Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: One sleep to go

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  • 3410,

    "any another kind" ?! I'm losin' it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Happy birthday, Mary-Margaret.

    David, when you have a moment, let us know what your responsible half got for your eight year oild.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Hey, I teach teenagers (sixth form) who don't know what a continent is, think Africa is a country, wonder how come maps aren't blurry because the earth is spinning so fast that it must make the earth blurry for when they are drawn, wonder what is on the back of the world map (as though there is a whole part of the world we don't know about), have no idea whatsoever of how we have day and night, that the earth orbits the sun, and wonder where the moon goes during the day.

    Well they share that second misapprehension with George Bush.

    I used to wonder the same thing about the moon until I was about 7 and actually inquired about the moon's whereabouts.

    I also once argued with a teacher about whether the number of stars was finite or infinite (I was of the latter opinion).

    A story from an English teacher in Auckland: only 1 out of 30 fourth-formers knew what the word "balaclava" was, and could use it in a sentence.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    ditto. happy birthday mary-margaret.

    and many more.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Yamis, if the picture was coloured in a little more, would it look less perturbing?

    Deborah, I was chastened to discover that I was in fact involved in the purchase of one of the gifts and had entirely forgotten. There was a PS2 with Singstar up for auction at the Hustle for Russell...This, of course, will be a bad influence and has been counterbalanced by many good books. But no Junior Engineering set.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Fantastic! Nothing wrong with Singstar at all! (if balanced with books as you say)
    Many Happy Returns Mary-Margaret!

    Oh dear. There goes the last magical Christmas.

    But you must be over the moon that your daughter has a smart questioning mind. That's the best thing to have.

    I also once argued with a teacher about whether the number of stars was finite or infinite (I was of the latter opinion).

    My partner once had an arguement with her Primary School teacher who used "the number of grains of sand on the beach" as an example of infinite. My partner kept saying "it's not infinite, it's just a big number!". She's got a 1st Class honours degree in maths now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Yeah, Happy Birthday M-M!

    Singstar! A heinous machine (we have one too). Great for keeping swags of young girls (especially) at birthday parties occupied though.

    Actually, they should release singstar albums - as in discs devoted to single artists. I could see Singstar Elvis going down big in some adult circles.

    PS2s make excellent portable DVD players.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    My partner once had an arguement with her Primary School teacher who used "the number of grains of sand on the beach" as an example of infinite. My partner kept saying "it's not infinite, it's just a big number!". She's got a 1st Class honours degree in maths now.

    I think my argument about the number of stars went along the same lines, although I believe I was on the 'infinite' side of the argument. In my defence, human knowledge of stars is a little more uncertain than that re: number of grains of sand at the beach. And I was 12.

    Also, your example neatly illustrates the way in which some teachers are morons. I learnt the difference between it's and its fairly early on, and corrected a number of teachers along the way.

    Anyway, I will desist now lest I sound like a smug prick!

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But on the long drive home after the Easter break, one of my five year olds obviously spent lot of time thinking, and thinking, and thinking. As we were driving out of Wanganui, in a nice demonstration of inference, half worried and half puzzled, she said, "Mum, if the Easter bunny is really just your parents, then maybe Santa Claus isn't true, and it's really just your parents."

    Oh dear. There goes the last magical Christmas.

    My ex told our son that Santa Claus wasn't real when he was five. Some sort of philosophical anti-believing in magic thing. I mean really.

    I was able to con him back into it however, I think by asking him "do you really think that Dad would make stuff up?" and letting him draw his own conclusions. So much so that he moved the cookies and milk to the side of the fireplace so that Santa didn't trip over them when he came down our (tiny flue) chimney. It's important that Santa leaves crumbs on the plate, as evidence that he's been.

    I could tell some of them that we are building a bridge to the US, or a flying fox from Mt Cook to Christchurch and they would believe me.

    The flying fox would be sweet. Can we have that, please? Though pushing the 'fox' back up to the top for the next kid would be a real bitch.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6161 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    So much so that he moved the cookies and milk to the side of the fireplace so that Santa didn't trip over them when he came down our (tiny flue) chimney. It's important that Santa leaves crumbs on the plate, as evidence that he's been.

    Milk and cookies? Pah!!

    In our house, we leave a good slug of brandy out for Santa.

    I was able to sidestep the "maybe Santa isn't true" issue by the hoary old turnaround - "What do you think?" She and her sisters ran through the evidence for Santa, including the brandy glass being empty, and decided that maybe he was true after all. The 8 year old (who confessed to me last Christmas that the year before she had just been pretending to believe to keep us and her little sisters happy) aided and abetted me in maintaining the faith.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    I'm fairly sure that our 7 year old (who thinks she is 14 - or at the least desperately wants to be 14) is suspicious of the existence of Santa, but I also think she has cottoned on that if she interrogates us too hard on the subject that the associated present flow may diminish somewhat.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Our son clicked when we let the kids watch Gremlins a couple of years ago, and the girl tells the story about her father's death which ends with 'and that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus'.

