Pandora's Box

By Foster, Billye | The Agricultural Education Magazine, January/February 2009 | Go to article overview

Pandora's Box


Foster, Billye, The Agricultural Education Magazine


Sometimes life sends us flowers-sometimes thorns! Deciding on themes for a year's worth of professional trade magazines can be a daunting task. If left to my own devices, I would probably be in danger of setting themes issue by issue! Thankfully wiser souls long ago established a process that allows us to view a year ahead and really "think" about what needs to be addressed in the coming year.

This year, I reached out to the teachers in the field for topics. Using the NAAE Communities of Practice blog site, I posted the question of themes along with a couple of possible ideas. As active members of the profession, you responded with a resounding desire to discuss key points found in the 10 ? 15 initiative. This issue represents the first of these themes.

With this decision under my belt, I geared up for a new year. Great, I thought, this will be a slamdunk! Everyone knows about the 10x15 and we now have lots of material to work with. A set of national standards, loads of people trying to position programs and states to be at the top of the educational heapno surprises. Proving, once again, life really is full of twists and turns.

Did you know that Pandora's Box was really an urn? The original Greek word used was pithos, a large jar often used for storage of wine or provisions. In the case of Pandora, this jar may have been made of clay for use as storage as in the usual sense. The mistranslation of pithos as "box" is usually attributed to the 16th century humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam when he translated Hesiod's tale of Pandora into Latin. Erasmus, translated pithos into the Latin word pyxis, meaning "box." We have perpetuated that mistake for centuries.

If you remember, Pandora was given the "box" as a gift- but told never to open it. Her curiosity got the best of her and she finally did- unleashing all manner of evil and ill will upon the world. …

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