Animal Olympics

by Michelle Fortes

Once upon a time, the animals decided that they should do something meaningful to meet the problems of the new world, so they organised a school. They adopted an impressive curriculum of running, climbing, swimming and flying.  To make it easier to administer, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent at swimming.  In fact, he was better than his instructor.  However, he made only passing marks in flying and was very poor at running.  Since he was so slow in running, he had to drop his swimming class and do extra running.  This caused his webbed feet to become badly worn, meaning that he dropped to an average in swimming.  Fortunately, “average” was acceptable, therefore nobody worried about it – except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because he had so much work to do in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying class because his teacher insisted that he start from the ground up instead of from the tree top.  He developed cramps from over-exertion, so he ended up with a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle was a real problem student and was severely disciplined for being a non-conformist.  In climbing class, he beat all the others to the top, but insisted on using his own way of getting there!

I guess this story best summarizes our present day pedagogical system. Even without our awareness we are promoting mediocrity.

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