G.K. Chesterton in Heretics
A Service of
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
—Joyce Kilmer, 1886–1918
Going to the reading,
Hoping the poet
Will read your poem.
Not the one you wrote,
But the one
Written for you,
That you’ve never heard.
I have the legitimate authority to allocate those 160 minutes [per week] of my students’ and my time to the teaching of economics. Within those limits I can try to use my judgement to do what I think is best. I do not have the legitimate authority to allocate those 160 minutes to anything whatsoever, even if I do think it would be a good way for the students to spend their time. I cannot pick and choose between what I think are “good causes” and what I don’t. It’s not my call to make. It’s not my time I’m spending. The students’ time doesn’t belong to me. They signed up to learn economics, and that’s what they are going to get. Even my time doesn’t really belong to me during those 160 minutes. My time has a job to do.
So I say “no” to: student politicians; people offering summer jobs; psychology professors wanting to do experiments; people who want to warn against gambling; groups who want to talk about violence against women; religious groups who want converts; and lots of others I have thankfully forgotten.
They are asking me for my class time, and my students’ time, which aren’t mine to give how I want. They are asking me to abuse my authority. They shouldn’t even ask.” —Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: No, you may not speak to my class (via ayjay)