Information Cocoon

There are moments when I get hit over the head by something that I missed. I'm not sure if it is a piece of growing from being such a generalist to being more of a specialist or whether it is something that happens with age. Throughout the last decade, I talked a lot about the importance of lateral capacity building, meaning that I was able to absorb information from religion, politics, and pop culture for the purpose of applying the lessons in my daily work with kids. On the lowest level, this allowed me to make references and examples that resonated with kids, and at the highest level, there were ideas of change and implementation that I plucked from the vine for use in my school.

Over the last few weeks, there has been a story floating around that has gone viral about a mom in Kansas City that allowed her five-year old to dress like Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. Seemed like a non-story to me, but apparently, her blog post about the situation created a buzz http://nerdyapplebottom.com/2010/11/02/my-son-is-gay/. This story eventually found its way to the Today Show http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40069385/ns/today-parenting/ and The View. The interesting part of this story is that I know the author of the blog, and I stumbled onto the controversy by reading between the lines on Facebook. I applaud Sarah for being an awesome mom, thinker, and advocate for what she believes in, but the point of this is that I totally missed the story.

Missing the story is rare for me. My journalism brain keeps me sniffing for the truth, looking for the stories that have legs, and knowing the stories that will fade quickly. I wonder of my new position has put me in an information cocoon, a cocoon that has you so buried in middle school vision and progress that you can't see the world around you. I worry about this because I know that I am at my best when I am orchestrating many flows of information. Maybe this is overblown, maybe I'm getting old, but hopefully, I just need a wake up call to read bigger and wider to avoid getting burned by my laser-like focus on school.