Monday, April 25, 2022

Narcissism In Written Form

I really had to work at reading someone's comment on Facebook recently.  There was no punctuation or paragraphs.  No sentence structure.  Misspellings everywhere.  It took me a few read-throughs to derive the point they were making.

I run into this a lot on social media.  People rant in 100-word sentences to tell you how frustrated they are on this or that issue.

For the longest time, I assumed that these folks were merely uneducated and writing structures were simply not available to them.

I am wondering though if there is more to it than that.

We know that empathy is the ability to truly connect with another person, to understand THEIR perception of an event.

When I write... even a simple post... it will often go through a number of revisions.  I read it over, looking for redundancy, repeated use of a word, and clarity.  If my daughter is around, I will have her give it a proofread.

I want the reader to be clear with what I have written.  I want to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding.  A lot of times, I just want to make sure I am not being an asshole.

However, I don't think the narcissist cares to do any of that.  What they wrote was clear to them... end of story.  Why re-read?  Why check for errors?  Why consider how to make the position more clear?

I understand that poor writing COULD be a matter of education... but given how often I see it pop up with certain personalities... could it not be narcissism in written form?

Saturday, April 23, 2022


This happens to me every day teaching 2nd grade.  Be it their math book, interactive remote, or box of crayons... it goes down like this -

Me: Ok, take out your math book, remote, and a pencil.

Student: Mr. Hackman someone took my remote.

Me:  Could you do me a favor and double-check?

Student: Nope, it's not here.

Me: Could someone sitting next to him check his desk, please?

Student 2:  Nope, it's not there.

Me:  You do realize, in a moment, I am going to walk over there and pull the remote out of the desk, right?

Student: It REALLY is not here.

I then walk over, reach in, and pull the remote out of the desk.  The students stare at me like I just accessed an extra-dimensional wormhole.

This is why I don't put a lot of stock into 2nd grade state-standardized tests.  🙂

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Your People Know Their Jobs

I was rewatching Star Trek: The Motion Picture since they re-released it with upgrades on Paramount+.  Such a great movie.  One scene stuck out to me particularly.  The Enterprise has gone through a refit and Kirk has taken command away from its present captain.  Kirk is in a rush to get the ship out and wants to head to Warp speed.  Scotty and the former captain advise against it - more tests need to be run.  Kirk insists that they move forward on his command nevertheless.

Bones, ever the wise adviser, leans in and says quietly to Kirk, "Jim... you're pushing... your people know their jobs."

This reminds me of the state of American education.  There are few places in public education where people are trusted to "know their jobs."

I have it fairly easy.  I get a decent amount of control over my job.  The Utah legislature is forever overstepping, but we have a fair amount of local control.  The parents in my building are supportive.

I know that is not how it is around a lot of the country though.  I can't imagine what it is like in areas where the Q-Anon crowd is the norm.  Reading about the parents and legislatures in these areas, no wonder teachers are abandoning ship.  What would it be like to teach in an area where every legislator and parent is a Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz wannabe?

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