Volume & Light Nashville

Trying to Stay Woke in a World Where Decisions Are Made and Reversed in Blink of An Eye

In the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, the author offers an ocean of research to support the notion that our best decisions can actually be made within the blink of an eye. That our very first thought or feeling, usually fleeting, is, in fact, the best and most appropriate response.

But, more often than not, we overthink the thing, whatever it is. We Google, consult with our friends, call upon experts, all the while doubting ourselves by researching it to death only to arrive at the same conclusion as that very first thought.

I’m currently in the space between that brief, initial reaction to a situation and the final decision. The space where I’ve already experienced the first feeling (grrrr!) and in the process of decoding those feels (self-doubt) and checking out others’ reactions (research) to the news. What news you ask?

Schools Are Closed! No, Open. No, Closed.

Metro Nashville Public Schools just announced schools will be closed on August 21, 2017. Yay, you say? Not so fast, my friends. Last month, the school board decided to keep schools open on August 21, the day of the solar eclipse, known as the Great American Eclipse.

Nashville is the largest American city in the total path of the historic scientific wonder during which the moon covers the sun. And middle Tennesseeans, especially those of us in Nashville, will benefit from the majesty of the rare phenomenon. Yes, we are all agog about the total eclipse of the sun (think Little Shop of Horrors) and school leaders have been preparing to capitalize on this rare learning opportunity.

Unfortunately, we’re having some trouble making and sticking with decisions. The original 2017-18 schools calendar  called for closed schools on August 21. Then, after carefully thinking about children’s safety, the administration believed it best to keep schools open and the school board voted in favor of the recommendation. Today, in an interesting turn of events and after additional careful consideration of children’s safety (wait, what?) the school board has voted to close schools on August 21. Again.

I’m Sorry, What Was That?

So, my Blink moment was disbelief wrapped in anger. I’ve since talked myself down from that initial feeling because how can I justify the anger when I don’t have a child in the system? Yet, I believe our leaders MUST stand by a decision and volleying our families’ lives is insensitive at best and downright disrespectful at worst.

Also, will children in a mostly poor school district be safer at home?

I suspect this is the work of teachers protesting behind the scenes. They certainly have a right to do so. But the babies, though…

Turns out my Blink moment was the right response after all. Our leaders are responsible for 88,000 families who don’t have the resources to navigate a series of ill-advised decisions. Maybe the district should have honored their Blink moment by sticking with the first decision.

As always, stay woke because decisions that affect your lives happen in a blink.