Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shots of courage

Folks, I need a drink.

I think I want to be a policy hotshot. Well, I thought I did. But the critical homunculus that lives in my head says policy hotshots are a dime a dozen, and even so, I'm only seven and a half cents. PPA degrees are similarly ubiquitous, and, increasingly, so are Ph.D.s. So, anyway. Perhaps in response to my natural tendency to want to avoid having my intellect challenged while still finding a way to say something unique, I am beginning to integrate some of my earlier notions of the nobility of menial work (two-tone ska/sharps + working class roots + Marxism + Russian history) with this policy penchant. I have been thinking about roles in this business we call policy. There are pundits, there are implementers and there are researchers. There are also policymakers, but they are largely absent from the conversation insofar as original contributions. Instead, they design things from pieces of other people's work and think about ways to overcome the political elements of policy design, legislative action and implementation.

I can't figure out where I want to be on this continuum, and the scourge of Taylorism still prevents me from doing it all. I'm sort of bored with this conversation. I'm not really interested in blogging about it because I don't feel the need to critique much other than the arrogance of the entire milieu, and then I feel more drawn to understanding the real ground-level research questions regarding learning, brain function, resources, time and pedagogy. But perhaps what I term to be arrogance is really just having the courage of one's convictions, and as I feel like my convictions are open to destruction at a moment's notice, I can't fathom how people have the guts to state them without having to be 100% certain that they are right, in an absolute, supported by several studies with ample data kind of way.

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