A Metaphor

It has taken me three years, but I’ve finally figured out the policies of the Technical Support Staff here at the County of Currency Counters. I never claimed to be a very smart person, but even I am usually quicker in the uptake than this.

Three years ago, teachers were given computer projectors for their classrooms. They have proved marvelously useful and many teachers are finally beginning to abandon the practice of drawing stick figures and scribbling on the board. Please understand that due to the limited budget at the time (which today looks like a Cornucopia of Awesomeness) the Technical Support Staff was unable to purchase ceiling mounts for the projectors and teachers had to prop them up as best they could on desks, carts, etc.

Two years ago, the money was found (strangely, it was allegedly found in small unmarked bills under our Fearless Leader’s couch) to install the ceiling mounts in the classrooms.

Interestingly, my computer projector remained quite forlornly on top of my cart. When I asked why it hadn’t been installed on the ceiling, I was told that I had to put in a request form. I am not a highly skilled Technical Support Staff person, but I can’t help wondering why you would go through the immense trouble of wiring and anchoring a ceiling mount to a classroom and then stop right at the point of making the project worthwhile? Anyway, I duly filled out my request and waited….

In fact I waited until two days ago when I received an email from the Technical Support Staff informing me that they had just received a massive shipment of new computers and their work requests were going to be slightly delayed in their completion.

Leaving aside for a moment the wonderful question of whether it is even possible to further delay work one might fairly describe as already being at a dead stop, you can imagine how happy I was to get that email. At that point I decided to take matters into my own hands and mount the stupid thing myself; how hard can it be, really? The mounting bracket instructions were in an arcane dialect of Egyptian, but luckily I have spent countless hours watching The Mummy movies and I was able to follow the poorly focused black and white pictures well enough to make it all stick together and successfully got it mounted to the ceiling.

All that was left to do was run a computer cord along the ceiling and down behind my desk to the computer. The ceiling in my classroom is 12 feet high and the ladder I had was 6 feet tall. This means that I had to climb to the top rung in order to reach the ceiling. I should mention that this ladder was a marvel of modern manufacture in that none of its legs were the same length and the braces were apparently being held together by duct tape.

Thankfully I don’t have a problem with heights. I do have a little problem with teetering precariously on a duct-taped ladder high enough off of the ground to cause serious injury to both myself and the floor, however. There was even a rather amusing (in retrospect) “Christmas Vacation” moment where I had to frantically grab a random pipe and hang on for a bit while I regained my perch. I did finally manage to get everything wired together and I’m happy to report that I no longer have to perch my working projector on top of my non-working projector in order to mesmerize my students with pretty pictures.

As I was perched above my classroom like an extremely ungainly bear stuck up in a tree, it occurred to me that this might be the perfect metaphor for life.

After all, aren’t we all climbing various “ladders” in our pursuit of a special “connection” with the divine? Aren’t all such pursuits filled with wobbliness and the possibility of hospitalization? In fact isn’t it telling that only by stretching out and desperately grabbing at a lone electrical conduit that we realize our dreams and fortunes?

Actually now that I think about it, perhaps it’s not that great a metaphor after all. My apologies for wasting your time, but really if you were expecting a mind-blowing revelation from this blog you probably deserved it.


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