About six or so years ago, my daughter, 4 years old, came home from Sunday school and proudly exclaimed, "Did you know that God made the world in six days?" My wife and I looked at each other and immediately realized that we had allowed our daughter to be propagandized. This was a pivotal moment in my faith (I only speak for myself), since it forced me to come to terms with the fact that I did not want my daughter learning the themes of the very faith I espoused. I thought, If I really believe this stuff and really identify as a Christian, why do I balk at my daughter learning what I hold as true? It was a tough pill to swallow.
It also drew my attention to the haphazard nature of Sunday School and religious education. When she came home with that information, I had an odd epiphany of professionalism: if I, as a teacher, have to jump through hoops to maintain my professional status as an educator, why was I leaving my child in the charge of a non-professional? What standard do they work by? I realized that Sunday school teachers have no standardized level of professionalism. I haven't sent my daughter to Sunday school since then.
Which is easy because I haven't attended church since 2011.
What I'm trying to get at is this: professionalism matters to me. I appreciate the need for professional standards and codes of ethics in all professions. I appreciate the need for governing bodies to oversee professional workers. And I trust that standardized, well-governed workers should have some level of expertise that I can rely on for one thing or another.
Professionalism, however, is expensive. And the Internet is not. And god, I'd love to think I'm literate enough to save a few bucks on therapy now and then by searching symptoms online.
Steven Novella at NeuroLogica suggests that I'm trying out the Google University Effect, which feeds confirmation bias. Novella writes,
However, I can't afford much in the way of psychotherapists right now. So I brave the Internet and hope not to feed my confirmation bias. I can look up things about my depression and hope not to feed it!
Here's to unprofessionalism!
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