Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nothing. Everything. Always. Never. The tests we took as 4th graders, standardized, statewide achievement tests, sometimes had questions that included one of those words. We were taught, in preparation for the exam, that sometimes, when used quantitatively, these words could help us find the right answer, even if we didn’t actually know what we were doing. If a question makes an assumption that rules out any other possibility (for example: People always wear hats when it’s raining: True or false) then it’s probably not true (sometimes people wear hats when it isn’t raining, and sometimes they don’t wear hats when it is, like when they get caught in a surprise rainstorm, or if they work inside all the time and don’t care whether it’s raining or not). This rule sticks with me, even though I am far from 9 years old anymore and even though the classroom in which I learned it is now rubble underneath the foundation of a new school. The rule stands.

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