Thought for Thursday

I think I may be a sucker.

Someone drops political bait, and I can be pretty much counted upon to bite.  It happened last week when one of my students called the President a “pinhead” (gee, I wonder where he got THAT witty label) and again when someone responded idiotically to a question about the Koch brothers’ obsession with making sure that young people opt out of buying health insurance that I posted on Alan Greyson’s facebook page.  It happened again when a friend posted an intellectually dishonest (and factually incorrect) post about someone losing her healthcare coverage.

I bit.

I probably should know better.  I mean, really; how many times can I beat myself bloody against the brick walls of people who refuse to even ENTERTAIN the idea that there might be a different way of understanding something?  My problem, though, is that I’m a teacher, so my very EXISTENCE is predicated on the idea that people CAN learn, that evidence thoughtfully and respectfully presented deserves to be thoughtfully and respectfully considered, and that, when evidence disproves a position, that position should be abandoned.

Silly, SILLY Chili!

I was going to transcribe the conversation for you, but it appears that most of it has been removed from the post.  I guess that tells me everything I need to know about the quality of that discussion, huh?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Thought for Thursday

  1. Also, though, as a teacher you know that one of the most important tools is the ability to watch and wait until someone is READY to learn and then being sure to pour your energy into that moment of openness.

  2. Buttons being pushed I see; I have had this happen; if it is a matter on topic, I will always ask for clarity and support for such a position. I ask students to challenge be the same, knowing that I am biased and we all have a point of view.

  3. Anonymous

    A good teacher must also understand the cultural differences and entertain the idea that there are different ideas of understanding something.
    “I mean, really; how many times can I beat myself bloody against the brick walls of people who refuse to even ENTERTAIN the idea that there might be a different way of understanding something?

  4. Absolutely, Anonymous, but that wasn’t the case here (and I wasn’t operating in the capacity of a teacher, though I WAS using a lot of my research and critical thinking skills in this conversation).

    This was a case of “you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.” I was offering citations from credible sources to back up my assertions; the people I was “talking” to were not doing that (and, in fact, resorted to name-calling, the appeal to authority fallacy, and projection before outright blocking me). Cultural differences are one thing; refusal to acknowledge demonstrable evidence is something else, entirely.

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