Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Logic (?!)

I don't know what we're teaching kids in school anymore. I mean really, who decided that they need to understand logic and reasoning to make it in this world? What happened to the the 3 R's? Reading, Riting, and Rithmatic? Oh yeah, someone realized that by calling them the "3R's" we were doing our children a grave injustice by teaching them the wrong way to spell and hacking an entire syllable off a word. Anyway, there is a school, which will remain nameless, that is actually teaching their students to use logic. I think it's awesome when teenagers and even college students use logic to solve all of life's little challenges. You know, if one of them were president things might just start looking up in the world. OK, that was a little sarcastic there (the part about presidents bringing us down, and teenagers solving problems with logic). Here's some logic for ya:

I was discussing the fact that my 6 year old has no empathy. I was surprised to have a friend tell me that you have to teach empathy to some children. I have no idea how to teach empathy, I thought you just had it. Apparently not, so I'm on a quest to learn how to instill this value in her. On this quest (which is not simple, AT ALL!), I am interrogating most of the people I know on whether or not their children had/have it, or if they had to teach it. It's not going well. My latest venture involved a long time friend that I haven't seen in quite a while and her 16 year old son. Her son is one of those guys that can talk circles around you, use fancy words, not really say anything at all, and make you (a grown adult) feel really stupid. Again, awesome. As soon as I pulled out the word empathy he started talking about an essay he just wrote on the subject for his class. At this point he dropped his instructors name about a dozen times, so that just shows you he's in "that" state. The state where he idolizes his teachers and nobody else in the world knows diddly squat. Well, I admit it- diddly here, thank you very much. So he says that the big difference in human beings and all other warm blooded creatures is empathy. Humans have it. Empathy, that is. Then he says, "6 year olds aren't human."


Yes sir, logically speaking, you can make the leap. If A=B, and B=C, then A=C. This simple equation came up after a very lengthy discussion of predicate nominatives, diagramming sentences, and all dogs being heavy.

Logical? Not in the least. But I sure could argue his case for you, if you want. I'm not sure where predicate nominatives fit in to the whole scheme of things, except that "heavy" is one in the following sentence: The dog is heavy.

Back to logic where A equals C.
IF Humans have empathy (A=B)
AND Empathy is not something 6 year olds have (B=C)
THEN 6 year olds are not human. (A=C)

Maybe the logic fails in the negative there. Since B does not equal C, then A can not equal C. It's something to think about though. Obviously, I haven't had a good conversation with anyone in quite a while since this kid has me thinking about this days later. Again I say, "A.W.E.S.O.M.E." I say it mostly because his 4th grade teacher, and my daughter's 4th grade teacher (same lady) banned the word awesome from her classroom. She said it was an overused word. Go figure.

Oh, to be young and naive again. To be able to sit around and think all day. To worry only about getting my homework done and when my karate class starts... oh wait, that was never me. Oh well. To be young and change the world. That's the hope I've lost over the years. Here's to getting it back because Eli, you're right (!), MY "intelligence is endless" too!


April said...

This post made my brain hurt. Too much math but AWESOME nonetheless. And, Tasha is human... his logic stinks.

Sara said...

Definitely planning to teach my kids logic...it's coming up in the next phase of the classical Trivium (grades 5-8.) If I'd ever studied logic myself I might understood the conclusions you derived here. :-)

We listened to some audiobooks from the library last year that we really enjoyed called Just Grace. There are a few in the series. Just Grace has empathy power as she likes to call it, and there are some really good descriptions of her empathy power in the story. Tasha might like them....