Saturday, December 10, 2005


I am trying to relate to just what causes some people to believe everything that the news media tells them. We form an opinion about a person or a group of people based upon what the reporter tells us. Think back to school when you took tests, and there was only one answer to the multiple choice test or one answer to the fill in the blank test. I have noticed that my children did not have to take tests with essay questions, and this is a reason why I believe that children are growing up without having mastered critical thinking skills.

While I was going to grade school, the history exams; science exams and social studies exams were all essay based. My teachers were from the old school, and made us explore into the depths of our mind to explain something from another point of view. For instance, we may have been ask to write what the opposition group in a war was fighting for or perhaps explain what would have happened if the supposed enemy won the war. With this type of exam, there are no right or wrong answers but knowledge had to be learned to debate the stated question.

With this type of background, I feel that I have a greater sense for looking at situations and not accepting the status quo. In an advance accounting class, the accounting instructor was putting an answer to an accounting problem on the board, and I told her the answer was wrong. Everyone in the class looked at me in horror, with a look like how could I be so bold to know that I knew the solution and the instructor had it wrong. The instructor ask me to come to the board and rework it, and she was glad that someone had caught her error. You see, if I had not worked the problem the night before then the whole class would have been in the dark. Then later on with an exam, this same teacher had some financial statements with a Statement of Cash Flows missing. We were to prepare the Statement of Cash Flows. After wrestling with the numbers for about 15 minutes, I realized that a Statement of Cash Flows could not be prepared because of a typographical error. Again, I reported the error to the instructor and she had to tell the rest of the class that the problem could not be solved. I have thought about this off and on, as I teach students to prepare for the CPA exam and wonder if this instructor purposely created problems that could not be solved.

In summary, I am trying to relate to readers that things are not always as they seem to be. In life, we should never cease to question those in power and ask for explanations and proof before blanketly accepting that another person has all the right answers.

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