Musings about Opinions

As a college president and as a human being, I interact with a large number of people. As a result, I also have conversations with many individuals from all walks of life. In my interactions, conversations, readings, listening, and TV viewing, I have discovered that one thing that most people have is an opinion. I listen to people rant and rave about education, leadership, politics, conspiracy theories, decorum, race relations; you name it, I hear it. As I listen (I do more of that than talking), I always respond with caution, if I respond at all. Heeding my own advice that “sometimes the best response is silence”.

I have come to a very simple conclusion about opinions. There are simply certain areas or professions that everyone seems to have expertise in. First politics. While I do have political opinions, I am NOT a politician and do not pretend to know more than they do, so I do not engage in much political discourse because almost everybody seems to think they know more or better than the politicians.

Second is economics. I know quite a bit about economics, having earned a doctorate in the field.  I taught economics for many years, presented and published and became a full professor of economics 20 years ago, in spite of that, I do not pretend to know it all. It is interesting that in my discourses with many who despite not knowing the difference between monetary and fiscal policy, claim to have all the answers to our economic problems.

Third is coaching. Everyone’s a coach, regardless of whether they know the game or even understand the rules. I coached youth, high school, and college soccer for many years. My teams won championships, but the parents who did not even understand the game were my worst critics. In all fairness to the parents, the vast majority were extremely supportive.

Last is education (did you see that coming?). Yes, we all have our opinions, but there is a reason why some of us are educators and some are not.  Almost everyone out there seems to be an expert on the solutions to our education woes. If they walked one day in an educator’s shoes they would perhaps realize that it is not so easy. By the way, that goes for politicians, economists, coaches, and many other professions. This is all hard work and the individuals who work in these areas need our encouragement and support.

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7 thoughts on “Musings about Opinions

  1. In a democracy opinions and comments should be heard. Sometime it may be only way to express dissent. At times it makes you think about things you would not otherwise think.

    • Peter, you are absolutely correct. Opinions do matter and should be heard. I just get a little concerned about people posing as experts when they know little about the field. One expert opinion that I definitely would agree with is that posted by Madame Kraus in response to this blog. She definitely knows what she is talking about and I declare her opinion as an excellent one 🙂

  2. Kojo! Bonjour!! I am so pleased that you are inspiring young people everywhere! It is so great that you get out into the community, and visit with younger students at the earlier levels of education. WE are so honored to have an awesome president like you here at MCCC, who TRULY cares about others, and can relate to almost anyone, anywhere. Like you, I am SO pleased that MCCC cares enough about the crazy schedules of our students to offer things like welding classes on SUNDAY mornings, and evening classes for single moms that have to work and try to better themselves by getting more education. I myself, am very pleased to have had quite a few MIDDLE COLLEGE students these last few years! What an inspiration to see these young minds CARING about getting an exceptional education at MCCC. I have worked at MCCC for over 24 years and thoroughly love being able to see the “light” go off, in the minds of these young students when they finally grasp some difficult concept! SO BRAVO KOJO! Keep up the great P.R. for MCCC and thank you for caring about us, the staff members, and our students, past present and future!!
    Respectfully, Madame Brenda Kraus Adjunct Professor of French,. (these past 24 and hopefully to be, several more years!!

    • Bonjour Madame Kraus. Certainment your words and OPINION are very much appreciated. Thanks so much for your kind words. You are appreciated for your hard work and dedication to our students. Merci beaucoup!

      • Thank you for your kind sentiments for the beloved French citizens that were sadly slain this past weekend. I have several distant relatives that still live in France I am praying for their safety. I also appreciate that you are addressing the importance of safety issues here at MCCC. My classroom for the last 10+ years meets in the basement of C building. I enjoy having my class there for several reasons, quietness, fewer distractions and it’s the tornado shelter for that building. :-). However,at times it is a basement, so I for one appreciate that safety issues on campus are being addressed. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have security occasionally walk through our building, especially the basement, and other quiet areas. This might deter any possible “predators” who might be looking for more quiet areas to carry out any type of questionable acts.Also, the classroom is left unlocked, it might not be a bad idea to assign keys to staff members, so we are not walking into, dark empty rooms. Especially those that teach after dark. Just some thoughts… I’ve been at MCCC a long time and never felt unsafe, but its a different we live in world these days. It’s so important our students and staff feel comfortable at work/ school. We have enough daily stress to not have to worry about our personal safety. Like the Boy scouts, ” Be prepared”” is the BEST motto. Thanks again for caring. Respectfully, Madameleprof

  3. I think this is a very interesting topic, and very well written. I haven’t any doubt that you come into contact with many individuals, with various levels of education. Regardless of educational experience, it is important, as you are well aware, to never stop learning. As you pointed out, although you have a doctorate in economics, you “Do not pretend to know it all.” With education, comes the realization that each individual has a valuable opinion, and it is important to take these opinions into consideration, as you move forward in any situation or endeavor.

    L.M

    • L.M. Great point! This posting was meant as a “devil’s advocate” posting. So it is working as I have had more comments on this than any other in the past. Thanks for your comments, and your opinion is valued and respected.

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