Posted by: Staff | 09.25.2008

Never Fear, Dear Coop Responses Are Here!

ALI COOPER ’09

Puzzled Over Politics wrote…
Dear Coop,
I am horribly politically unaware and surrounded by insanely opinionated people. All I do is sit back and nod (and then quickly change my expression and shake my head when everyone else gets enraged). I want to become more informed but every time I try to educate myself my eyes glaze over with boredom. What should I do?

Help!
Puzzled over politics

Dear Puzzled Over Politics,

Despite their facade, I am sure that many of your friends feel similarly to you. I know I’ve been in the same boat for quite a while…and then I started taking Mr. Adjout’s Global Media and Politics class…

So there’s my first piece of advice: Take Mr. Adjout’s class! Haaa…no but really…it helped me get some great insight on current events and even develop a few opinions of my own. Now, for all I know, you’re already a senior and your chances to take this class have passed, maybe youre already IN my class. So. If for whatever reason you can’t take Adjout’s class, or you’re maybe in his class and…not paying attention?? Here are a few things that I’ve learned.

Now, as someone whose eyes also tend to glaze over with boredom when trying to educate myself about the world, I like to go to news websites and just browse the headlines. If something stands out, I skim the article and when I get bored I skip to another one. We’re starting out slow. No one says you have to diligently read through entire articles in order to become more politically aware. Clearly, neither of us have quite developed the necessary attention spans to be fully invested in today’s lengthy news articles. The headlines are great: the font’s big, they usually get the main points across, sometimes they’re even a little funny…what’s so wrong with that? Chances are, you’ll find something that strikes your fancy and actually want to read the whole article. You’ll most likely find a favorite website that posts the types of articles you have the desire to read in full.

Another source: blogs. If you Google whatever you’re thinking you want to learn about, some blogging sites or specific blogs will almost always pop up. If they don’t, add “blog” to the end of your search criteria. Bloggers often have clearly stated opinons about whatever topic they’re writing about. See what you find.

Hopefully, your eyes haven’t glazed over after reading this article…good luck!
(P.S. Blinking a lot can sometimes cut through the eye-glaze.)

-Coop

 

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