Questions, questions, and more questions

Do you like being asked lots of questions? Or are you like me, and find asking lots of questions to be much easier than answering them? Does being asked lots of questions ever tire you out? Or does it energize you? Does it get you thinking about other ideas? Or does it overwhelm you? Have you ever or are you now living with a child between the ages of 3 and 5? Do you find yourself being called to answer a lot of questions for which you don’t (for whatever reason) have answers? Does this unsettle you? Do you think that asking questions is valuable? Do you find yourself answering a child’s questions with more questions? Does this ever work? Did you ask a lot of why questions when you were younger? What made you stop? Was it because someone told you to “stop asking so many questions!!” or did you just stop caring about what other people knew or claimed to know? Did you stop asking questions because you reached a point when you thought you already knew more than anyone else? Or when you felt it necessary to pretend that you knew? Why are you reading this blog? Did you find it when you did a search for the bullshit detector? Have you grown tired of my relentless questions?

Wow, that is surprisingly fun to do. Last week I bought The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padgett Powell.  The entire novel, all 165 pages of it, is questions. Because of the connections that I see between troublemaking and asking questions, I was immediately intrigued by this book when I read a mini review of it in The New Yorker. So far I am enjoying it. There are two things that strike me as I read it (I can only read it a little at a time–otherwise my brain might melt from so many questions): 1. Even though the questions seem random and disjointed (which they are on some level), they are telling a story (but not a linear or complete one) about the poser of the questions and the reader/object of those questions. 2. The process of reading so many questions can really get you thinking about (perhaps too) many things all at once. I think that Powell has put together a nice balance of questions–some you have immediate (gut reactions?) answers for while others make you wonder. This might make a very effective pedagogical technique.  Hmmm…

Is there ever a point when too many questions are asked (by you or to you)? Is 165 pages of questions just too much? Can you imagine asking that many questions? Is it a problem that I can? Should I stop this entry now? Yes.

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