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The Boy Teacher and the Father Student 16 (Science and I Don't Know)

Updated on March 17, 2018
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

A Blank Slate

There is a wrinkle in this paper. Read on and it will make sense.
There is a wrinkle in this paper. Read on and it will make sense. | Source

A Herd?

Walking with a young boy on the way home from school changes at some point. And that change can be amazing or totally frustrating. I think there has probably never been a parent who has not gotten this response; “Son what did you do in school today?” “Nothing”. “Well what did you learn?” “Nothing”. And this can be as aggravating as it gets.

We are speaking of today. We walk about 1 mile or a little less from his school to our home. A highlight of both our days I think. It is very fun and usually filled with stories and questions back and forth. We start with a great question.

B: Chaddy, do all reasonable things have a reason?

F: Sorry but that is silly, obviously if it is reasonable it has a reason.

B: Do all things that happen have a reason?

F: Yes or maybe no. It would seem so but maybe not. What do you think?

B: I learned the word random today for math. If numbers can be random I think other things can be too.

F: Wait a second, you learned random in math in second grade?

B: It was like a game to pick a number for no reason.

F: That is really cool.

B: Dad I know you know that a bunch of crows is called a murder but I learned today that a bunch of parrots are called a herd.

F: That is interesting.

B: Geese have two names; when they are on the ground they are a gaggle but when they are flying they are team.

F: I knew about the gaggle but team is new to me.

B: Did you know you could cut a head off a cockroach and it will still live because it breathes through it’s sides?

F: I don’t buy that one. Because the juice would run out of it.

B: Oh I didn’t think of that. Do bugs have blood?

F: I don’t know if you call it blood. Some other name I think, something with an “imph”.

B: Look at that really cool rose. Do they really grow black roses like in the cartoons?

F: I don’t know, maybe they just paint them or something about putting them in black water.

B: I thought you knew everything.

F: Son I have already forgotten more stuff than you will ever know.

B: That is impossible.

Just a Cool Song That Fits Here

Silly Rules

So many rules that stifle.
So many rules that stifle. | Source

Very Heavy Stuff. Perhaps a Result of an Undisciplined Mind?

We pause here to relate a true story. So our boy here is a top notch student. One of those kids in class that excels in all categories or subject matters. Please do not take this wrong but through his mother he has that stereotypical Asian student ethic. Doing poorly would bring dishonor on his mom.

So they have this large math test. (did you know that they now incorporate money problems in those tests, I guess it makes cents ;-) The boy’s desk mate is cheating and copying the boy’s answers. The boy does not object. Instead he intentionally writes three wrong answers and then acts like he is done. Of course the cheater is done so he gets up and turns in the test. Meanwhile our boy erases the wrong answers and puts in the right ones and then turns it in. Our boy got 100 and the cheater got below 90.

That just cracks me all up.

So the walk continues and the subject changes into a very interesting concept that I doubt is ever going to be resolved in my life time. The weekend before the boy went to a movie with his big sister called “A Wrinkle in Time”. It seemed to me that the boy was doing a pretty good job of explaining it to me and then came the questions.

B: Dad can time really have wrinkles?

F: What do you mean by that?

B: You know, mom irons my shirt all flat and then it gets a wrinkle in it.

F: Oh so you want to know if time is flat or already wrinkled?

B: I think that is kind of funny because clocks are round. So shouldn’t time go in a circle?

F: Never thought of that. Kind of like the earth being round and we are on it so time must be a circle.

B: Yea and like it takes so long for math class but recess goes so fast, and I know they are both one half hour.

F: This just may be too deep for us to discuss it will give us a headache.

B: No really, can time stop and go?

F: There was this really really smart man named Albert Einstein and he said something like; “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” So all I can do is ask about it like you.

B: OK, so do you think time is flat?

F: This may sound goofy but I think time might be more like a wavy line. Like you were saying, sometimes it goes fast and sometimes slow.

B: But the clock does not go fast and then slow.

Don't Stop Your Mind From Wandering

Time in Meditation Gardens

One must learn to be comfortable in silence.
One must learn to be comfortable in silence. | Source

Freedom to Think Creates Thinking

F: Let me just say that I don’t know and let’s think of something normal. And remind me to talk to your sister about what movies she takes you to. I thought that was a kid’s movie not a science movie. No eight year old should be should really be thinking literally about wrinkles. I have enough wrinkles on my face and you just gave me another one. Hmm maybe that is why the call them “time lines”.

Finally we reach home. The trimmed up tree across the street where all the birds hang out bothered him. “But what about the birds?” “listen, they are still there”. “That is not what I mean dad, I mean that now it will be easier for the predators to get them”.

Do me a favor son and go play in the backyard for a while so your poor old dad can try to relax his brain.

Let us address an issue that should be bothering you. “No eight year old talks like that about things like that!!” And here you would be stereotypically correct. But this need not be the case. To my mind there are 3 essentials that will free a young child’s mind to expand at an early age.

  1. Spiritual discussion and teaching. This is just so essential. The idea that there are things that are not solid and touchable or seeable but truly exist. Of course my favorite is love. But for sure discussing the concept of a trinity opens all the doors to that which is seen yet unseen. (note I say discussing it and not commanding it or even teaching it.
  2. Imagination time. As my son must read each night and do some math and any homework he also must play by himself for a half hour a day after school, outside. Fully free of rules of thought fully unguided, no restrictions to where his mind may take him. We even have a tacit agreement that I will not watch him.
  3. Start early. Surely the flower is beautiful, but it has parts like stamen and a pistil. The rock or the shell are really cool, but what type are they. (Do not worry they are still beautiful)

This takes time and sometimes we do not have it. God bless you all.

