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.

3 comments:

umdnikoell 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.