The art

Aside from coding and talking to customers, I’ve spent a fair bit of time learning business. I wrote a business plan, just to say I could (well actually it was required by a course), and then I wrote a one-page business model . The balance, I think, is somewhere between the two. I feel better for having explored both extremes. I roll my eyes at fundamentalists who cannot pick and choose the valuable.

“I developed The Great Teacher Theory late in my freshman year. It was a cornerstone of the theory that great teachers had great personalities and that the greatest teachers had outrageous personalities. I did not like decorum or rectitude in a classroom; I preferred a highly oxygenated atmosphere, a climate of intemperance, rhetoric, and feverish melodrama. And I wanted my teachers to make me smart.

“A great teacher is my adversary, my conqueror, commissioned to chastise me. He leaves me tame and grateful for the new language he has purloined from other kings whose granaries are filled and whose libraries are famous. He tells me that teaching is the art of theft: of knowing what to steal and from whom.

“Bad teachers do not touch me; the great ones never leave me. They ride with me during all my days, and I pass on to others what they have imparted to me. I exchange their handy gifts with strangers on trains, and I pretend the gifts are mine. I steal from the great teachers. And the truly wonderful thing about them is they would applaud my theft, laugh at the thought of it, realizing they had taught me their larcenous skills well.”

Pat Conroy – The Lords of Discipline. New York: Bantam Books, 1980. p 271



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