Saturday, January 12, 2008

Undoing what is being done...

Today my husband and I sat our extremely opinionated teenager down and "made" her watch An Inconvenient Truth. She has been coming home the past couple of weeks telling us stories about how her high school science teacher makes fun of global warming by using a cartoonish amount of paper towels to wipe off the dry erase board in his classroom and prints off reams of paper while making sarcastic comments. She thinks it is hysterically funny and is starting to adopt his ways of thinking...I cannot put up with this. No, no, no, no, no...

My husband and I had watched the movie the weekend before and were both really impacted by it. It puts a lot of facts out there to back up all the "hype". When my daughter (who has become increasingly politically aware this year--all on her own) started rolling her eyes and making annoying comments to us while we were checking out the environmental stances of the various political candidates, we decided enough was enough. We sat her down and put in the DVD. We watched half of it this afternoon and will watch the other half with her this evening. I don't know if it will "convert" her, but we told her that we want her to develop her own opinions and not adopt those of people she thinks are entertaining. She doesn't have to agree with all of our opinions, but she does need to be able to develop her own opinions based on factual evidence and well-rounded research--looking at all sides of an issue/topic and not just the most appealing ones.

One of my goals as a parent has always been to raise children that can think for themselves, who are not mindless sheep following the herd. Knowledge is power...as I learned from watching School House Rock many years ago--but it is true. Knowledge--comprehensive, well-rounded knowledge--is a far better weapon than any gun, bomb, military force or legislation. It is what breaks down racism, tolerance of abuse, prejudice of all kinds and apathy. It is the best gift we can give to our children...along with an inhabitable planet...

1 comment:

me said...

I think you did a good job- that was probably the perfect thing to do. My blod just boiled when you said he was using too many paper towels. They make erasers for those boards. I have one in my dining room and we've used the same little washcloth for like a year and it hasn't even needed to be washed yet. There's no reason for him to be so wasteful. How can he teach SCIENCE? I hope one day they have a Substitute who shows that movie to the whole class. Maybe his ex wife was green and now he's just a bitter jerk about it.