Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some Fun with the Kids

So I've been reading "The Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. It's a fascinating look into what are critical elements to success (by this I mean wealth and/or notoriety.) The common assumption, I think especially in America, is that individual intelligence and/or ambition is what makes a person successful. Ain't necessarily so. Gladwell shows in his book that quite a bit of one's success has to do with criteria beyond mere smarts and ambition.

One such criteria is your creativity. His example is Christopher Langan who has a genius IQ, but mere IQ was not enough to make him a "success." You need to have creativity to know what to do with that intelligence. Gladwell's example of intelligence combined with creativity is Robert Oppenheimer. Apparently, while still a student at Oxford, he got mad at a tutor and poisoned him. Somehow, Oppenheimer managed to explain the situation such that his only punishment was to be put on probation. For poisoning a tutor! Sounds like someone I know.....

Anyway, Gladwell mentions a creativity test in his book. Being the homeschool freak inquisitive mother that I am, I put my three eldest to the test. Those of you who know us, see if you can guess whose answers are who's (that was grammatically tricky).

Test parameter: you have ten minutes to think of as many uses for the two items listed on your page.

Kid One
hit someone, tools, hammer, gem (?), put into building, money, trading, igloo, box, shed, crayons, boardbook, table, statue, wall chairs

scarf, net, layer (?), pillow, clothing, mattress, trading, bag, tent, money (?), hat, gloves

Kid Two
make a house, throw it at the window (?!?), use it for a chemistry experiment, to explain symmetry (very clever, eh?), put a gun powder cap on it and whack it with another brick, paper weight, use as chalk, make a mini Stonehenge ("NO! We're not going to do bloody Stonehenge!" - name that movie!), make a bench, well

as a tent, for sleeping, being a ghost, cover something, stuff it in someone's mouth (!!!), give it to someone, a sleepover padding, dry your hands, clean something, keep you warm, cover a baby, lower yourself out the window, a strainer, make a rat's tail, a bandanna handkerchief, make a breeze.

Kid Three
part of a wall, to put behind a wheel, door-stopper, decoration, place marker when measuring, part of a building, science experiment, part of a platform or table, breaking window (what's with these kids?), weights when exercising, a press or to hold something down, part of a shed

part of a tent, lovey for Gummi, cloak, cape, picnic blanket, cover for something, pot holder when folded up, dishtowel, use to make a sibling pizza or burrito (dare I ask?), science experiment, ghost costume, place to hide small stuff, temporary shade, really big napkin, apron, sail

I don't know if these results point to my kids being creative or in need of some counseling.


GE is me said...

I don't need no FB to know when you've posted! ;)

Child #1= W. Bear

Child #2= P. Buttercup

Child #3= P. Git-er-done

Those are my thoughts. Not 100% sure about 2 & 3 though could possibly be flip flopped.

Anonymous said...

Spinal Tap....

Anonymous said...

Brick...a device used to make special friends...see Stephen Lynch.
Blanket...item stolen by family friends which then provides fodder for conversation and blogging.

Maria said...

I agree with GE is me on the guesses.

FYI, a sibling burrito is when you roll your sibling in a blanket so the result looks like a burrito. My kids have never done sibling pizza. I assume you lay the blanket flat and arrange siblings on top.