New Power-of-Story Acronym Thinking Parents Had Better Think About

10 02 2011

While over at Killing the Buddha, this caught my eye and then made me catch my breath.

As a schoolchild I originated a jolly, homegrown, completely benevolent version of “do it for the story” — first to get myself through dreaded necessities like family reunions or hospital stays, and then because it had helped me endure and often, even frame an entertaining bright side, I shared my approach with our kids. Now I just feel dirty . . .

DIFTS: Do It For The Story
by Nathan Schneider

So I was over at a friend’s last night for dinner, and she let me in on something kind of awesome that’s swirling among the existentially-hungry, generally-affluent Catholic school boys she teaches. Wow. (If any of them reads this I guess I’m going to sound majorly out of touch for even mentioning it, but that’s a risk I’m gonna have to take.)

Apparently, it has become this thing to go around saying “DIFTS.” It stands for “Do It For The Story.” And it’s in the Urban Dictionary:

. . .Isn’t that cool? In my day we just chanted, “Do it, do it!” or pressured each other with a complicated “point” system. DIFTS is also kind of bleak, but in the process it’s such a marvelous recognition—in a particularly obnoxious high-school-boy idiom—of how crucially we depend on our stories and how worthwhile it is to sacrifice on their behalf.

If you’re into it too, you can buy DIFTS swag. And you can post your own . . . DIFTS party tips at the official blog.

Power of story. Literally!
And a rather fine line between intelligence and insanity . . .



6 responses

10 02 2011

Or, as Tom Cruise put it in Risky Business. Sometimes you just gotta say, “What the fuck, make your move.”

10 02 2011

I guess one lesson is that ANYTHING can be perverted!

10 02 2011
Nance Confer

So this DIFTS is about doing something so you will have a better story later? What a crappy way to live.

There are enough moments where we go through the motions for the sake of others’ stories — did I mention how happy I was to have the excuse of babysitting so I didn’t have to attend the double memorial service last week? and how we were sure to tell our kids that it was their choice? no DIFTS for them at least — but this version is just dumb.


10 02 2011

Being the point person to settle my dad’s estate (and then my brother-in-law’s too, come to think of it) — whole years of my life I’d never have gotten through, if not reminding myself every day and every night, that at least I was getting some amazing stories out of it. 😉

10 02 2011

Nance, remember how we’ve compared homeschooling to a hammer?

A hammer is a tool without goodness or badness. It can be used to build or break, to help or hurt. It’s the same hammer however humans choose to use it. Thus it is the human and not the hammer who generates ethical power of story.

Charter schools are hammers and the corporate darlings who milk them for profits at the expense of the public (both coming and going) are humans using them to hurt more humans than they’re helping, by far. Did you see the latest Rick Scott-Michelle Rhee story btw?

Welcomed as a “movie star” to the state Senate’s top public schools committee, Rhee encouraged lawmakers to abolish teacher tenure, fire the worst 8 percent of teachers and then watch student achievement soar.

“As long as we have practices in place that protect ineffective teachers, we are not going to be able to move student achievement,” Rhee said.

The truth is if that Rhee-ly is all we care about, we could accomplish it more directly by simply firing the bottom eight percent of STUDENTS.

(crossposting to the Swedish for-proft charter thread)

13 02 2011

There will always be a bottom eight percent. Do you just keep firing until you’re left with nothing?

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