BEING OUR OWN BEST TEACHERS

Before I begin rambling –  I mean writing out some “random thoughts” that the Spruce Tunnel inspires,  I’d better state my point.    Bottom line, summary,  the point is that if you want to know something you’d better research the topic and learn it yourself.    Don’t wait for the experts to teach you.

I learned that in the fourth grade.  I loved my teacher, everyone in my classroom seemed to love our teacher too, and, as far as I could tell,  all the kids in school loved their own teachers.   It was not unusual, out on the playground,  to hear arguments about whose teacher was the “best.”

Nearly all of our teachers in our very large Chicago-area public school were young, pretty, nice,  Irish, Catholic single women.    Nearly all the teachers loved their own classrooms “the best.”    Grade after grade,  it was a wonderful and safe climate to grow up in.

But I single out my fourth grade teacher right now,  Miss Fitzpatrick, because it was there that I learned that although she was smart and pretty and friendly and 100% on our side,  she didn’t know everything!    It was a bit of  a shock ,  but I accepted that it must be normal and all right,  because, well, Miss Fitzpatrick was a wonderful teacher and she always liked us and she always wanted us to learn.

She didn’t quite know how to teach me more arithmetic, so she sent me up to her friend’s room, the sixth grade teacher, and arranged  permission for me to rummage around in the spare old-textbook cupboard and choose a sixth grade textbook I could learn from.  I will be forever grateful for that experience.   And not only did Miss Fitzpatrick not know everything,  she knew she didn’t know everything,  and she was smart enough to know what to do about it!   That was a great lesson to learn.

I learned to not depend upon teachers for everything I needed to know, and, by extension, later on,  not to depend upon college professors, authority figures, experts,  or public figures on TV to know everything either.

So that helps me now when current events are directing our attention to these people:

UKR  RUS

She is Ukrainian, and she and I probably share a lot of DNA, since it was my ancestors,  the Swedish Vikings, that first established the empire centered around Kiev.  Knowing the Vikings,  they probably shared a lot of big, strong, blue-eyed, yellow-haired genes in the area.   I wrote about this empire briefly in a posting  called:  WHO  I AM WRITING FOR.  (Yes, it was an editorial decision to not write “WHOM.”)

So, historically speaking,  I have an interest in this region of the world.   And truly I cringe whenever I hear the newsreaders struggle with their lack of knowledge about the crisis in Crimerea;  or Crimm-area;  or Crimmea.

And as our F-15s are circling (and menacing) the region,  as warships gather, as the entrance to the Black Sea is blocked, as soldiers rush against soldiers, and as the U.S. and Europe hire snipers to kill the rebels to make it look like the Ukrainian president is killing innocent demonstrators,   as all this is going on, the newsreaders waste precious air time puzzling over the oddity of saying “The Ukraine”  or  “Ukraine”   —

–and laughing, as though an amusing cocktail party topic is really of not that much importance after all.

If the entertainment/news reports are confusing,  it’s probably best that we all search out what is actually going on over there.

I fear we won’t, though.  I fear we won’t understand the issues arising from history.  I fear we won’t know what hit us. . . .

What if we who have no time for this run out of time?

Learning is serious business.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Current Events, Education, Lessons from History

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