Friday, January 20, 2017

Teachable Opportunities

Do you ever wonder how you know the things you know?

I don't mean, "I know that I am hungry and I know I do not want fried chicken"

For example, how do I know Monet is pronounced Mo-nay and not Mo-net?  How did I learn this tidbit of information? And further...when did I learn it? Did I just assimilate it? Did I hear it somewhen (yes, somewhen), assume it was correct, and simply file it away in my Inner Library of Possibly Useful Information? I suspect it was the result of some unremembered teachable opportunity. Enough that I remembered the lesson, but not how or when I learned it.

Boy Child and I were discussing something he'd read and he mispronounced a word. I honestly am fuzzy on the details.  But I remember I corrected his pronunciation and his response to me was, "Whatever, you know what I mean."

OK - so aside from the almost-a-teenager attitude (a whole other blog post in itself) - I said something to the effect of, "No, not whatever. You need to know how to say the word correctly, for lots of reasons; not the least of which is so you don't look like a fool when you say it in front of someone other than your mother who loves you and is just trying to help."

Needless to say, he did not appreciate the teachable opportunity and, as I vaguely recall, it was early and I was still decaffeinated, I chose not to pursue it further.

Same thing happens with Girl Child, though her response is more along the lines of, "Well, that's how I say it, mo-om." As she typically is not a snot-nosed brat I am more concerned by her manner of response.  (Again, a whole other blog post in itself.)

We know it's raining because we can see it. We know it's cold because we can feel it. We know the sky is blue because...Science is a real thing. We know that education is important because who wants an ignorant generation to be responsible for taking care of us in our old age? (Among other reasons.)

OK - here's another one. How do we know how to balance a checkbook? No one ever actually taught me so I suppose I figured it out myself. Does that mean my logical side and my knowledge of basic math, plus my powers of deduction, worked hand-in-hand-in-hand to allow me to understand the method of the task? I don't know; possibly.

I guess my point in all this (if I really even have one) is this: There are a TON of teachable opportunities in life. Whether you're a parent, a friend, a concerned citizen, or a purple alien standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona... I think (and this is my opinion here) that if you do not take advantage of these teachable opportunities in order to help someone increase their understand and knowledge - regardless of subject - then you are selfish and they are missing out on some seriously cool learning. Plus...doesn't an ignorant generation scare the crud out of you? It does me!


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