Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Listening Skills

You SAT afficienados know that the "listening skills" category is on that test. Is there a direct correlation between brain aneurisms, blood pressure, strokes, hypertension, and listening? We have an attention deficit that dwarfs any national budget problems. It is ironic, but I don't remember it being like this. Here is another irony: in an age where young people don't pay attention, it isn't politically correct to scream. Young people don't like listening and they don't like being screamed at. What are we left with? Perhaps a mafia-esque kind of throaty whisper. That doesn't scare anyone any more either. It seems the only thing to get people to listen would be the very thing that would also get the attention of the Department of Homeland Security.

Do you ever feel like you are speaking to a different world in a different dimension of space and time? Your audience looks like they are listening to a different person. The person or people you are talking to look eager and enthused, but they unfortunately aren't in the same dimension of space and time as you. The communication barrier seems to be so high and wide that we need to tesseract to span it. We have an information superhighway, but regular conversation seems to be the Erie Canal. Point A to Point B seems to have some kind of advanced algebra between them or a Picasso painting. If I were only Scooby-Doo. If I were only a fly. Even a ball of string. Game-boy is too much to ask. All material cannot be made into stand-up comedy.

I know we've done this to ourselves. Actually, I think a whole lot of other people mainly did it. I had only a very small contribution. We've amused ourselves to death to go with the Neil Postman title. It isn't just the amusements. We've heaped the burden on the communicator. That puts a huge strain on school teaching, but school is required. Church can no way be like school and survive. England hasn't adapted so they have a huge unchurched population. Church must be entertainment at least. We've done that here in the U. S., explaining the mega-church movement. Want listeners? Got Powerpoint?

6 comments:

Bobby Mitchell, owcg said...

Sorry.

Were you saying something?

I was thinking about Sunday's game against the Falcons while I was reading this . . .

Cathy said...

Huh What?

Anonymous said...

"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people". ---William Butler Yeats

Which leads us to say....
"Push 1 for English"..Wait!! Isn't that the native tongue in America? People are fortuitous listeners. Speakers are challenged to meet that expectation!

Least I digress...What did you say?
ILA

Kate said...

All I heard was a sound like Charlie Brown's teacher: wah wah wah wah wah!

;-)

All kidding aside, your post made perfect sense and I must say that I agree! Listening skills of today are far from what I grew up on. And no, you don't need to know how long ago that was :-)

Derek Makri said...

Well said. I teach in a Christian school--Jr. and Sr. High. They are often completely in a different world! "What, we have a quiz today? You never told us!" I get that almost every day.

Rachman said...

I'm listening. Ears wide open. Waiting.