I Left My Hot Dog in San Francisco

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

If you ever wondered what it was like to teach in a high school in the bay area, a high school English teacher gives us a precious glimpse of what it is like in a blog on Quillette.

“Last year, at my high school, the students enjoyed arguing if a hotdog is a sandwich, the millennial equivalent of asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin,” S. A. Dance writes. “The hotdog question made its way to the whiteboard in our staff lounge.”

“By the time I arrived, my colleagues had written their responses. Some argued that a hot dog is not a sandwich because a sandwich requires two pieces of bread and a hotdog bun isn’t supposed to separate. Others averred that it most definitely is a sandwich: Meat between bread is a sandwich, end of story.”

“I saw these responses and thought, ‘Simpletons!’ before putting my graduate education to work: ‘In order to determine if a “hotdog is a sandwich,” we must first determine the proper understanding of “is” for if we do not grasp the ontological necessity of being itself, we fall into an abyss wherein “being” is and is not itself and thus a hotdog is and is not a sandwich for it is and is not its very self.’ I was quite amused by the whole situation until a colleague told me that a student had seen the whiteboard and said he wanted to study philosophy so that he could write like me.”