Monday, August 11, 2008

Heaven, Hell, and Teachers

A conversation with a blog friend JMG triggered my memory of this joke that is perfect for the start of school.

A retired teacher passes away and arrives at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter welcomes her and begins the grand tour of Heaven. As he is showing her around St. Peter is pointing out the various clouds.

"Over here we have the accountants. To the left engineers. Next door to them we have IT folks and software developers. Over there, business managers. A couple of clouds down, we have ministers, priests, and evangelists." Whispering, St. Peter says, "the clergy are always surprised at how small their cloud is."

After seeing a good number of different occupational clouds and touring the dinning, recreation, and other communal clouds, the teacher is looking very perplexed with a touch of worry on her face. St. Peter asks, "You look like something is troubling you. Is anything wrong?"

"Well, you never showed me the teacher's cloud. Where am I going to be?", the teacher asked.

"Saving the best for last," answered St. Peter. "Right over here we have the educator's cloud." St. Peter escorts her into a lavish, gold-adorned, but empty cloud. "Here you go."

"This is beautiful!", she exclaims, but quickly looks perplexed again. "Where is everyone? Surely I am not the only teacher that made it to heaven," she questioned.

"Heavens no! I am terrbily sorry for the fright. I forgot to tell you didn't I?"

"Tell me what?"

"They're all down in hell this week doing in-service"


erinlo said...

Tony- It is so great to hear from you and catch up on your blog. As always, your posts challenged me. I'm still in thought......

Thank you for your comment on my "scary" post. I probably should have called the police right after it happened. Honestly, I thought I might be overreacting at first so I waited a day to tell my husband, even, thinking he would think I was being dumb. I only know "R"'s first name and he hasn't been doing work at the house for over a month now. I wish I had thought to do something sooner. I won't hesitate if I'm ever in a similar situation. Thank you for the advice and for commenting. -Erin

JMG said...

I thank the Lord that I don't have to do inservice!

Here's a good limerick:

There once was an old man from Esser
whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser.
It at last grew so small,
he knew nothing at all.
And now he's a college professor.

Tony Arnold said...

Erin, glad the Lord was watching out over you.

Tony Arnold said...

I am not sharing the limerick with my class!

JMG said...

So you're gonna have another go at it this fall, eh? Third time around, you should be able to do it in your sleep now.

Say, now that you teach, do you find that you have the recurring dream that you forgot to go to class all semester?

Tony Arnold said...

No. I had that dream often when a student, even after graduation from college and again in grad school. Never as an instructor.

No naked or underwear in front of class dreams either as an instructor.

I guess I should be able to do the class easily, but I feel pressure to do things a bit differently and fresher while keeping the basic approach that is working very well. I have gotten very good feedback on the course material I developed, both by the students and the faculty. I had to create most of the content. Trying to teach this particular subject from an available textbook just did not work for the previous adjuncts. I was called The Defense Against The Darks Arts professor because they had a different adjunct each year until I came along.

The cool thing is the engineering faculty gave me carte blanche to do it my way. Of course I was smart enough to keep them in the loop, seek their opinions and approvals, and I did have to submit a detailed syllabus.

It has gone very well and I get great support from the engineering faculty and admin. I am in a great environment.