having these same thoughts, Linda! As an English teacher it so disheartens me to think that we will have a president who admits that he doesn't read (especially after having a president who was so well-read and articulate!).

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    1. I am sorry for all you who are teaching this year. It's been a joyful time in the past to teach during elections. My only thought is that I would emphasize that critical thinking was the most important thing students could learn.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!