Monday, November 15, 2004
Professor Maule as Professor Snape?
I previously have compared tax teacher (and blogger) extraordinaire Jim Maule (Villanova) to the Incredible Hulk (see here). Prof. Maule and his tax class were featured in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer (Wanted: Sorcerer for U.S. Tax Laws), which suggested another comparison: Professor Snape from Harry Potter fame:
I thought perhaps I'd find professor James Maule's class at the bottom of a dungeonlike staircase, like the one Harry Potter and his pals took to study Potions with the spooky Professor Snape. But no. Maule holds court in an airy lecture hall at Villanova's Law School. Before him last week sat 100 or so clean-cut lawyers-in-training, intently taking notes on their laptops. Yet the subject was as arcane as anything in the Hogwarts curriculum. Maule teaches tax law. He's supposed to make students understand the logic of the U.S. Internal Revenue code....
[A] good preparation for this would be fantasy-adventure games, such as Myst or Dungeons & Dragons. Players have to navigate an invented universe, deciphering an elaborate network of rules as they go. Maule didn't disagree with me. "There is a structure" to the tax laws, he said, adding that the students who do well in his course are the ones who can grasp and adopt that structure in their thinking. But that structure could change, if President Bush follows through on his postelection pledge to overhaul the country's tax system.
"A] good preparation for this would be fantasy-adventure games, such as Myst or Dungeons & Dragons. Players have to navigate an invented universe, deciphering an elaborate network of rules as they go."
Yes !,I'm so glad to have found someone else uses this analogy. I have always used this same example to my geek friends when they complain about personal income taxes.
If you can figure your chance to hit a monsters taking into account adjustments for your characters strength,dexterity, skill and enchantments on your weapon as well as the creature's speed, toughness of hide and magical protections,
then you can easily compute your gross income, subtract your deductions and find the right amount on the tax table.
(most have all wage income, which makes it even easier)
Posted by: Chrisfs | Nov 18, 2004 2:05:28 AM