Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Investigations

I've been thinking a lot about the way that our words don't cover the need. I get this from my “Difficult Jobs” blogroll (and I read their blogroll after that). I see this vast disconnect between international knowledge and local knowledge when it comes to application. Two of a hundred examples:

Example A: How does the knowledge of international anti-terrorism translate to law enforcement on the curbs of a beleaguered neighborhood? We know crime and terror are related, but what kind of tools or training apply from the international to the local? What discourse helps?

Example B: Public schools know that they’re on the front lines for preparing a work force. When a teacher faces thirty students, half or more that don’t know how to read, and tries to teach Shakespeare or mathematics, how does international competition for jobs come in?
I don’t mean the teacher should talk about offshore labor; I mean, when these kids fail, they’re in a bad position to capture a prosperous adulthood in a healthy community.

Or put it another way: How can the long view be inserted into the particulars?

It seems to me, that for first responders, this disconnect from the international to the local feels like a two-tier system. The locals have the drudge end, working with not enough tools. And I read this in some blogs or accounts:

1. sometimes the venting of accumulated frustrations,
2. sometimes a report of how a policy isn’t working (immigration, for instance)
3. sometimes an attempt at self-education in political science or international issues,
4. most often national/international programs that dribble down according to one priority or another, change every four or eight years, become paper-wasters.

So, instead of despairing over the general, I thought: study something. Figure it out. Try to connect them. I picked gangs, because by and large, they are a significant inner-city employer, a dangerous feature of the schools and neighborhoods.

And I am right back where I started. Gangs are international, but they are also relentlessly local. So I have to think about it some more. I have to do more research.

Image: An Art Print, "Frustration" by Brooke Sajer, at the Minerva Union. Ms. Sajer, this is gorgeous.


Anonymous said...

Found from Dr. G. Nice blog. Have only read one post thus far.

Ann T. said...

Dear umdnnikoell,
I sort of lost my temper over at Dr. Grumpy's, but normally he's LOL for me.

come back anytime!
Sincerely yours,
Ann T.

Slamdunk said...

I like the logic that you use.

It will be interesting to see how much of the international knowledge on gangs is applicable here in the States. A place where there is easy access to firearms(and I have pro-gun views)--something that will not likely change.