Category Archives: Teaching

Infinity

Kid: “What’s the highest number?”

Me: “There is no highest number. Numbers keep going and going and going…they are infinite.”

Kid: “What’s infinite?”

Me: “Having no end. Numbers go to infinity…”

Kid: “Then that’s the end. Infinity.”

Me: “Well, no– the very definition of infinity is ‘no end.'”

Kid: “So infinity is NOT the highest number?”

Me: “Infinity isn’t actually even a number, it’s a concept.”

Kid: “What’s a concept?”

Me: “Like, an idea…”

Kid: “So infinity is the highest idea?”

Me: “Well, no, there’s no ‘highest idea.’ That’s not a thing.”

Kid: “I don’t get it. What’s infinity then?”

Me: “It’s hard to explain.”

Kid: (silence)

Me: (prays conversation is over)

Kid: “So like, is there an infinity and one?”

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Small

Kid: “How come you never wear your big diamond ring anymore?”
Me: “My engagement ring? I do. Just not all the time. I take it off when I go to the gym and sometimes forget to put it back on before I leave for the day.”
Kid: “Is your husband mad that you don’t wear it?”
Me: “No.”
Kid: “But now no one knows you have a husband! It’s like you’re not even married.”
Me: “Well, that’s not true. But regardless, I always wear my wedding band.”
Kid: “Huh?”
Me (point to wedding ring on left hand) “This. This is the ring my husband gave me at our wedding.”
Kid: “But that’s so small!!”
Me: “It’s not that sm—“
Kid: “No one will be able to see that it’s so small!”
Me: “Ok I mean I disagree but–”
Kid: “I CAN’T EVEN SEE IT AND I’M SITTING RIGHT HERE IT’S SO SMALL.”

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Remind Me to Thank Your Dad

Finishing a math lesson with a 5 year old….

Me: “Any questions?”

Kid: “Yeah. When that baby comes out of your vagina, is it going to hurt?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Kid: “Babies come out of vaginas, you know. My dad told me when I asked him how your baby was going to get out of you. He said it would come out of your vagina.”

Me: “Well, remind me to thank your dad. But what I meant was, do you have any MATH questions.”

Kid: “Ummmm…let me think.”

Me: “We just did a whole lesson about how to tell time and read a calendar. Do you have questions about THAT?”

(long pause)

Kid: “Oh! Yes. How many days on the calendar…”

Me: “Ok, that’s better…”

Kid: “…until that baby comes out of your vagina?”

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Pretty Much

Kid and I are researching quotes for his paper about community action, and we come across a good quote by Nelson Mandela.

Me: “Ohhh, that’s a perfect one to use. Do you know who Nelson Mandela is?”

Kid: “Yeah of course.”

Me: “Oh, I’m impressed. I wouldn’t necessarily think a kid your age would know about him.”

Kid: “Well, my dad listens to his music all the time.”

Me: “Ummm…his music? Nelson Mandela was not a musician, as far as I know…”

Kid: “Yes, he’s a country singer!”

Me: “I think you’re thinking of someone else…”

Kid: “You know, (singing) ‘On the road again, Just can’t wait to get on the road again….'”

Me: “Oh, honey, no. That’s Willie Nelson. Not Nelson Mandela. They are two very VERY different people. Nelson Mandela ended apartheid in South Africa.”

Kid (pondering): “Ok but otherwise they’re pretty much the same.”

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Upper East Side Standards

Before my first session with a new client…

Parent (to her kid): “I want you to listen to everything Miss Emily says, because she went to Penn, and if you listen to her, one day you can go to a school like that, too. Wouldn’t that be so great?”

Kid: (blank stare)

BECAUSE HE’S THREE.

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Oh I See What You Did There

Parent of student: “Why isn’t her math improving more?!”

Me (aloud): “Progress takes time.”

Me (internally): “Little do you know, ‘Progress takes time’ is just my vague, polite, professional code for GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK, LADY– I see your kid one hour a week. If she doesn’t put in the effort between sessions, well…I’M NOT A GODDAMN WIZARD.”


Me: “Why aren’t I improving more?!”

Therapist: “Progress takes time.”

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