Sunday, January 4, 2009

overwork and tooth fairies

I cannot kill myself with school next semester like I did last semester. I ignored too many things in my personal life that help keep me sane.

Part of the problem is that I have had a great many wonderful ideas that I can use to help teach students math from different perspectives. However, I pushed myself to develop too many of them too quickly, which not only didn't work, but made me neglect my personal life. That sucks.


My niece is becoming one of my favorite people. She is five years old, and has already figured out that there is no Easter Bunny. She told her dad (my brother) that she knows the Easter Bunny isn't real because she has never seen a rabbit that big anywhere.

She also knows Santa Claus isn't real, but likes to still pretend he is.

But my favorite thing about her is her approach to the Tooth Fairy. She is very suspicious about the Tooth Fairy's existence, even though she hasn't lost a tooth yet. She has a great train of logic for a 5-year old: She knows that fairies aren't real, and she knows that the Tooth Fairy is, well, a fairy. So she has devised an experiment: her hypothesis is that the tooth fairy is really just parents. So she has given her dad instructions - when she loses her tooth, he is not allowed to put money under her pillow. Then, if money still appears, the tooth fairy is real. If money doesn't appear, then the tooth fairy doesn't exist. She is very serious about this, and has reminded her dad several times to make sure he doesn't put money under her pillow.

Her dad is torn about how to respond. He wants to respect her experiment, but he also wants her to have the experience of the Tooth Fairy.