Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Animal School

Thanks to sillyinvestor for egging me on to write something in my blog. Been a busy June for me and I'm still recuperating lol! But here's a very good story inspired by an article I read recently here. It's a very good article but also a sad one for me. I'm not sure why though. It's like something is lost and yet nobody knows it. Imagine losing a precious thing to you, but you didn't notice it because you had forgotten the thing was once precious to you. It's a doubly sort of loss.

Here's the Animal School by George Reavis:

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school.

They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects. The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming. The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running. The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there. At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.


Sillyinvestor said...

Oh LP,

I heard that story when I am at NIE, there and then, I think it is quite nonsense.

Now, I am more mindful, but still feel that article can be easily construed wrongly.

1) humans are not animals, given time and efforts, they can be eagle and rabbit etc.

1) there is a such a thing as innate ability, calibre. Efforts and hard work can work wonders and beat geniuses provided geniuses do not have either passion or effort. If they have the talent, and is hardworking and passionate too, u without the talent can never top the game and beat him/her. But u can be really good at it.

In short, humans can have a shot at transformation.

A rabbit can fly, but cannot fly as fast as Eagles.

A rabbit can fly better than an lazy eagle.

Is there a change of total transformation?

Possible, start young. And sustain it, u could be top of your game. But that transformation is only once or twice in a lifetime.

We can only be both a good eagle and fish. But never a excellent eagle and fish.

However, I believe I can be a good eagle and a average fish, duck, monkey And spider

We can... But we are not or
We are but we cannot

Choose your poison

I rather be we can, and are
Otherwise can but are not

Singapore Man of Leisure said...



The younger me had a hole in my heart - I'll show them!

The me of today has closure.

Funny how things have turned out for me.

Its a lot easier being myself than trying to be someone I am not.

And its starts with me accepting me ;)

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

I see it from another angle though, that testing a person on some artificial abilities is not going to do the world any good. The aim is not so much as to find good talents but perhaps more to segregate and separate the chaff from the wheat. I'm from that industry too, so perhaps this story gives me a little hope and meaning to what I know is inherently not good. There are some students who I think are really bad in studies but I know will make a good student of life, but what to do? They are the fishes who suck at climbing.

Haha, it's interesting you see this story as nonsense! I find it quite inspirational - or rather, it's a story to remind myself not to judge a person solely on this small aspect of their lives.

la papillion said...


I know what you mean. I fall under the other extreme, though it's opposite but it's really the same. I do very pretty well in school, so I have to unlearn a lot of things to do equally well in life as well. It's easier to say life is unfair, that hey I'm good in studies, how come I'm not earning as much as that F student now? It's tougher to man up, and say that part of my life has passed and stop resting on my past achievements.

We all have our lessons to learn haha

Sillyinvestor said...


The story is used as an excuse that some pupils cannot achieve.

I dun buy that crab. Maybe cannot do very well, maybe really have to take foundation level of subject. But teachers should take a hard look at themselves, and ask:

Have I been effective? Efficient ?? Engaging??

Did I care enough for the person to felt "loved"?

Of I just brush him off and say:"well academically not inclined ma"

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

I agree. If that story is used as such, then it's nonsense. Did the trainer use it as such? I hope not!

Always point the light of reflection at ourselves first, and ask if we did our best. I think you are a good teacher :)