Ender’s Game is a story about taking extremely young, extremely intelligent children and training them to be military geniuses. The training takes place in a highly controlled, highly sterile environment called “Battle School”, a military academy/space station which floats in the orbit of the Earth. Card based the book on his brother’s experience training for the Viet Nam war. The book has some interesting things to say about strategy, and even ruminates on the “strategic corporal” a full 12 years before Krulak’s famous speech. The book is even on the “Marine Corps Reading List”:http://www.usna.edu/Library/Marineread.html.
While listening to the book I began to think about my own experience growing up, and my child’s future education. I “discovered” international politics at the relatively late age of 21. While growing up in small town Canada, politics was never a dinner table discussion topic. Only one of my parents graduated highschool. In my own children I hope to instill an awareness of international politics and economics, and a wonder of science. Is this wishful thinking? Children grow up with their own personalities and interests. In fact, finding out who your child will be is one of the joys of parenthood. The last thing I want to do is force my own thoughts and opinions on my impressionable children. On the other hand, I think all parents look forward to having some common interests with their children.
My child is too young to be reading The Economist just yet, but I am already thinking about how I can introduce her to these various topics and spark her curiosity. My questions for you all are: What kind of activities influenced your interest in international politics growing up? And, for those with children, how have you dealt with these topics with your own kids? I look forward to reading your replies.