the vegetarian chronicles, iii

So I am realizing that somewhere over the past couple of weeks, my paradigm has irrevocably shifted, in terms of vegetarianism.  It’s not that I’ve simply changed my mind about something.

I feel as though my entire brain has been rewired.

(I was telling my best friend about this and she was arguing with me about vegetarianism.  She came to some amazing conclusions later on, which you can read about here).

I love that she called her blog post “The Surprising Paradigm Shift.”

I’ve realized recently that I can recall now three times where I’ve experienced a deep paradigm shift in my life.  The first time, was when I experienced a regeneration, a re-conversion of sorts, which started in college.  The second time, was when I became aware of social injustice and poverty in the world and the deeply-rooted responsibility that believers especially have to care for the poor and oppressed, not simply in a charitable donation type of way, but in a way the seeks their betterment and development and dignity.

The third paradigm has happened over the course of this past year, which you can read more about here.

If you’ve never experienced one of these paradigm shifts, it’s kind of hard to explain.  It’s kind of like taking the red pill.  You can never go back to your former way of thinking, even if you wanted to.

Here is a prime example of my most recent paradigm shift in action:

So I teach piano for a living.  A very common practice among music teachers is to use pneumonic devices or acronyms to help young kids learn music theory.  I remember singing in chorus for years, and even learning the Yamaha piano method (basically group lessons for kids) when I was five years old.  We were taught year after year to remember what the notes on a staff look like, depending whether the notes are on the lines or spaces.

Common acronyms are “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” or “FACE.” Written out, this is what it should look like:

During a piano lesson earlier this week, I turned to my student, a five-year old named Sebastian, as I proceeded to try and explain to him that all the notes on the spaces in the bass clef are “A, C, E, and G.” I’ve long used “All Cows Eat Grass” to get my point across.  This subtle assumption about what cows actually eat (as opposed to what they should eat) has been ingrained in my memory since I knew what a piano was.

This is how the conversation went:

Me:  The notes for spaces in the bass clef are A, C, E, G.  All Cows Eat Grass… (long pause) Well, technically, most cows eat a high-protein industrial feed mix, composed mostly of genetically modified corn and soybeans.  But I guess that’s not gonna help you memorize these notes, huh?

Kid:  (confused stare)

Yep.

The paradigm has definitely shifted.

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