Tuesday, January 06, 2009

21st Century Skills

The Washington Post, whose education section I read every day, has an article examining the buzz-phrase in my title. As with anything of importance, there seems to be a great deal of differentiated thinking. So, The Daily Grind will attempt to synthesize all the current research on these skills and narrow them down to the ever effective Big Three.

1. Don't Be an Idiot. Rod Blagojevich serves as our model for why being an idiot is counterproductive. Sure, the man has cajones, but actual intelligence, not so much.

2. Read the Fine Print. The subprime lending debacle has cost me a pretty penny. We bought a house above our means and didn't sell soon enough. As a result, we live in Connecticut with a home in Seattle-metro that we can't sell because the house is no longer worth what it was two months before we put it on the market. Oh wait, that makes me an idiot. Damn! You can send all donations to...

3. Don't Join a Political Party. Seriously. One has to be an idiot to sell oneself out completely to a political organization. Think for yourself. Think for yourself. Think for yourself. If you rely on someone else to determine your politics you deserve the consequences.

So I guess 21st Century Skills can be narrowed to one: Don't Be an Idiot.


At 10:01 PM , Blogger Matthew K. Tabor said...

To point #3 - depending on the state in which one lives, not having a political affiliation means not being able to vote in primaries.

Joining a party is hardly "sell[ing] oneself out completely to a political organization," especially in those states. It doesn't mean you have to vote the party line or subscribe to all of the party's dicta - we saw plenty of internal philosophical diversity on both sides this time around.


At 5:12 PM , Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

May I pass that one salient point on to my students? (However, I'd better come up with a term other than "idiot.")

At 7:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you "seriously" saying that anyone who joins a political party is an idiot?? Do you think that once I write "Democrat" on my voter registration that I am suddenly sucked into a mind-sucking vaccum that will not allow free will? Oh please... seriously, think about what you say before you say it.

At 3:14 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Ah, semantics. What I wrote was, "Don't Join a Political Party." I then wrote, "One has to be an idiot to sell oneself out completely to a political organization." I did not write that anyone who joins a political party is an idiot.
I followed up that thought with the repetitious statement, "Think for yourself."
So, now that I have thought about what I wrote after I wrote it (and before as well), I still think that anyone who sells oneself out completely to a political organization is an idiot.

Matthew--a good point, no doubt. However, your example proves my 21st Century Skill of not being an idiot. Why can't we vote in the primary for whichever candidate we choose? I'm not knowledgeable enough to understand that system. Again breaking my own rule of don't be an idiot.

At 5:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are acting as if your two statements of "Don't Join a Political Party" and being an idiot for "selling oneself out" are not connected at all. Are we supposed to assume that none of your statements relate to one another? You are so sarcastic (or should I say obnoxious) sometimes that it makes me believe that maybe all the self-loathing talk is just a smokescreen for who you really are.

At 1:26 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Ms. Kelly,
"Don't Join a Political Party," is the heading of my paragraph, so of course they are connected in subject matter. Being connected and being equal are different.
I am glad to know, though, that my completely serious list of 21st Century skills has garnered such exceptional critical thinking on the part of my readers.
In fact, your comment about my self-loathing talk as a smokescreen made me think back to when I registered to vote in Connecticut. In order to vote in the primary, I had to register with a political party--therefore, I really am an idiot, and thanks to your keen insight, obnoxios as well.
I knew there was a reason why I posted such a serious topic, and you've helped me rediscover the truth of who I am. Thank you, and Happy New Year.


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