Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Smarty Pants

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On Saturday, I took Eli, Sophie, and Isaac to see Monsters University at a local theatre.  I didn't want to see it in 3D, but when we arrived they had posted the times wrong and that was all that was playing until the next showing in an hour.  It was around lunch time so we decided to wait for the regular movie, and in the mean time, went to a Wendy's right beside the theatre.  I can't even remember the last time I was inside of a Wendy's restaurant - it's been a really long time.  Once in a while the kids get a meal through the drive through, but nobody ever goes in.

Going to a restaurant means I can get some Coke!  I still love it, I just never have it anymore unless I'm out to eat.  The lady hands me an empty cup, and directs me to this:

OK.  It's a machine that dispenses Coke, and about 20 other things.  I'm standing there with the three kids behind me just looking at this thing, wondering how you get Coke out of it - there is a touch screen, an ice dispenser looking lever, and then...  Well, that's as far as I made it.  I did figure out how to get a cup full of ice, but no Coke.  Eli is standing behind me, and he's been looking at me and this process the whole time.  He says, "MOM, just put your cup under there and push the red button, then hit that other big one and Coke will come out."  So of course, I follow these instructions and out comes my Coke.  I asked him how he knew how to work the machine.  He just shrugged.  Hm.  

The same day, I was listening to the TED Radio Hour on NPR, which is fabulous, you should all listen.  I LOVE TED talks!  This particular show was on education, and they were highlighting a great TED talk by a man named Sugata Mitra called "How Much Can Children Teach Themselves."  It was really amazing to hear about the work he had done and some of his conclusions about education and the ability of children to learn on their own with very little, if any, adult intervention.  It made me think of Eli and the Coke machine - he had it figured out long before I did.  Nobody taught him how to use it, but it was still accessible to him to figure it out.  


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