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Thursday, April 8, 2010


It's hard to believe that we've gotten this far--well over 300 secrets--and I haven't mentioned this one yet.

It occurred to me in class today. My students had read a story about a kid who built an airplane from wood, metal and wire. Lacking a motor, he planned to have his grandpa's horse pull it to get it airborne. I asked the students to write a paragraph guessing what would happen next.

You know, most of them said it would fly. After reading these, I pointed out that a horse couldn't get it to go fast enough to get off the ground. When I asked why they believed it would work, they said because he was "determined" and he "believed" it would fly.

So, jerk that I am, I closed my eyes and starting flapping my arms, saying "I'm determined" and "I believe!"

I think they got it.

You may detect here some of my latent hostility toward certain new age beliefs that shall remain unnamed. But my point is simply: the person who fails to use the brain she or he has is no better off than someone with no brain at all--say, a table, or a refrigerator.

If we don't think things through carefully, we are likely to face severe disappointment--like the kid with the one-horsepower airplane.

So use what you've got. Think.

You'll be happier.

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