* Sign found hanging on my son’s bedroom door
When I went up the stairs to ask my son a question, the handwritten sign, “Talking to Myself – Do Not Disturb,” hung on the door and I laughed. He actually was talking to himself but there was a reason for it (he was making a podcast for his friends), so I went along with his wishes. Besides, I was a bit jealous that I had not thought of it myself, because I know that I could use the sign. I would find the sign especially useful when I am reading a task force or other government committee report. In fact, as I was just reading the Education Transformation Task Force Initial Report, released on Sept. 12, I had to watch myself as I was both cheering and arguing with the authors’ observations and conclusions. I could have used a sign like my son’s to better explain my behavior.
It’s not that I thought the report was off base – far from it. The idea of reducing mandates and paperwork should be lauded. It always drives me crazy that a basic and fairly simple concept that we all agree on can be turned into 40 pages of unreadable regulations (the best use of those regulations is as a cure for insomnia). I realize, however, that in our society, regulations are a necessary evil. But sometimes, in trying to solve one small, isolated problem, we create a system that is unwieldy.
I also don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and think that I am just coming to this realization. (more…)