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Pretty Good (Great Poem by Charles Osgood)
The Osgood Files | 1986 | Charles Osgood

Posted on 04/21/2005 6:43:02 AM PDT by Choose Ye This Day

There once was a pretty good student

Who sat in a pretty good class

And was taught by a pretty good teacher

Who always let pretty good pass.

He wasn’t terrific at reading,

He wasn’t a whiz-bang at math,

But for him, education was leading

Straight down a pretty good path.

He didn’t find school too exciting,

But he wanted to do pretty well,

And he did have some trouble with writing

Since nobody taught him to spell.

When doing arithmetic problems,

Pretty good was regarded as fine.

5+5 needn’t always add up to be 10;

A pretty good answer was 9.

The pretty good class that he sat in

Was part of a pretty good school,

And the student was not an exception:

On the contrary, he was the rule.

The pretty good school that he went to

Was there in a pretty good town,

And nobody there seemed to notice

He could not tell a verb from a noun.

The pretty good student in fact was

Part of a pretty good mob.

And the first time he knew what he lacked was

When he looked for a pretty good job.

It was then, when he sought a position,

He discovered that life could be tough,

And he soon had a sneaking suspicion

Pretty good might not be good enough.

The pretty good town in our story

Was part of a pretty good state

Which had pretty good aspirations

And prayed for a pretty good fate.

There once was a pretty good nation

Pretty proud of the greatness it had,

Which learned much too late,

If you want to be great,

Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.

TOPICS: Education; Humor; Miscellaneous; Poetry; Society
KEYWORDS: charlesosgood; education; mediocrity; osgood; prettygood
This is an old poem, but excellent. The condoning and embracing of mediocrity is one of the biggest problems we face in society.
1 posted on 04/21/2005 6:43:03 AM PDT by Choose Ye This Day
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To: Choose Ye This Day

Says it quite well. Better than just "pretty good". :o)

2 posted on 04/21/2005 6:46:35 AM PDT by McGavin999
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To: Choose Ye This Day
The "Go Go 80s" were propelled by, "In Search of Excellence", Steve Jobs, and "The One Minute Manager". The malaise of the 90s, (my wife hates it when I rant about Xlintoon but....) infects our society and we need to refocus.

I believe that we must find goals that are over-arching and challenging so that we can marshall our resources.

A cogent energy policy is one area where we can improve our economy and that of the world's. Moving out into space and moving all heavy industry off the planet by 2050 is another goal I espouse. Those two ought to keep us busy and these achievements will be more than "pretty good"!

3 posted on 04/21/2005 7:20:28 AM PDT by Young Werther
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To: Choose Ye This Day

Very good.

4 posted on 04/21/2005 7:23:43 AM PDT by kassie ("It's the soldier who allows freedom of speech, not the reporter..")
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To: Choose Ye This Day
Now India is a place beyond all others where one must not take things too seriously--the midday sun always excepted. Too much work and too much energy kill a man just as effectively as too much assorted vice or too much drink. Flirtation does not matter because every one is being transferred and either you or she leave the Station, and never return. Good work does not matter, because a man is judged by his worst output and another man takes all the credit of his best as a rule. Bad work does not matter, because other men do worse, and incompetents hang on longer in India than anywhere else. Amusements do not matter, because you must repeat them as soon as you have accomplished them once, and most amusements only mean trying to win another person's money. Sickness does not matter, because it's all in the day's work, and if you die another man takes over your place and your office in the eight hours between death and burial. Nothing matters except Home furlough and acting allowances, and these only because they are scarce. This is a slack, kutcha country where all men work with imperfect instruments; and the wisest thing is to take no one and nothing in earnest, but to escape as soon as ever you can to some place where amusement is amusement and a reputation worth the having.

From "Thrown Away" a short story in Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling
5 posted on 04/21/2005 7:34:22 AM PDT by The Great Yazoo ("Happy is the boy who discovers the bent of his life-work during childhood." Sven Hedin)
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