Monday, June 23, 2008

Read all instructions before proceeding.

I've always been conflicted about the fine line between going one's own path and taking the advice & guidance of others. So, when I encounter mildly defiant, ambitious, tenacious, and calculating youth I ususally give them some leeway. I don't tolerate disrespect or rudeness, so as long as they don't cross any of major social boundaries, I'll give them the time to figure out problems and solutions...I let them handle it their way. I'll try to engage them in Socratic conversation to get them to think about things in a new way and sometimes try to get to them to see what I see or have learned. It works sometimes.

I'm all about people becoming independent, discerning critical thinkers. BUT.....
But what's with not following plain-old-simple directions? Paradox.
The last thing I want is for kids, especially urban kids, to become little drones simply doing rote tasks. That doesn't yield much in the way of long-term success.

I think about the follow before leading speech. Understand the system, first. Then you can improvise. At least know where, how, and why you have diverted from the path. It's just damn irritating. When someone doesn't do things the right way it causes so much extra work and lost time for others...and thinking back to class issues - it results in many individuals being eliminated from opportunities because they are judged as not comprehending or not caring to comprehend the system or whatever. But the consequences can be quite heavy, especially in the workplace. "A hard head makes a soft behind." This is age-old adage warning against disobedience and stubborness. As a child I could be hard-headed at times. But I was a passive-aggressive. So I often did what I was told but did it at a low pace or took my time getting around to. (I only pushed this "slowness" so far. I also learned that a passive-aggressive attitude makes a soft behind, too.)

It's something I had to deal with when I was teaching at Fair Eastside and at the jobhouse.

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