Harvard Square Observer: The Joy of Teaching

Ernest Cassara

Ye Olde Observer would like to wish you . . .

“Happy Holidays!”  Oops!  Strike that.  Just in case Jerry Falwell, or Bill O’Reilly, or other of that ilk gets to read this, I should say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” 

But, what about my Jewish friends?  Hanukkah, after all, is not covered by my second greeting, whereas it is by the first.  And, then there is Kwanza.  And, beyond my Western-world-oriented ken, there may be others that should be recognized.  Ah, well.  That being the case, whether Jerry and his sidekicks Pat Robertson and buffoon O'Reilly like it or not, I’ll again wish for you “Happy Holidays!”

I know it is uncharitable to say it, but the idea that there is a “war on Christmas” is a crock!  All of my long life, I have heard folks wish others “Happy Holidays,” or “Season’s Greetings!”  Sort of shorthand.  That there is a “war on Christmas,” because stores, and others, use this shorthand - well, rabble rousers, apparently having run out of ideas, is picking on us.

In the spirit of the season, I would like to share with you this story that a friend sent me.

The Joy of Teaching

Then Jesus took his disciples up the mountain and gathering them around him, he taught them, saying,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are the meek.

“Blessed are the merciful.

“Blessed are they that thirst for justice.

“Blessed are you when persecuted.

“Blessed are you when you suffer.

“Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven.”

Then, Simon Peter said, “Are we supposed to know this?”

And Andrew said, “Do we have to write this down?”

And James said, “Will we have a test on this?”

And Phillip said, “I don’t have any paper.”

And Bartholomew said, “Do we have to turn this in?”

And, John said, “The other disciples didn’t have to learn this.”

And, Matthew said, “May I go to the bathroom?”

Then, one of the Pharisees, who was present, asked to see Jesus’ lesson plan and inquired of Jesus, “Where is your anticipatory set and your objectives in the cognitive domain?”

And Jesus wept.

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Harvard Square Commentary, December 25, 2006