Sunday, November 1, 2009

The theory of everything and education

There's an exercise I do with the kids, and some adults too, to show how humans are programmed to make connections (like metaphors, analogies).
They write a random question on a card, turn the card over and pass it to a classmate. Without looking at the question, the classmate writes a statement that qualifies as an "answer." The card is then passed to a third student who must read the question and the answer and then write an explanation about how the answer is a legitimate response to the question.
Most of them can do it.
Most of the time the explanation is plausible.....and funny.
So, I shouldn't be surprised to discover on a recent adventure in retail that I can tie everything to education. Maybe I think about school too much.
Here's my story:
I went to a local department store to get a refill for my makeup base. They were out. I asked, "When will you have it?" Answer: "I don't know. We get shipments sometimes twice a week, but we never know what they'll send."
I didn't try to argue, but I knew one thing: I wouldn't be making the trip across town again to buy my makeup from them anymore.
Too bad.
This is the third time I have deliberately made a point of buying products I like locally, even though I know it would be more convenient to go online and have the product delivered.
I stopped buying my running shoes locally.
I stopped buying my perfume locally.
And now - no more Clinique.
I make an effort to shop in my hometown because I want the retailers to continue to thrive, and I want the sales tax to stay at home supporting my roads, police, and schools.
In these three instances, I've had to give up. I think the large corporations aren't making it easy for me to go to a brick-and-mortar.
Like the above incident, the local representatives are often clueless about the products they sell. Is this by design? (Hmmmm. Not to indulge in conspiracy theories, but what would be in it for the corporation? Oh. No middle man, same retail price - plus shipping - and I have to do the ordering.)
Who's getting my tax dollars?

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