Post by Sid Nuncius Post by krw
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. As I was taught.
I would just like to say that I despise that adage. GBS did
incalculable harm when he was showing off by saying it; it is not only
untrue, it has undermined a lot of thoroughly decent, capable people
who decided that teaching is a noble profession which really matters
and devoted their lives to it.
There. I don't want to be too po-faced about it, but hearing that
miserable calumny trotted out so often really does piss me off. (And I
make no apology for unumratic language either.)
And you don't need to. I agree with everything you said.
There's an _element_ of truth in it, but only in the _opposite_ sense to
that originally implied: it is possible for someone to be incapable of
_doing_ something, but an excellent _teacher_ of it. This applies
particularly (maybe exclusively?) to certain manual tasks.
I encountered something similar with _inspection_: when I moved from
being an engineer to being a technician, and had to learn how to do
certain fine soldering tasks as well as inspect my own work and that of
others, there came a point where I asked, can you be an inspector only,
as I didn't think I'd ever master the skill myself; they said that is
certainly possible: someone can know what needs doing, and be able to
assess whether it has been done properly, without being able to do it
themself. (Sorry about that word.)
[I did eventually manage to achieve the task - but I was less neat, and
a lot slower, than many of my contemporaries; however, for practical
purposes, I mostly only did it for the biennial certification, getting
someone else to do such tasks when needed, and doing other things in
return for those folk, things I was better at than they.]
And the extension - I imagine teaching teachers is another skill again!
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf
Never make the same mistake twice...there are so many new ones to make!