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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Kids say the darndest things"

Monday morning I had my first Brain Day experience in which a friend of mine from my neuroscience lab course last semester and I went into a classroom of children in grades 3 and 4 and taught them about the brain (primarily with the intent on brain and spinal cord injury prevention, although we had a lot of extra 'just because it is interesting' material in there too). It was an interesting experience. While I will wait until after my second Brain Day presentation to write about the events themselves, there was one cute anecdote I wanted to share now while I procrastinate studying for my pair of midterms this evening.

When I was living in Pennsylvania, my German teacher in grade 8 had an amazing collection of ties. As far as anyone could tell, he wore a tie every day and did not ever repeat a tie over the course of the school year. After such an impressive display of tie wearing, sporting a tie and teaching young children now go together in my head. To that end, I informed my presentation partner that I intended to wear a tie for our presentation (I have one my mom bought me a few years ago that is covered in mathematics equations and simple diagrams), so she decided she had better dress up a little too. To that end, I showed up in a dress shirt and tie, and she showed up in nice clothes and high heels. As we neared recess, I was talking to the class about the auditory system when one of the little girls in the class raised her hand and called my partner over. Instead of asking a question about the brain, however, she informed my partner that she and I must be married, since I was wearing a tie and she was wearing high heels.

While I presume my partner explained the difference between a married couple and academic peers (or something to that effect), I enjoy the story because I find it interesting how often young children make these seemingly bizarre leaps in logic. What is even more interesting is quite often, if asked, the children can give quite a coherent, if misguided, outline of the logical steps they took to reach the given conclusion. I never got the chance to ask this little girl how she arrived at the conclusion that tie and high heels meant marriage, so I remain curious.