I Am Put In My Place
For a Friday diversion, I like to create a "Life Quiz" for my students: ten general knowledge questions that I think they should know (my last quiz consisted of these questions-- 1) What was the first permanent English settlement in North America? 2) How many strings do the cello, violin, and bass guitar all have? 3) What is the vernal equinox? 4) Who said, "In the future, everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame? 5)What does a seismograph measure? 6) What does a Geiger Counter measure? 7) To what country is the platypus indigenous? 8) In Greek mythology, who was mesmerized by his own image in the pond? 9) What planet is Superman from? 10) Who holds the record in Major League Baseball for most consecutive games with at least one hit?) and, for some reason, the students find this fun-- perhaps because it isn't graded and I encourage them to challenge someone each time we have a quiz . . . and I find the quizzes fun as well because I make them up from my head to insure that they are "common knowledge" and I get to reveal all the answers and feel smart as I explain them, and I try the quizzes out on the other teachers, who often do quite well, but rarely go ten for ten, and then I feel smart because I knew all the answers-- but last Friday, after I tested the teachers, another teacher pulled out her fun Friday activity, a logic puzzle in this vein, that included an incomprehensible little chart to "help" you with the information and aid you in getting a solution, and she started in on the puzzle and Stacy did as well, and before long they were filling in the chart and making insane statements like "You know the Fuentes can't be Munoz because there is no appointment before 5 PM, so that only leaves California because we eliminated Michigan because Lukas isn't until 6 PM" and while I tried my best to join in, I was essentially just copying off them and not understanding one bit of the method, even when I did fill in the chart, and it wasn't fun for me at all and really lowered my self-esteem and it makes me feel bad for the kids who don't get any answers correct on the "Life Quizzes," but I guess you can't be good at everything (unless you're Einstein) and maybe I need to start with something simpler, like an easy Sodoku and work my way up to full blown logical thinking, which was certainly never my strong point, and why I was known as "The Poor Man's Galileo" in college.