Sunday, July 23, 2017


Two teachers. Both are on their computers viewing documents; both teachers push print.

The first teacher prints The Great Conversation by Robert M Hutchins, a treatise on the conversations of great thinkers and writers that build upon one another. According to Hutchins, it is imperative to read the great conversations of the world's great thinkers. There are official and unofficial lists of books-- an epoch list! It includes: Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Shakespeare, Homer, Hobbs, Smith, Marx, Chaucer, Milton, Kant, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Freud, Twain, Melville, Dante, Cervantes, Plutarch, Montaigne (all the essays), Machiavelli, Tocqueville, Aurelius, Swift, Voltaire, Tacitus, Euclid, Bacon, Galileo, Calvin, Orwell, Proust, Hardy, the Old and New Testaments, etc.; yes, I too am mentally exhausted pondering the investment of time, talent, and deeeeeep thinking. My brain is sending aftershocks from the 7.6 brainquake.

After the first teacher taps the print button, it doesn't appear to have connected, so he taps the print button a second time.
He leaves his class and walks to the office where the big printer sits like the refrigerator in a kitchen. The magnet, the most opened appliance, the place with all the good stuff.

He sees he's accidentally printed the document twice. Now, this would be an environmental tragedy for us folks who re-use paper and print only when necessary, but there is a bigger picture in the making.

He places the extra copy in the paper recycle box, face down.

Hours later or days later (it was never clarified), teacher number two walks into the printer-room to make a few copies. Her glance into the paper recycle box catches her interest. She turns the pile over and sees the gem she's just found. Hmmmm. She takes it home and reads. She is the ready and willing student, and the teacher has come. She's always felt the need to read the great works, but, well, almost everyone wants to read the classics of the western canon, but....there isn't enough time...or is there? For teacher number two, this mysterious book in the recycle box is a message just for her: the time to read the classics is NOW.

When she tells the story, she is already past Plato, Aristophanes, Plato again, Aristotle's Ethics, and currently reading Aristotle's Politics. She is invigorated and feeling sharp-minded!--and grateful to teacher number one who just happened to print twice.

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