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Forward Thinking

| Learning | June 10, 2014

(Although I get excellent marks at school, I find the work too easy and I’m often bored. I am sitting a maths exam. I answer all the questions until I get to this one.)

Question: “David is in a hotel and wants to go skiing. His skis are two metres long, and the doorway of his room is 1.8m high and 0.5m wide. Will he be able to get his skis through the doorway?

(I do the calculations and write down the answer.)

Me: “According to the Pythagorean theorem, no, David will not be able to get his skis through the doorway.”

(I finish the test, but I’ve still got a long time before my time is up and I’m bored, so I decide to have a bit of fun. I go back to the ski question and add a sentence to my answer.)

Me: “But if David really wants to go skiing, he can always walk through the door holding his skis horizontally.”

(I hand in the test. Several weeks later, we get the results back.)

Student #1: “Hey, I got the answer right on the skis question, but I only got half the points!”

Student #2: “Me, too!”

Me: “That’s funny. I got all the points.”

Student #1: “[Teacher], that’s not fair! How come [My Name] got all the points and we didn’t?”

Teacher: “Because she was the only one to figure out that it’s possible to hold skis horizontally!”

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