Navigating a Whackadoodle World: Episode Two

The Power of Definition and Belief. In which my Whackadoodle student and I begin the second of fourteen lessons for navigating life, and rediscover how important it is to keep examining our definitions. If you have entered this story in the middle, click here for the prologue. ______ “So I have been thinking about how to … Read more

The Magic Fairy: Irony, Sarcasm, Saying or Satire?

A Whackadoodle answer in which my student and I answer a Dear Navigator question about sarcasm; only to end up discussing why classifications matter. “So we have another one,” she told me, waiving her iPhone. “Another Dear Navigator question?” I asked, pleasantly surprised. “Sort of,” she nodded. “It was a question posted as a comment … Read more

Navigating a Whackadoodle World: Episode One

The Power of Cause and Effect. In which my student and I begin the first of fourteen lessons for navigating life, and rediscover how important it is to keep asking why. If you haven’t read this story’s prologue, click here. She looked at me thoughtfully. “I’ve been considering the best way to introduce Episode One … Read more

Navigating a Whackadoodle World: A Prologue

A Whackadoodle discussion in which my student challenges me to teach her about A River Worth Riding: Fourteen Rules for Navigating the River of Life. “I think that we need to start talking more about your rules, and less about my lessons.” “How’s that?” “Well, isn’t the point of our website to get people interested … Read more

Mask Mandates: Just Trying to Keep Us Safe

A Whackadoodle discussion about prejudice, public health, mask mandates, why I will be wearing a mask for the rest of my life, even if you won’t. “For the first time in my life, I know what it’s like to feel prejudiced,” I blurted out. “What?” she exclaimed. “You don’t have a prejudiced bone in your … Read more

Do I need a Website? Should I Sell Stuff or Build Followers?

A Whackadoodle lesson in which we answer a Dear Navigator question: Do I need a website? Do I concentrate on selling stuff, or on building a list of followers? __________ “We have another one,” she informed me, busting passed my door. “Another what?” I asked, following her. “Another question from a blog follower,” she said, … Read more

Satirical or Ironic: Political Essays Have Power

A Whackadoodle lesson about the difference between Satirical and Ironic essays, with political examples of each. Including The Garlic’s Exclusive Interview with the Governor. “I’m supposed to write a satirical essay for my English 101 class,” she told me as soon as our lesson began. “Zowy,” I said. “Your teacher is quite ambitious.” “How do you … Read more

Writing a School Board Proposal: A Whackadoodle Lesson

A Whackadoodle discussion regarding my student’s desire to write a school board proposal asking the school board to add American Sign Language to their K-12 core curriculum. “How do you write a proposal?” she asked me out of the blue. “Well,” I said, struggling to get my thoughts in order. “I suppose it depends on … Read more

How Deflection Works: A Whackadoodle Logic Lesson

deflection and logic

A Whackadoodle logic lesson in which we discuss how people use deflection to win arguments; sometimes by just talking people to death. “So how does deflection actually work?” she asked me near the end of our lesson. “It’s when instead of engaging the argument, you deflect to something else. You basically change the subject. If … Read more

Reductio ad Absurdum: I Have no Cookie Jar

reductio ad absurdum

A Whackadoodle lesson, prompted by my student, regarding reductio ad absurdum arguments and how they are not logical fallacies. Including an excerpt from George Conway’s satirical essay about Trump and cookies. She pulled out her phone and began typing before speaking, “I think that I have found the perfect example of reductio ad absurdum for … Read more