Kristin Harkness (email@example.com)
Sun, 21 Jan 2001 10:12:23 -0500
I found this interesting, in that my views are quite opposed. The
description of "general knowledge" below, summarized as "a man who knows
almost nothing about almost everything" is exactly what I am not seeking. I
value a deep understanding of subjects of interest over a shallow
understanding of "what everyone should know". Practically speaking, I also
believe that as time passes we aquire that shallow understanding anyway,
just by living in the "information age".
>I have been very struck by part of the Windsor House handbook (and I know
>that WH is not a "Sister School"). It goes:
>>> For young people who are not immediately concerned with College, we also
>have General Knowledge Lists which encompass the information that Windsor
>House teachers think would be necessary to be able to hold your own in a
>general conversation. We are all ignorant about enormous portions of
>information in the world, so being comfortable with ignorance and not
>ashamed to satisfy curiosity is important. Being ignorant about many things
>that a lot of your peers seem to know, however, could be embarrassing. >>
> I have discussed this part of the handbook with my son and I sense that he
>saw something in it.
>I have come to entertain ideas about "l'homme moyen sensuel" or the
>"man in the street". Nothing special here, just holding your own in a
>conversation as WH puts it.
>Yes, I would like that for my son and I sense that he would like that too.
>Isn't it easier not to worry about this? Not to think about this?
>Is it not perhaps a bit of a cop-out - to ignore this?
>Maybe so, maybe not. I can't say.
>At this stage I want to offer my son material that can equip him to become
>an educated HMS. As the French further expand on it: a man who knows almost
>nothing about almost everything.
>The material is there for him to take up, that's all.
>Thank you for your best wishes.
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