I was recently advised that “no” does not mean “NO”, and that I am “snarky”.
I re-learned the meaning of “no” through The Bartleby Project . I support the effort to “Just Say No” to the test and so I added my head to that project’s count. I even added my two cents-worth of thought… Oops!
Saying “No” is very well and good so long as one does not refuse to do the thing that first gave rise to the urge to say “No”. Apparently, one can only say “No” while “doing” “Yes”. Lesson learned – “No” means “NO” except when it means “maybe”, “sort of”, or “YES”.
On a social networking service, I found a page about “opting out” of high-stakes testing and thought that describing my positive experiences with standardized tests would illuminate several reasons for opting out. As one who does well on such tests, I thought my shout to “Run away! Those tests are completely toxic!” would be well received… Oops!
Apparently, one can have an opinion only if one’s child performs poorly on “the test” or if the opinion comes from someone else… like an “authority”. I had been “snarky” for having mentioned my own experiences.
I looked up the words “No” and “snarky”. “No” still means “NO”, and the word “snarky” did not apply in the context it was used (although I admit that I do sometimes come across as “snarky” or worse).
Similar occurrences are commonplace, whether on the internet or in the context of face-to-face interactions. It seems one must sing the same song as others, nonsensical lyrics at atonality notwithstanding. I must have been daydreaming when this lesson was taught in school. Perhaps my teachers failed to program me correctly …it does not matter.
The few “professional teachers” are up against the significant force of the real-world’s “teachers”. You pros have a weighty responsibility. I wonder if your students are of the same mind as Princess Leia who, in a scene from the first Star Wars film released, records a message using R2-D2: “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
(By the way, I still support the goals of both The Bartleby Project and the networking page I referenced.)