Pedagogic Discontents: the Catfish Torpedoed?

Japan Postmoderne

Jackson, Jr.

Spring 1999

University of California, Santa Cruz

Happy Days Case Two –

You Failed with Flying

During the lecture of Thursday, 28 April, Earl Jackson,
Jr. offered the image that for him serves as an emblem for his theory of
education. The students didn’t take it very well. In fact, their response
was worse than he could have even hoped for. He was very pleased.

A Theory of Education

In the Myoshinji Zen temple
in Kyoto, there is a Chinese-style painting of a man standing on the banks
of a river, holding a gourd.


A large catfish
is clearly visible in the river.


to Catch a Catfish
best way to catch a catfish is by pressing down on it with a gourd.
Better still, one should first
grease the gourd.
Best of


i is
to grease the catfish

Why was Earl „pleased“ at the extraordinarily vocal and negative response
to his theory of education? For those who have more curiosity than was
demonstrated in the booing of the catfish, click HERE
for an explanation of Earl’s pleasure that is also part of a demonstration
of that very theory.

How To Teach

Happy Days Three Eigh

Happy Days Case History One

How to Read

Romancing the Murakami


How Writing is Written