A Satirical Analogy Concerning Education and Horses

One can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Much ado has been made about research pertaining to leading a horse to water and the inevitable negative response to imbibing water. In their wisdom, the department wishes to advise horse trainers of the procedure to ensure
that a led horse will consume liquid nourishment.

1. Upon being led to the watering hole/trough, the trainer is required to kneel on all fours and model drinking from the water source. Be sure to make all of the necessary slurping sounds and feign enjoyment.
2. Make the modelling session engaging by attracting the attention, interest and desire of the horse by wearing a giraffe or a Barney the Dinosaur costume.
3. Guide the experience by splashing water on your own face as well as the equine student. Feigning enjoyment is mandatory.
4. Modify the environment to ensure all aspects of access and differentiation occurs:
a. Reduce the size of the water trough so it appears less daunting to the horse;
b. Make the task challenging by placing the trough on top of a shed or at the end of an active obstacle course;
c. Apply a small pump or siphon hose that sprays a fountain of water into the air.
d. Adjust the level of water in the container, in relation to degrees of ease or difficulty;
e. Modify the shape of the trough or container to increase accessibility and interest, e.g. a sea shell or ornate bowl.

5. If the above methods fail to produce desired results, form a committee that identifies the shortcoming of the trainer, asking, “What is it that you need to do better?”
6. Engage in hours of debate and Professional Development to develop instructor skills to attain the desired goal of horse drinking water.
7. At regular intervals the committee shall meet and endorse actions which need to be implemented by the trainer with little or no assistance, resources and time.
8. At this point the committee needs to remind the trainer that food tampering (a chemical solution), needs to be administered with the consent of the owner and under close specialist supervision. One suggestion is to add salt to the oat bag.
9. The trainer will also need to be warned of the consequences of physically forcing water into the horse’s mouth.
10.Any successful outcome at this point will be henceforth claimed by all members of the support committee, with the exception of the trainer, who will praise and genuflect towards the committee.
11.Any unsuccessful result will indicate professional and personal shortcomings of the trainer – trainer replacement is inevitable.
12.After exhausting all modifications and forms of differentiation, the horse will drink the water as it is wholly responsible for its own thoughts, sounds and actions. It is responsible for the consequences it chooses. No-one else can drink the water for it, let alone force it to drink.



Lindsay Wheeler Added Oct 29, 2018 - 10:00am
Very creative metaphor and quite apt. B+ because you leave the metaphor open, open to various interpretations. Are you lampooning academia?  Lampooning Climate Change?  Both or none. For me, this is about academia and a right example of how it operates. 
Neoplatonist Christian Added Oct 29, 2018 - 10:15am
Absolutely - it is about academia and the systematic decay of individual responsibility. We act in haste to take another's credit and yet blame others for results that are well beyond their control.
Susitna Added Oct 29, 2018 - 10:51am
To N. Christian: Are you the author?
Autumn Cote Added Oct 29, 2018 - 11:21am
Please note, it's against the rules to post articles to this site unless you comment on the work of others.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Don Allen Added Oct 29, 2018 - 2:38pm
For lampooning academia these days it is necessary to add a point calling in horse psychologists from Berkeley, horse nutritionists from UCLA, and horse whisperers from Hollywood, all supported on a five year, 12 million dollar federal grant. 
Susitna Added Oct 29, 2018 - 4:10pm
To Don Allen: Brilliant!
Neoplatonist Christian Added Oct 30, 2018 - 9:56am
To Susitna: Yes, I am the author and felt the need to be critical of the academic world.
Neoplatonist Christian Added Oct 30, 2018 - 9:57am
To Don Allen: Great points to add!
Susitna Added Oct 30, 2018 - 12:13pm
To Neoplatonist Christian: This piece is brilliant! Congratulations. Academic idiots are almost as bad as useful idiots. Do you write books?
Neoplatonist Christian Added Oct 31, 2018 - 9:42am
To Susitna: If I had the time, I would write. Unfortunately, the daily grind of life is necessary to buy bread (though cake would be nice).
Ward Tipton Added Oct 31, 2018 - 10:02am
But remember also ... you can lead a man to knowledge, but you cannot make him think!
Susitna Added Oct 31, 2018 - 10:59am
To Neoplatonist Christian: This is too bad. You have to write a book! I know that you meant it in another way, but I was reminded to what Marie Antoinette once said....... 
Susitna Added Oct 31, 2018 - 10:59am
To Ward Tipton: Yes, imagine if we would encourage the MSM to think instead of reading a script.
Ward Tipton Added Oct 31, 2018 - 11:21am
Hahahahahahaha ... The MSM thinking? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha
That would be akin to actors thinking ... though I hear it is a lot of work learning how to play make believe! Apparently since they are paid millions of dollars and not demonized like those evil corporate CEOs who only provide jobs and pay immense taxes.