Sunday, May 10, 2009

Watch What You Say

Proof that what you say matters: during first semester this year, one of the seniors at Minnehaha interviewed me for her Advanced Composition class. Although I don’t specifically remember it, apparently I slipped in a comment to the effect of ‘most teachers are afraid of finding answers’. What I meant is that many teachers, at least in my experience, shy away from seeking answers to their technological issues on their own (say, by simply Googling), and instead decide a more prudent course of action is to seek out a “technology expert”.

At first glance, you may not see anything wrong with that, but a fair comparison comes from the classic, “give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”.

The issue is that technology departments (everywhere, not only at Minnehaha) don’t have the human resources to offer one-on-one assistance for every single tiny issue that comes up, users need to take responsibility and try things on their own without hand-holding. Yes, of course there will be times when you need to call on the expert, obviously. But there are so many times when a simple Google search can solve the problem. This is how I fix almost everything on my own machine, and it escapes me why others don’t have that same mentality. It truly is an issue of mindset, not [perceived] capability.

I digress.

Each year the English classes at Minnehaha take over the library and, with real quills and ink, write some of their favorite quotes on parchment, er, paper, all of which are then hung in one of the classrooms. And so, amidst thought-provoking quotations from Emerson, Franklin, Twain, perhaps even Austin, my interviewer quilled my quote...

On the one hand, I was humbled for my name to appear in the same league as these literary powerhouses. On the other, it made me realize that I may need to watch what I say a little more carefully, or at least, be better prepared to explain myself. Don’t get me wrong, I stand by what I said, I think it’s true... but I say that with the caveat of my explication above.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Another important time to watch what you say is while trying to teach a toddler to speak. For months, you try to inspire words like "mama" and "daddy", but utter one expletive, just one time, and THAT'S the word the child will repeat...and repeat...and repeat! (Fortunately, we did not experience this, first-hand!).