I Am Mean (But Not Golden)

My friend Stacy and I each both teach Philosophy this year, and we were talking about Aristotle's Golden Mean . . . Aristotle says for every virtue there is a deficiency and an excess (so for the virtue of courage, the deficiency would be fear and the excess would be recklessness) and he says that it is admirable, but very difficult, to find the "golden mean" of each virtue -- the exact right amount of each thing you should be; we challenge our students to choose a virtue and apply this philosophy, and we usually do one ourselves: I decided that I needed to work on the virtue of "patience" -- and I definitely have a deficiency of patience . . . I lack patience when I drive, when I walk the dog and he won't poop, when I walk through the hallways at school, when I am eating, when I go to live music shows, when I go out to dinner, at the theater, when I am ready to leave a party, when I am tying my kids' shoes etc. etc. and Stacy was nice enough to offer to print out a question sheet for this assignment that she had saved from the previous year . . . and as the paper slid from the offic printer, and she tried to hand it to me, I grabbed it out of her hand, and read it . . . and it said "Please return ASAP" and nothing else, and before I could turn my filter on, I asked my friend Stacy this question: "What kind of asshole are you?" and then I realized that this was simply the flip side of a piece of recycled paper, and that the question sheet was on the other side -- but by this time it was too late . . . luckily Stacy has a great sense of humor, and she thought my horribly rude response was very funny, and not only that, she hopes that I do NOT succeed in improving my patience because she gets great enjoyment from my inappropriate spontaneous and ridiculous behavior, and -- of course -- the irony was not lost on either of us that if I can't be patient even while I am designing a lesson about my own patience, then I am probably not going to imrpove it anywhere else in my life either.


Anonymous said...
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Clarence said...

I will leave neither a comment nor my name. A ha!

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