Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Worldly Matters

It has often been said that the mark of class is knowledge and understanding of the world at large. Educated and upper-class people (and for years those two have gone hand in hand) have always been aware of the world and involved in the world.
I've been actively working on keeping myself abreast of the world beyond my own little life. Its so easy to become myopic and hyper-focused on my own issues and forget about events and people beyond myself.
I've become addicted to NPR on my morning commute and that helps alot. But I've also been building the habit of taking the daily news quiz at the BostonGlobe every day. The Crickler puzzle works like a crossword (sort of) and gives you a daily check up on your knowledge of what's going on in the world.
There are twenty blanks in short summary statements about national and international news stories. You fill in the blanks -- letters from one word automatically appear in the other answers in which they appear (that's the crossword-like part). Generally about 8-10 stories are covered. They range from the mundane and silly to budding international political crises.
How much trouble I have with the daily puzzle gives me a good idea of how in touch I've been with the news. Some days, I move quickly easily through the puzzle (this morning was like that). Other days, I struggle and need to click the Owl for a hint (he's not a nice owl --- don't ask for too many hints --- he scolds!). When that happens, I know I need to pay more attention to the news -- I'm getting myopic and I need to start re-focusing myself.
Its a nice check-up.