Home > The teacherless class > MacDougal and the Machine

MacDougal and the Machine

THE KOAN
Numbers are lower than hoped for. The boss determines that it is time to offer students more hours for more money.

“Absurd!” cries MacDougal. “It’ll never work!”

“I hear your cries,” spoke Big Chief Little, “but work it must and I trust you to deliver.”

To build support for the initiative, all existing students are offered free upgrades.

MacDougal stands enlightened, but dejected.

COMMENTARY

What makes a student underachieve. MacDougal thinks he knows, but doesn’t know what can be done. The boss knows what can be done, but doesn’t know what makes a student underachieve. Students know that underachievement is the bane of their lives and this makes them underachieve even more. They sign up for the extra hours, but never attend their classes.

Does more work work? Do students do more work when they need more work? Is more work ever the answer? Is language learning work? Will this bold initative work? What does work mean? Is teaching work? Just what makes Rihanna an expert on work, work, work? Is twerking working? For you? For me? Would shaking his hips make MacDougal feel less dejected? Is enlightenment ever a good thing?

THIS BE THE VERSE

You took my heart and my keys and my patience
You took my heart on my sleeve for decoration
You mistaken my love I brought for you for foundation
All that I wanted from you was to give me
Something that I never had
Something that you’ve never seen
Something that you’ve never been!

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