A Digression on Cause
The quote from the poem above summarizes some of my feelings about what might be going on with the problems in Machon, and in religious education in general, which has encompassed Sunday School (K-6) and Hebrew School. This at least, is how have experienced it over the past four years.
I think the ultimate problem is that the problem has been talked to death. Many bright and shining generalizations have been developed, mission statements have been written, and overarching dreams for a utopian future for education at the synagogue have been expressed. All of this at the expense of actually hiring an educator who knows what he or she is doing and then letting that person actually get something done. To put it more bluntly, the problem lies in talk as a substitute for action, and micromanagement as a substitute for competent leadership. Rather like the federal government.
Gentle Reader, I will leave who is doing the talking and who is doing the micromanagement to your imagination. If you have ever been a member of an organization that has slid into chaos, especially religious chaos, you know who I am talking about. If you haven't, then count yourself as a fortunate soul, and may you always be so blessed.
That this small personal insult unfolded at the same time as the latest crisis in Machon, and a turf-war surrounding a Torah study group, and a sudden, unexplained reoganization in the early childhood center--and if you can grok the fact that these are all probably unrelated--except to certain egos-- you might begin to get the picture of why I call it chaos. And you can probably also see how difficult all of this for me, hampered as I am by the absence of political and social savvy that is associated with the broader autistic phenotype, to even begin to unravel. For example, I am not certain which egos are at work here, or who might be behind what, but I can certainly smell something rotten in Denmark.
Where was I? Even telling the story tends to induce an episode of full-blown situational confusion in which all I want to do is throw my hands up in disgust and plead for mercy. Well.
So we lit candles, although our blessing was omitted, for reasons that are unclear and which will remain so until the coming of the Messiah. We also stroked the possibly responsible egos by thanking them profusely and pretending we did not know that we had nearly been handed our hats.
(Score: political correctness 2, us 1).
Probably not much.