Monday, October 17, 2016

#WeirdEd Week 125- Post-Debate Decompression

This Weds marks the third and thankfully final presidential debate. It's scheduled to run from 6:00pm to 7:30pm pst. This means it runs a half hour into our normally scheduled #WeirdEd time. Because I feel like a well-informed populace electing the president is of importance, I'm pushing the first half hour of our edchat and instead it'll only be a half-hour, from 7:30pst-8:00pst. Even if they don't talk about education a presidential debate is still educational, and we, as educators, should treat it as such.

I don't think this last debate will change any minds. The internet tried to make a hero/joke out of undecided voter and red sweater enthusiast Ken Bone, when instead we should have been spinning around asking him how he could possibly still be unsure at this point in the game. Justifiably, we've all collectively forgotten about him now. Still, his turn at fame does help explain how some of the population took their eye off the ball long enough to let the vulgar talking yam (credit to Charles P Pierce for that) get this far.

Still, even though most all of us have made up our minds one way or another, watching the debate makes us part of the national conversation. You can go on about how individual votes don't matter (the first election I cared about was Bush2 v Gore, so if anyone should feel that was it's my age group), or how you hate both candidates, or how you wish Dr Stein or that other guy who won't win got to be more involved in the process, but the debate gives one of the candidates a chance to verbalize her ideas and the other a chance to make mouth noises with his face until you want to chew the arm off your couch. This is important. Even if they don't mention education, and don't expect a deep conversation about that, no one wants that conversation except us*, watching a debate is educational. I've got fifth graders who pay attention. They know it's important.

The chat will be a chance to decompress. I will be on an airplane flying to Regina, Canada to deliver the opening and closing keynote and the SMYA conference, so my partner in crime Shawna Briseno will be moderating the half hour. There will be no questions. It'll be open forum to talk about what the two candidates talk about. Respectfully. We can do that even if they (read: he) can't.

*oof, I wrote that back in January. This election season will never end

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