Have I ever mentioned in this blog that I hate idiots?

Today I spoke with the new communication specialist who the school district is subjecting Pearlsky to having work with Pearlsky. She called. The specialist, not Pearlsky, for you see, Pearlsky HAS NO FORM OF COMMUNICATION.

I sort of glazed over when she was talking about this alternate form of working on communication the moment she mentioned switches and intent. As usual, I asked how she knows Pearlsky’s intent and asked if it was all moot if she didn’t. She sort of got my point, but still managed to not be of the caliber that would be appropriate. So I sort of lost it. Nicely.

How about this. Tomorrow I will meet you in the classroom and give you a math test. If you pass it, I will buy you a car. You can only use a slide rule, one I provide. If you fail, you are fired. Does that work for you?

No, I don’t know what a slide rule is nor how to use it.

Ok. Then an abacus.

I will also fail.

And the only tool you give Pearlsky is a switch?

  • Does she know how to use it? Does she understand the words “Hit the switch”?
  • Can she use it?
  • Repeatedly? Intentionally? How do you know? Have you simply tested her with “hit the switch” and NOTHING else?
  • Is the reward for using it a proper one? Why would she hit it to continue music she does not like?
  • Does it mean anything if she refuses to use it?
  • Were you born an idiot or did it come with your communication degree?

“Which brings us to my new favorite word, Einfühlungsvermögen (it’s pronounced just like it sounds) or Einfühlung for short. (Of course only the Germans would think a word that long was short.) Loosely translated, it means to be able to understand someone else’s feelings. But until 1909, there was no real alternative to Einfühlungsvermögen in the English language. The British psychologist, Edward B. Titchener, thought Einfühlungsvermögen represented a powerful concept, but realized it would never catch on if it couldn’t be pronounced. So he invented a new word, easier to pronounce and similar to the existing English word sympathy. He created the term empathy.

“So commonly used now, empathy would seem to have been with us since the ancient Greeks. It is distinguished from sympathy in that it is not just about the ability to feel for someone else. Empathy involves being able to take someone else’s perspective. Which brings us back to our working definition for achieving relevance: the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes. [emphasis mine]

You have to love someone who actually writes “it’s pronounced just like it sounds.” Is it also written the way I read it? Oy …

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