Missive #41 – My Solution To The Kobayashi Maru

sent from: Waterloo Station, London, UK. destination: Battersea, London, UK

The postcard text reads:

When I was a teenager, our teacher, specifically our Maths teacher, a pendantic, humourless man with a high forehead, small frame and curly, desperate hair, assigned the whole class lines – 100 lines – as punishment for some action of a few that swept the innocent into the net as well. I was one of the innocent. I hate being punished, more so because I never was punished, I was one of those goody-goodys (wish I hadn’t been, but that’s another story), and I took reprimands very personally. I saw a chance to be clever, and via the relatively new acquisition of a photocopier at home, completed my punishment by way of industrial manufacturing methods, i.e. wrote one line and duplicated the rest. I was convinced that my efforts would pass the test – if anything I should, like Kirk taking the Kobayashi Maru test, get a commendation for original thinking. We handed in our lines the following day. Passing a cursory glance over them, he stopped at mine, called my name and had me come up and asked me what I had done. I was red with shame and hated him with a passion in that moment, and to this day that small incident makes me remember the humiliation of it. He made an example of me, and it stuck with me.

This is one of those cards that I would like to re-write, mostly because I think it doesn’t convey what I was hoping to, mostly because I ran out of space to elaborate on the way in which the teacher humiliated me in front of the class. As it stands it reads like – I did something wrong, I got caught, big deal. In a larger picture however I think it stands for the things that schools do wrong – teachers meting out petty punishments without regard for who did anything wrong, and crushing any kind of original thought. I’ll re-write it one day and try a different approach. Plus, the Kobayashi Maru reference is mis-used, it’s not really a no-win scenario. #startrekrules

2 thoughts on “Missive #41 – My Solution To The Kobayashi Maru

  1. I remember suffering similar fates in regards to punishment. Sadly this was one of the reasons why I was very disruptive at school… To me, I was going to get punished anyway so why bother being a goody-goody.
    I thought the 'no win' here is the fact that you must do the lines, no matter what. the punishment was dealt for everyone, making it a no win…. The problem with the reference is the way you tried to beat the process. To truly win, Kirk style, you'd have had to change the conditions of the punishment… Not sure how though 🙁
    Was this at St. Georges?

  2. Hi Jamie, great to hear from you. Yes this was at SGC. I don't remember his name now, thankfully my brain didn't retain that information. Yeah you got it far worse than me if I remember.
    Glad you're reading the blog though 🙂

    Hope you're well.

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