Friday, November 12, 2010

The Joys of Teaching Monks!

"How are you today?" I asked a monk.  "I'm unhappy," he answered, "but I'm happy inside."

I gave the monk one of my best, you've got to be kidding me looks, at which both he and the other monks started laughing.  How can one be both happy and unhappy at the sametime?  The general agreement was that to hold both these thoughts at the sametime, was not possible.

However........ this discussion launched us into another topic for classroom discussion..... where I played with the monks' minds..... well, just a little!

Having fun should be a big part of teaching... as well as learning!

"How many precepts  do monks follow?" I asked the class.
"227" came responses from around the classroom.
"You know all of them?" I asked.

Nodding of heads.... some hesitant.
"So what is precept number 151?" I asked, with my most serious voice and questioning teacher face.

The monks looked at me with startled expressions on their faces.  No one could give me the answer.  Actually the monks looked at me as if I was crazy!

"What's the first precept then?  Or number 227?" I asked.
One monk looked at me and noted, "The precepts don't work that way.  They are grouped so that one is not more important than another."

"Okay.... your homework for tomorrow," I noted, "is to write out all 227 precepts." 

Now the monks looked at me as if I'd truly lost it..... and then after a long period of classroom silence, as I tried to wear my serious teacher face,  the monks  started to laugh, realizing I was joking with them.

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