Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Re: Fw: genius teacher experience is the ONLY TRUE teacher.

This forwarded email I received necessitates a column for the original message (left) and a column for my thoughts (right).

Fw: genius teacher experience is the ONLY TRUE teacher.I think this will be about Jesus (or Muhammad, or Buddha, or Gandhi, or George Washington, or...)

This teacher is truly a genius!
...maybe Gene Ray?
As the late Adrian Rogers said, "you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." This man is truly a genius!
Stating tautologies makes a person a genius? Or are these two unrelated thoughts?
[unexplained photograph of someone raising his hand in front of a chalkboard in, presumably, a classroom] - ATT0002211.jpg
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.
A person of similar humor and temperament may have said, "No, I do not have an extra sandwich; I have two extra sandwiches! You cannot have either of them, because you only asked if I had an extra sandwich."
That class had insisted that Obama's socialism would work and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

That class had said so in unison. Also in unison, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

How did I miss Obama's "great equalizer . . . socialism . . . [in which] no one would be poor and no one would be rich"?

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
First exact quotation! This professor is apparently so smart that he doesn't have periods at the end of his spoken aloud statements!

If all grades were averaged, why would that eliminate the possibilities of 'F's and 'A's?
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
This class was full of jerks? Crazy people? If no one could receive an 'A', why would the students who studied hard be upset with a 'B'? Why would they be upset with a 'B' anyway?
I'm starting to doubt the historical accuracy of this forwarded email...
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
Okay, this is definitely a made-up story, a parable. If the students were unhappy with the 'B's they had all gotten last time, they should have studied more, not less.
They should have studied more unless they were unhappy because a 'B' was too good of a grade! They wanted 'C's! Oh, no! They overshot (undershot?) their goal and got 'D's. Now they should study marginally harder and get the great equalized 'C's! Then they can be happy!
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
Also, no one would study for the benefit of themselves. This story might make more sense if two classes were determining grades for each other, but in this story, students are getting bad grades for not studying. Maybe they should not have gotten 'F's since earlier in the story the narrator stated that "no one would fail and no one would receive an A." Moving on, everyone got an 'F', and no one would study for the benefit of himself, herself, or anyone else...
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
This "class experiment" is only marginally analogous to socialism. Socialism does not involve "tak[ing] all the reward away." Socialism is the concept of equal opportunity, where everyone is given the same chance to try to succeed.
Presumably this story is supposed to demonstrate that free market capitalism provides the "great reward" to those who put forth "the effort to succeed", but the story really does no such thing. The students in the story failed to try, and the students in the story failed to succeed. Apparently they also failed to want to succeed?

Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on)
What? What could not be any simpler than what? The moral did not even fit the story, both of which are confusing and misleading!
Remember, there is a mid-term election in 2010!Does that mean we should not vote because everyone gets just one vote? Or should those who are most informed and involved vote more often? Do the votes of the motivated/rewarded/successful count for more?

I am sorry that I made fun of some of the bizarre, gimmicky formatting and storytelling methods employed in the forwarded message.

I am also sorry that I do not have the time to debunk the forwarded message as thoroughly as it deserves. I doubt that this story is factually true (e.g., who is the " economics professor at a local college"?). As I mentioned above, I am certain that the story is confusing and that the conclusion drawn from the story is inapplicable to the story.

I am most disappointed that "the ONLY TRUE teacher" mentioned in the subject line teaches the opposite of what Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Gandhi, George Washington all teach. Jesus was a socialist, and he was executed for proclaiming his socialist beliefs. "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus tells us that the Statue of Liberty, Mother of Exiles, cries, "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! [ . . . ] Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The forwarded message offends me on many levels; it offends me as a human, as a humanist, as a socialist, as a Christian, and as an American, to name a few. I will stick with the parables that Jesus told. If you prefer this anonymous parable to those of Mr. Of Nazareth, suit yourself.

Please share your comments!