Winning is Winning

You can't win in a classroom. You can pass or you can fail but you can't win—so passing becomes winning. As Dom says in The Fast and the Furious, "It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile—winning is winning." With this philosophy it makes no sense to win by a mile as you get no more glory for doing so—winning is winning.

I asked a teacher, who'd neglected to give a syllabus, what the grading scheme was for the class. I was told what assignments would be given but not what percentage these assignments would carry. I thought I'd make it easy and just ask the question I really wanted to know. "If I choose not to do assignment X, what's the highest grade I could make?"

She refused to tell me and said it was very disconcerting that I would ask such a question. Choosing where to spend your energy seems to be discouraged in university. But why is this? I'm assuming she never read George Reavis's fable:

Once upon a time, some animals decided they must organize a school. They 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 - 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 continued 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 make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing but became frustrated in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground instead of from the treetop. He also developed a "charlie horse" from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and a 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 exceedingly 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.