The Sunday Whirl 579- Baker’s Dozen-Debating Kids’ Futures

spin, creep, loom, whirl, crack, light, grip, stain, curl, glimpse, slack, lord, wonder

I caught a glimpse of my archrival in the crowd and felt like I wanted to curl my ‘tail’ between my legs and light out of the auditorium. The Superintendent and I had had an indelible ‘stain‘ on our pretense of mutual respect since our unfortunate heated confrontation months ago.
“Get a grip!” was my brain’s immediate response.
“That ‘creep‘ can’t crack your confidence unless you let her.”

I then whispered to myself as I bowed in a moment of prayer, “Lord, please don’t let me defeat myself today. This is for the kids.”

The debate was about to start, and the whirl of noise began to settle as we took our seats on the stage.
After a brief introduction by the event organizer, we were called upon to present our cases on the topic of Homeschooling vs Public School.

My job was going to be extra difficult because of the venue itself. There’s no need to wonder about the uphill battle in presenting an argument in front of professionals eyeing me with furrowed brows from the audience. I’d call that a looming pressure. If I couldn’t effectively appeal to these people who are holding their own pre-conceived preferences, they’d easily ‘spin‘ my ‘points’ as proof of Public Schooling superiority.

All we disenchanted parents wanted was the freedom to choose without governmental regulatory interference.

When my turn came, I brought out the BIG guns first.

” You all know the first woman on our esteemed Supreme Court. Sandra Day O’Connor was a brilliant legal scholar, a pioneer in breaking down professional barriers to women, and the product of early homeschooling. Thomas Edison and Theodore Roosevelt spent their whole young lives being homeschooled too.”

It was then that the Superintendent’s defiant face and pursed lips went slack.



https://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/2022/11/20/wordle-579-a-bakers-dozen/

The Lost Art of Adult Discussion

I love exchanging ideas, thoughts, and opinions with people!
The absolute most useful question is, “Can you explain why or how you developed that idea?”.
Nowadays, it seems that that question is considered as an ‘assault’ or ‘insult’ to many.

Read it again, and ask yourself, if there’s anything wrong or dangerous about the question?

Yet, that question separates the intellectually honest from ‘immature’ actors.

If that question, elicits a compilation of links and YouTube videos, you may just want to graciously move on. The person obviously hasn’t thought about the concept enough to use his/her own words.
If that question, elicits an opinion portrayed as a fact, moving on is also recommended. Opinions are good but have little value in critical analysis.
And, if the question, elicits a challenge to your intelligence or integrity rather than any rational ‘ideas’ in the person’s own words, move on immediately.

The best method in conversation is to always explain what YOU believe and avoid telling others, what THEY should believe. (Actually, if you think you’re (or anyone else) is the authority on what every person should think, you’re automatically too immature to have an ‘adult’ exchange with.)
The second method, is to find samples of things that they’ve said that make sense and tell them you agree. Even if you think their premises are flawed, make an effort to tell them “You’re not alone in that.” or “I know many other intelligent people who say that.”. Then, offer your oppositional facts or opinions. At this point, the ‘adults’ will wonder about your evidence. The immature will likely talk about ‘information sources’ or say “get educated”. You likely should tell them “Have a nice day.” and save your breath. Being called ‘stupid’ ruins any ‘adult’ conversation.
Be advised, ending the discussion is what many ‘immature’ intellects actual want. They enjoy whatever conclusions they have made and find questions uncomfortable.

Obviously, the best sign of intellectual honesty is an absolute willingness to amend your opinions based on well presented arguments and new factual information. Anyone who suggests “I’m correct and you’re not.” doesn’t have enough integrity and humility to talk with.

We used to have debate assignments in grade school. That was an excellent training for making well-thought arguments. I don’t believe that the public schools teach that any longer. Sadly, the number of ‘adult’ conversations have suffered for that. I only know a handful of people who realize that disagreeing is not an assault but a request for more conversation.

I really want to know what others’ think. It helps me challenge and amend how I think. Testing our opinions either makes them stronger or makes us change them. There is no place for conclusions in Science or Public Opinion.
IMO… we’ll remain hopelessly divided until people, in general, ‘grow up’. I’m not holding my breath but have learned how to save it. 😉