|Three Plates (all rights reserved)|
# I then retrieved two pieces of bread from the freezer, which I could not separate.
# I put the two pieces of bread in the microwave to unfreeze them so they could be separated.
# I fetched butter, Vegemite and honey.
# I looked at the bench. There was only one plate. I looked again. There was still only one plate.
# I went to the drawer and took out another plate.
# I heard the microwave bing, and removed the bread.
# I separated the two pieces of bread and put them in the toaster.
# I looked at the bench. There were now three plates.
# I looked around for the practical joker. There was only me and my three plates.
Yes, this actually happened as described. Yes, it took me a few moments to figure out that the second plate (and ultimately the third plate) had been in the microwave holding the frozen, stuck slices of bread.
What lessons can the facilitator draw from this parable?
I'm going to have a turn at this. The lessons I identified are:
- (This is an old teachers' trick.) Don't turn your back on the group, even if they appear catatonic.
- What appears to be magic is likely to have a plausible explanation.
- Do not try to do too many things at once.
- Use a minimum of resources.
- Pay more attention to what is going on around you.
- Never facilitate when you have just woken up.
- Learn to laugh at yourself.
- Have a bowl of cereal instead.