THUS SPOKE FRED: On Teaching (Chapter 11)

Resplendent is teaching. He whoever allows wisdom to wed education will forever be enlightened. He will have fidelity to both. He whoever rejects this union will forever live in darkness and fear.

And it came to pass that Fred himself became a mentor of younger minds. To hew and to cipher were his talents. To teach and to mentor were his goals. Thirty cycles of the moon were dedicated to teaching such skills to the young. But skills do not make a man. Ability, willingness and desire make the man. Skill is the thatch that covers the framework of a man’s house. They are not the house itself.

To be engaged in such a serious task as teaching requires a serious mind. The hewer must never rely on his inherent skills to teach hewing. He must think it through again. Each movement of his hands and fingers must be echoed in his mind. This ensures that he may correctly communicate these movements to the young. The cipherist must never rely on his memory to teach ciphering. Each axiom must be reviewed and retested to ensure that all questions can be anticipated and answered. One does not hew with a tool without first honing its edges. One does not speak with the students gathered at his feet without first ensuring that he believes in what he is about to speak. Speak not only from the heart, but also from the mind. Oh mentor of the young, keep heart and mind in balance.

Give the students freedom to speak also. Give the students the freedom to err in their thoughts and movements. Failure is the foundation of learning. Who would humiliate a blind man stumbling over a stone? Who would humiliate the man with one leg if he were to fall? Then why should the student, who is blind and crippled in his knowledge, be humiliated? Consider the following:

There was once a prophet who had two disciples. One was quick and one was dull. The quick disciple asked to sit at the right side of the prophet. The prophet obliged him. The dull disciple remained with the prophet only to proclaim the prophets name and presence.

The dull disciple, through the prophet, met a variety of people; slaves, charlatans, water carriers, kings, beggars, lepers and many others. In order to convince them to visit and learn from the prophet the dull disciple found that he first had to truly listen to each and every person. He learned much by listening and observing. Soon the learning was joined by experience. Wisdom had found a home. The prophet’s audiences doubled as the result of the dull disciple’s newfound wisdom.

Over the years the quick disciple sat proudly beside the prophet. The prophet repeated his philosophy day after day. There were new messages for the people every day. However the quick disciple became bored and arrogant. No new experiences were gained.

The quick disciple began to awaken and spoke thusly to himself, “I can not prophesize after my lord is gone for I know nothing beyond what I knew years ago. I am at the mercy of the world.”

Soon thereafter the prophet was martyred. The quick disciple took many beatings for having made unfounded statements.

The dull one took him under his wing and the quick one’s wisdom became tenfold. The dull one became known as “the teacher.”

And Fred spoke thusly; “That’s show business!”


About Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

I am proud of my work life (not the jobs, just the work).  Bait monger  Lawn mower  Paper boy  Windshield cleaner in a drive-in theater (if you don't know what a drive-in theater is there is no sense in you reading any farther)  Snack shack janitor in a drive in theater (ditto for drive-in theater)  Milling machine clean-up boy in a tool and die shop  Plastic injection press operator  Centurion in the US Army  Factory hand  Apprentice boy  Tool and die maker  Software user manual writer  Computer programmer  Ex-patriate par excellence  Engineering manager  Software test manager  Retiree  University administrator  System analyst  Retiree (2nd try)  Licensed amateur paleontologist  Retiree (3rd try)  Shovel bum (archaeology)  Retiree (4th try)  Delivery driver  Retiree (5th try)  Graduate student (skipped AA and BA due to the level of difficulty)  Retiree (finally got the drift of it) I have been writing for fourteen years and have fifteen books on Amazon/Kindle. Some horror, some twisted, some experimental, some essay and a few historical. I think that now I will really, really, really retire and just write. Lets see if I can do retirement correctly this time!
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