Monday, June 29, 2009

The kingdom of heaven

The kingdom of heaven is like a professor who went off on a long sabbatical. Before he left, he called together his graduate students and gave each of them projects to work on; to one he gave five projects, to another two, and to another one, each according to their ability.

The one who received five projects immediately went to work, designing experiments, building equipment, and analyzing data. She worked long and hard, and eventually she achieved good results on each project. Likewise, the one who received two projects immediately went to work, and eventually got results as well. But the student who received one project was easily discouraged, got distracted by her coursework, and eventually gave up.

After a very long time, the professor returned to settle accounts with his students. The first student said, "Professor, you gave me these projects to work on, and see, here are the results." And the professor answered, "Well done, good and faithful graduate student. You have been faithful over five projects. You shall be co-author on five publications and receive a Ph.D! (And you can expect a good letter of recommendation, too!)" Likewise the second student showed his results, and the professor said, "Well done, good and faithful student. You have been faithful over two projects. You will be co-author on two publications, and receive a Master's degree."

But the third student came and said, "Professor, I know that you are a harsh man, publishing where you did not labor, and claiming credit where you did not contribute, and I was afraid. So I kept the lab locked up and I didn't let anyone borrow any equipment. See, everything is just the way you left it." Then the professor answered, "You wicked and slothful graduate student! I will judge you by your own words. So, you knew that I was a harsh man, publishing where I did not labor, and claiming credit where I did not contribute; well then, you should have at least gotten a teaching fellowship so that I wouldn't have had to pay your salary out of my research grants! Now depart from me and from this institution ... out into the REAL world, and try to find a job. There you will have weeping and gnashing of teeth."

For to everyone who has, more will be given. But to him who has not, even what little he has will be taken away. (Matthew 25:14-30)

Source: Parables for Modern Academia

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