Friday, April 23, 2004


Many times, students are brighter and more open to knowledge than their “brain lost in the Bible” teachers. All too frequently, I hear the tale of a fired up young public school child trying to tell one of her dull as death teachers some concept about evolution that she’s picked up from another source, and the teacher throws Bible water on it and puts out the fire. Joseph Campbell relates such a tale in one of his lectures on tape.

In 1948 or 1949, when I was in the 7th or 8th grade in a geography course, I was daydreaming around and staring at a world map pulled down before the black board at the front of the class. I suddenly realized that Africa’s west coast seemed to match South America’s east coast and how England seemed like it might fit against France. I don’t recall how many of those border similarities I noticed, but I got so excited that I rushed up after class to point out to my teacher the jigsaw world I’d discovered. She was a sexy, full-bodied woman towards whom my early puberty was directed.

“Do you think they used to touch?” I cried.

“O! No, that’s not possible,” she said firmly, without a question to herself about what I was showing her.

So there you go! I was devastated to be cut down by my secret love, and I dismissed the revolutionary insight from my mind lest I displease her further. So, I missed out on discovering continental drift. And so did she! Much of my American life has been just like that.

A rabbi, a minister, and a priest walk into a bar, and the bartender says, "What is this? Some kind of joke?"

PS: They let me out. (See today's previous post.)

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