Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ignorance And Wisdom

I was passing a pair of five-year-olds on my way to something else when I overheard one of them saying, "When you get older you forget more stuff." It was one of those comments that is either full of great ignorance or great wisdom, so I slowed down to hear more.

The girl with whom he was speaking answered, "No, that's not right. When you get older you go to more school then more school then more school. The more you go to school, the smarter you get."

"Well, my grandpa is old and he went to lots of schools and he forgets everything."

"My grandpa doesn't forget anything. And my grandma doesn't either. And my mom and my dad."

"Maybe they're not old enough. When you get to be 70 you start to forget."

They stood in silence for a moment, then, "I don't forget anything."

"Me either . . . Like I know everything about Star Wars when I'm little. When you get tall and old you forget everything about Star Wars."

This time the girl nodded in agreement, "My grandpa doesn't know about Star Wars. He calls it the wrong name."

"That's because he's old."

"Or maybe his mommy didn't let him watch Star Wars. I can't watch it until I'm eight. It's too scary."

"It's not scary for me."

"It's not scary for me, either, but it's scary for my mom and so we can't watch it until I'm eight."

There was a short pause while the children let the conversation sink in. Then, "How old is your mom?"


"When you get old things are more scary. I know everything about Star Wars and it's not scary."

"I know everything too, because I watch animal shows on TV. I know about lemurs and all other kinds of animals."

The boy shook his head sadly, "Then when you get tall you'll forget it."

She replied brightly, "But I remember it now! That's good! I'll just forget it when I'm old, but I'll remember it now."

"Yeah, you'll remember it now because you're not too old."

"And, you know, I'm a girl so one day when I get big, I'll just get a baby and my baby can tell me all the things I forget!"

They nodded their agreement at their great ignorance and great wisdom, which is, of course, the human condition, then went back to their play.

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Chris said...

What a fascinating conversation. Is that pretty verbatim?

Teacher Tom said...

@Chris . . . Pretty much. I was typing notes into my phone.