A Parable

This Halloween, I did a demonstration in chemistry that’s usually called “Genie in a Bottle.” This year, I decided to tell a short parable along with the demo. I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments.

The Well

When the well went sour, no one knew what to do.

The water left a rash on the skin, burnt the eyes, and turned the stomach. Some found that when water was left to stand in the sun, the effects wouldn’t be as bad. But, the process was slow and was not a perfect solution. They needed water…and soon.

When the neighboring doctor heard about the problem, he knew what to do. He took some medicine from his small home and traveled to the town. The medicine would fix the water, but it had to be taken by mouth in order to work. It also had a brief, unpleasant taste.

No one in the town would try the medicine. “It will make it worse!” they shouted in the streets to no one in particular. “He’s not one of us! We can’t trust him!”

The doctor knew that the bitterness was short and that in the end, it would work to clean the water. Still, no one would try it.

As the situation got more desperate, a boy stepped out from the crowd. “I’ll do it,” he said calmly to the doctor. The boy took a cup full of the sour water in one hand and then the small spoon of powdered medicine in the other. In one swift motion, he drank the water and followed it quickly with the medicine.

His face contorted as he clutched his stomach and fell to the ground, writhing in pain. Some people even said they could see smoke pouring from his nose and mouth as the medicine cleansed the sour water in his stomach. As quickly as he fell, the boy stopped shaking on the ground.

He stood up, smiled, and then took another drink as the next person came forward.

photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures via photopin cc

Some Changes and Updates

This may be the longest stretch I’ve gone without writing anything on the blog. My last post was on September 26th, and for various reasons, I haven’t been able to add any new content. Now, because I know there are throngs of people waiting with bated breath to see what happens next, this is more of a digest of the past month in an effort to clear my head of the many things that have been floating around.

Homes – My wife and I are trying to buy a house. If you’ve gone through the mortgage process, then I’m guessing I don’t need to say much more. In between trying to explain why I don’t have a credit history and talking about interest rates, I barely have enough brain power to think about what it actually means to buy a house.

Flipped Learning – I have officially joined the board of the Flipped Learning Network, the not-for-profit organization that organizes and manages different events surrounding flipped learning. I’m enjoying it a lot, but it is a big addition to my already busy schedule at school. On that note, however, I’m beginning a bigger social media presence for the FLN. Follow us on Twitter for periodic updates and announcements surrounding flipped learning.

School – For whatever reason, this school year has seemed more busy that every other year, including my first year. Perhaps it is everything else I’m involved in, but I’m working harder in school than I ever have in the past. I’m still trying to use a simple standards-based grading system with my students, and we’re continuing to work together to iron out problems. I’m also in the midst of transitioning my web design class to a computer applications class in which students can choose different foci or tracks to pursue. Rather than focusing on web design, they’ll be able to work on photography or photo editing, video and film, music composition, or web design. I’ve been curating content and I’m nearly ready to begin organizing into a syllabus and path for them to follow.

Hopefully I’ll get back to writing again someday. Thanks for continuing to read and interact with me on Twitter. You’re all a fantastic help, and my learning wouldn’t be nearly as rich without you.