    He already has a reasonable level of suspicion of us, though, after we raised him to believe that the number after 99 was called 'glockenspeil'. One day he's going to find out we swapped the words 'kumquat' and 'wombat' on him.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4339 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    you can just completely make stuff up, and their little faces kind've crunch up with effort

    I told my three year old the other day that the Mr Whippy van only plays the music when he's run out of ice cream. Then I felt really guilty...

    And to hark back to the first comment, Ilya Kuryakin & Napoleon Solo were fighting THRUSH (!): Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity


    They were worse than Commies, if such a thing exists.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 558 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    "I told my three year old the other day that the Mr Whippy van only plays the music when he's run out of ice cream ..."

    Heeey, good idea! thanks for that Paul

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I'm fairly sure that our 7 year old (who thinks she is 14 - or at the least desperately wants to be 14) is suspicious of the existence of Santa, but I also think she has cottoned on that if she interrogates us too hard on the subject that the associated present flow may diminish somewhat

    Yes, 7 seems to be the age they start to whisper the bad news to each other at school. And yes, they keep quiet about it till they know the prezzies don't stop.

    BTW I remember when I was old enough to actually eat the mince pie & drink the beer left out for santa. I'd have been I think, 12 or 13... (it was a small beer).

    But correct me if I'm wrong Rich, we had you & Sue fooled until you were in your early 20s?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • anjum rahman,

    when one of my daughters was 6, she told me that the class had to write a letter to santa that day at school. i said "but you know there's no such thing as santa, don't you?" she replied "yes, i know that! but my teacher doesn't..."

    the other daughter, after long contemplation at the moon one night came up with: "mummy, when the moon becomes half, do all the people on the other side fall off?"

    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 129 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    my neice to my mother.

    "granny... it only takes one person to make a difference"
    "how's that honey?"
    "i'm going to sponsor a child"

    this is a 4 year old who watches too much tv.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Happy birthday MM! I think singstar is cool too.... perhaps in conjunction with singing-lessons?!
    I feel better about spinning BS after reading other people's stories. I mean "glockenspiel"!? It's inspired. But as a kid who consistently mispronounced words I'd read but never heard- and suffering some embarrassment for this- I wonder how his classmates reacted when he said "ninety-eight, glockenspiel, one hundred."
    Maybe some level of suspicion WRT parental/adult/other people's stories is a good think to inculcate. I've been talking to the twins a bit about lying, tricking and being mistakenly wrong... I generally haven't propped up stories like father xmas much after the doubting starts. Some oblique propping. But there's interesting stuff on teaching schoolkids philosophy. Thinking

    "Mum, if the Easter bunny is really just your parents, then maybe Santa Claus isn't true, and it's really just your parents."

    is way more impressive than uncritical belief.
    How does this impact on "the magic of childhood"? I dunno, but whatever it is, it's not over as soon as you doubt Santa. Maybe not til you start sneaking out the window to go to parties...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1465 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    told my three year old the other day that the Mr Whippy van only plays the music when he's run out of ice cream.

    70's Small town NZ had no such Mr Whippy problem. My parents frequently tell the story about buying ice-cream cones for my big sister from the local dairy in paper bags. Big sis stayed in the car whilst one of our parents would procure the ice-cream, which stayed in it's disguise until they got home. Then sis could go devour the ice-cream, or rather smear it around a lot, without an ice-cream deprivation tantrum in the car on the way home. Big sis soon worked out where the ice-cream came from though and the next move in this game of parenting chess was tell my sister that there were elephants living in the bushes across the road from the dairy.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 460 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    But as a kid who consistently mispronounced words I'd read but never heard- and suffering some embarrassment for this- I wonder how his classmates reacted when he said "ninety-eight, glockenspiel, one hundred."

    It was worse than that, it was 'ninety eight, ninety-nine, glockenspiel, glockenspiel-and-one... six glockenspiel and forty-two..."

    But we did clear it up well before the poor chap started school. And we were honest with him when he asked us stuff like 'what's a bardiche?' Y'know, important stuff. But yes, it was about developing our children's critical faculties. Honest.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4339 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    What is a "bardiche"?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    An axe that's been embiggened?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    It was worse than that, it was 'ninety eight, ninety-nine, glockenspiel, glockenspiel-and-one... six glockenspiel and forty-two..."

    Actaully that much MUCH better! If he just threw in "glockenspiel" instead of 99 he wasn't doing any critical thinking about how numbers "work".

    When you think about it "hundred" is just a nonsense sysllable that could be replaced with anything. Your boy showed excellent thinking to just put in the word but keep the numbering system. Especially considering that English counting is terrible to learn compared to Chinese or Maori.

    I mean "eleven" and "twelve" what horrible concepts in a base ten system!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I'm assuming it's a french word for something vaguely sexual that our culture tries to ignore so doesn't have a word for. Y'know, like "decolletage" or "menarche".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    3140: you know about footpegs but not Bardiche? :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

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