On this day of mourning…

By greenteapanda

May 19, 2008

Category: Living

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I received a notice via IM that all teachers were to go to the art room at 2:40pm this afternoon. Teachers were to put the finishing touches on pottery that was made before (some months ago on another afternoon taken away from lesson planning) and create some new pottery.

When I got there, I endured 30 minutes that consisted entirely of the art teacher talking. Not demonstrating anything in particular, just talking. Some of the other teachers took calls on their mobile phones. Not many were actually paying attention to the art teacher.

When young students don’t pay attention, some of these teachers will hit their students. But who is really to blame? A lot of these teachers do not teach particularly inspiring lessons. Since their own behaviour does not set any example for listening to others, and these teachers are supposed to be role models, why do they expect the students to pay attention? Also, when teachers do not involve students, do they expect people to pay attention?

In any case, waiting 30 minutes was a waste of time. Other teachers’ pottery was ready. Mine was not. Apparently the art teacher had taken it upon herself to once again modify my creation. If I were a child, I would see it as taking away my artistic mandate. If the teacher wants to do it all, why does the student need to be there at all?  The pot I made had been painted over with a flat white paint, probably so it could better take the other paints used in the art classroom. Pottery that was larger and thicker and pottery that was smaller and thinner were ready. It did not seem to be related to drying time.

I walked out of the art classroom and went to help my coteacher, prepare some things related to future lessons, and read a few unimportant web pages. After finishing some preparation work with the coteacher, my coteacher went to the art classroom to make the other pottery.

When my coteacher came back, she asked why I had walked out before making the other pottery. I pointed out how the art class was a waste of time and how that teacher just kept talking. I was extremely blunt in the way I communicated that last point, as if it was a life or death situation.


In fact, it is a life or death situation. These teachers have been dying for a long time, and they are only passing on that dying to their students. The death of their curiosity. In Buddhism, there is reincarnation. The only thing that is transmitted between lives is one’s life condition. One’s curiosity is a big part how one interacts with the world. Without curiosity, people do not seem particularly happy or willing to help others.

While mourning, I am glad that when my brother passed away, he did not pass away without his curiosity. He still has his spirit. He only lost the physical body used to represent himself in this world.


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