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How Education Works in the United States

02/15/2014 07:35 EST | Updated 04/17/2014 05:59 EDT

A student, a teacher, a principal and the governor of North Carolina were lost in the southwest desert for three days and nights. The food ran out, then the water ran out. They had no internet service. They knew that without water they would surely die.

On the third afternoon, the student stumbled upon a half-full kilo of Voss water in the fancy glass bottle. The student ran to the half-full bottle, which was enough to slake the thirst of all four, scooped it up and started to unscrew the cap when the teacher cleared his throat and said, "Ahem." The student looked longingly at the water, then handed it to the teacher.

The teacher was about to open the bottle when the principal said, "Is that bottle half full or half empty?"

The teacher said, "I don't know."

"We must form a committee to study this," the principal said. "You'd better let me hold onto the bottle."

Reluctantly, the teacher gave the water to the principal. The principal unscrewed the top and was about to drink, when the governor of North Carolina said, "That water belongs to the people. It is not yours."

The principal said, "But we're the only people here."

The governor of North Carolina said, "Doesn't matter. I will take control of the bottle."

So the principal gave the water to the governor. The student, the teacher and the principal all looked with desperation at the precious bottle of water in the governor's hands. They knew they would perish of thirst if the governor did not share.

The governor of North Carolina held the bottle up to the light and peered in at the life-saving water. He took off the cap and let it drop at his feet. Then he unzipped his pants, pulled out his tallywhacker, and peed in the bottle.

Thus, we have a metaphor.

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