The Secret Professor

The professor sat in his chair, looking at a particular research paper, a glass of sparkling water next to it. His room was furnished poorly, and the walls showed cracks and age. He took a sip and thought: “I must not give the students the secret knowledge.”

Every year the students had come, often grew smart, and gone. Every year the students knew more coming in than the last. Once, a student quoted his own teachings to him, a belief he held once but now had little faith in. Last year, the students were disinterested and so inattentive that he felt like he was teaching to the walls and windows.

As others gained insight from his teaching, he gains from his studies, amassing secret knowledge, spilling it about little by little, distorted and inoperable. Such the professor does his work, affirming the small ideas that the students had, dispelling their peculiar doubts with fragments of the secret knowledge. He was a good scientist but a failed teacher.