A 7-year-old came up to me one day during work and asked this to me. Without thinking, I bluntly answered, “2.”
Here comes the Big Question, I thought, as I stopped what I was doing and faced him.
“Here’s 1,” I said, as I put one finger up, “and here’s another 1.” I had two index fingers sticking up in front of this boy’s face. “When you stick them together…” I positioned my two index fingers next to each other. “You get a 2.”
I could feel the boy’s eyes following every movement of my hands. “But that’s an 11.”
I looked at my two index fingers and felt as if I was caught red-handed. That did look like an 11.
I tried again. “No, there are 2 index fingers here, see?”
“Because you learn this in math class, don’t you? We have to accept what we learn at school because they’re thought to be the truth in this world.” This kid was messing me up.
“But if you can’t explain the reason to an answer, then it can’t be true!” The 7-year-old gave me a goofy grin and said, “I win.”
And that was true–even I could explain the reason for that. I could not explain the world’s easiest math question, and a 7-year-old had crushed me by telling me that 2 didn’t deserve to be the answer of 1+1 unless I could tell him why. I had been defeated.
This is what it’s like to work with kids. They have mind blowing perspectives that we can’t come up with, and it’s impossible not to have fun with them.
Have you been told something by a kid that took you by surprise? Leave them in the comments below! 🙂
Put your happy pants on and I’ll see you later,