A man and his son were going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a man passed them and said: “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?”
So the man put the boy on the donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy boy, he lets his poor, old father walk while he rides."
So the man ordered his boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."
Well, the man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his boy up before him on the donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours—you and your hulking son?”
The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, until at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole to their shoulders with the donkey hanging between them. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them until they came to Market Bridge. Upon seeing the water below, the donkey became terrified and kicked out, causing the boy to loose his grip on pole. In the struggle the donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.
Trying to please everyone never works and just results in disappointment. Unfortunately, the donkey in this story is the education of every school student in NYC. Either their teachers will teach for the tests, in which case these students will receive an education devoid of key real-world concepts (how does one teach history or current events without any reference to poverty/wealth, slavery, or disease?), or they won't, in which case the tests will bear such a tenuous connection to the educational experience of the students taking it as to be worthless. Even worse, students who are already dealing with some of these "unmentionable" issues at home, like divorce or poverty, will be denied the basic knowledge that they are not alone in dealing with these problems and made to think that their discussion is somehow taboo or shameful. Maybe the real point of this whole exercise is to come up with a policy so ridiculous and univerally offensive that students and their families won't be so concerned about references to dancing and birthdays.
- Eastman School of MusicVoice Performance, 1998 - 2002
- University of RochesterMedical Anthropology, 2001 - 2003
- Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of ReligionCantorial Studies, 2004 - 2010
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