Wednesday, November 18, 2009


the following is an excerpt from the book
Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

"From our first years in the educational system, society has ways of discouraging
the expansive, questing mode of attention that’s essential to creativity and personal rebirth. In one poignant indication of what happens when young children learn to switch off active focusing and just go through the motions, second-graders from different schools were given a problem to solve: “There are twenty-six sheep and ten goats on a ship. How old is the captain?” Nearly 90 percent of students from traditional classrooms answered “Thirty-six”. Not one pointed out that the problem didn’t make sense, compared to almost a third of the kids from less conventional, more mindful classrooms."
Winifred Gallagher

Yesterday I gave this problem to my kids to solve...
Victoria laughed and laughed.
Harry said, "That's not even a real question."

Later that night Harry asked me if I had any more of those "funny questions". I told him, "No. It's just something I read in a book."

Then he said that he made up a question for me...

"If a man is 82 and a woman is 42 and their cat is the same age as the woman, how old is the cat?" he questioned me.

"42" I said.

"Wrong!" he said with glee. "Cat years are like dog years, each year is 7 years. So, the cat is 6." he explained, as a matter of fact, and then he went to bed.

I have to say, I do love their school.

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