Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Few More Noble Truths

The Student was ready and made himself appear before his teacher.

"Master," the student inquired, "What are the noble truths of life, and how may I live them to the best of my ability?"

"My student," the Master replied, "you need to cut the crap and get to learning your multiplication tables, for automaticity is The Way for me to get my bonus for being a good teacher."

The Student left the Master troubled, for an answer such as his was incompatible with both The Students general precepts of what the World should be, as well as the Kung-Fu/Buddhist tone normally associated with stories like these.

So The Student crossed the mountain, the river, and the street, and made his way to the Charter Master.

"Charter Master," the student inquired, "is there a such thing as objective beauty in the world?"

"Student," the Charter Master replied, "That is a question of art, which we had to cut from this Dojo. There is no art in this Dojo. There is no music in this Dojo. COBRA KAI!"

The Student left the Charter Master troubled, because Karate Kid references were mostly lost on The Student, although he was vaguely aware of the general perception that Elisabeth Shue hadn't aged well.

So The Student crossed a higher mountain, a wider river, and the highway, and made his way to the Administrator Master.

"Administrator Master," the student inquired, "why would a just and loving creator allow ev-"

"Stop right there, student," the Administrator Master replied, "I'm in line to lose my job if these test scores don't get up and they restructure the school. The only higher power that I give a crap about right now is Arne Duncan."

The student left the Administrator Master troubled, because he could tell from the binders and orders and papers on the desk that the Administrator Master had been delivered the mountain by Mohamed. Or something. The student was having trouble finding a good Master, so the metaphors didn't really come easily.

So the student climbed the highest mountain, crossed the wildest stream, tried to remember who sang "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion), and sprinted across an Interstate to make his way to The Pragmatic Master.

"Pragmatic Master," the student inquired, "I have taken my questions to The Master, the Charter Master, and the Administrative Master, but I don't have answers that mean anything to me. Pragmatic Master, why is this the way it is?"

The Pragmatic Master smiled and said, "Student, some of the Masters who may try to teach you are Baiters, in that they will try to bait you into giving up your search for answers. They may try to do this through apathy, or arrogance, or ignorance, but many will try. It falls to you, Student, to make sure that the Master Baiters don't ruin your education."

At this The Student sat and learned at the whiteboard of the Pragmatic Master, and it was good.

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