Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Minor Observation

Yesterday I learned that pedagogue comes from the word for a slave who lead the son of his master to school. Apparently, the slave frequently carried the boy's satchel.

According the kind folks who brought us NCLB, teachers are supposed to be "scientific pedagogues" and one can't be a good teacher if one is "a sage on stage."

I looked up the etymology for sage and the word comes from words that mean "to know" or "to taste" or "to discern" or "to be wise."

Maybe I'm getting cantankerous in my old age, but I'd sooner be "wise" or "discerning" than a slave. Besides, I'm not sure anyone knows how to scientifically carry a satchel.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A New Purpose in Life

While wasting time yesterday, I came across this article claiming to defend public schools. Although the defense may be a case of damning with faint praise, it did provide me with a goal for life. The author describes a friend as "a fine and profane rural gentleman."

Maybe it's just my cynicism, but becoming a walking oxymoron that has two positive outcomes--being both "fine" and a "gentleman"--but which allows one to have the vice of being "profane" seems like a great way to go about life. Besides, as a plainsman, I've already got the rural part down.