Free My Soul


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Today is tending our tubors and reading about scorpions and some origami. We did finger printing also. (no not finger painting ;-)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Personally, I've never dissected one (biology isn't all that popular in our house) but the wife is studying Psychology at university, the daughter is studying 'earth and space' (how the planets are made up) and I just love reading all that stuff!!

      You're right, it is awesome!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Lawrence that is awesome. We studied both of them. Isn't life stranger than fiction. It would appear that Mosquitoes have been around as long as the cockroach. We are thinking of doing the experiment. How cool is that. We went to google Scholar on this one and settled on American Scientific. Alas the breathing was just one of the three basic functions that are decentralized on the cold blooded creature. Ours is Periplaneta americana, not sure about New Zealand.

      Hey thanks for pointing it out it adds much to the "conversation". Survival of Nuclear holocaust anyone?

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I'll try not to upset you too much, but your son was right. Cockroaches have lived up to nine days in experiments without their heads. The reason is neither the breathing apparatus or the brain are in the head, as for the blood, very little flows into it because it doesn't have any vital organs.

      He's also right about the 'wrinkle in time'! Einstein said they could exist, and recent observations of 'gravitational waves' (gravity distorts light, which slows down time) showed they are possible.

      As you can see, the discussions around our dinner table can be similar, my reply is often "lets find out"

      Great hub.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Nikki. What a blessing learning and teaching are.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      8 months ago from London

      Fathers are always best teachers to their sons, love this part.You’ve done an excellent job here Eric.

      Keep it up. Bless you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Bill. Isn't that a cool one. Soon we will be moving onto pods and blooms.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      8 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Love the Father-Son relationship here, Eric. Oh, and I learned something new today. I thought there were just a bunch of birds in the backyard. Now, I know there's a murder in the backyard. Fascinating conversation!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Devika that is the truth.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great lessons and fathers teach the best to their sons.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A request for advice on this article. For some reason I just cannot get this article featured. For my writing it makes little to no difference to me. But I believe "featured" is a baseline. And I think it is good discipline to meet the minimum standards. So if someone could point out the error of article I would really appreciate it. Honing our craft is half the fun.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Linda. I don't get redo's with my elder children but I do have this wonderful 4th chance to get it right. One of the best parts is that this time around I do not have to be the one in complete control. I think as a younger parent I was in fact insecure and felt a need to establish my dominance, my "Authority". That do as I say not as I do garbage, the "because I said so" stuff. Now that I do not have to worry about that I can spend my energy more constructively.

      God really blesses us with the ability to keep learning forever.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Brian. Carl Rogers is a very interesting fellow. Worth reviewing his stuff.

      From my view traditional school learning and even the hubbub about common core are fine. They are baseline they are so minimal, frankly, so easy. They danger there is the trap that we think they are sufficient or even efficient methods of learning.

      As a parent teacher the "teaching" should be focused on the "thirst".

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      8 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I'm sorry to be jumping in so late, but I was without internet for almost 24 hours (...oh, the horror!).

      I LOVED this exchange between you and son. Honestly, you need to have this little one's IQ checked. He sounds exceptional, off the charts. But with such amazing mom and dad, I'm not at all surprised.

      You are such an amazing dad, and a wonderful, loving person. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your thoughts, your son-dad exchanges with us.

      I read what you are doing with your little guy and then reflect on how I raised my two girls. Kinda makes me want to do a Cntrl-Alt-Del and start over.

      Blessings to you my friend.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      8 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Eric, that conversation with your son was awesome, an example of education at its best.

      The elements of learning through such education include that it is:

      * questions-based;

      * free of obligations;

      * autonomous, self-motivated based on interests and concerns, and self-directed;

      * if a group of two or more is learning together, everyone is both teacher and student, the roles shifting depending on who can contribute what to answering a query, and each encourages each and all to contribute with enthusiasm and curiosity.

      For some related education theory, search the Net on:

      Carl Rogers

      * non directive teaching

      * "Freedom to Learn"

      * humanistic education

      At the Education and Democracy website, follow the Freedom School Curriculum link and read the curriculum and about the thinking that went into it.

      Read the Agile Manifesto and the Agile Principles and their stories and read about Scrum teams as born in the environment of software development and then research how those concepts have been applied in education. See, for instance, the website eduScrum.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora I am very pleased you get a blessing from them. Thank you for being such a great support.

    • CaribTales profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      8 months ago from The Caribbean

      These father-son conversations are absolutely delightful. What a joy! Happy for you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah we will read your comment together tonight and I will report back to you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Like I even noticed LoL

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill that is funny because I am just starting getting him there. Padres and SDSU tickets are reasonable for the cheap seats. Soccer and BBall are being introduced along with putting. We will see what sticks.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mary I know what you mean. Our family is a little strange in that my eldest is 36 and my youngest is 8. My elder son is 33. So when it is both the boys and the father things get real interesting.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      8 months ago from Washington DC

      This kept me laughing out loud in the library, Eric, you need to stop it.

      I like the question "Dad can there really be a wrinkle in time" and think I have an answer to it for you two.

      Time is "a duration," by definition, complete without beginning or ending but, because man see lineally, we generally measure time by some action that doesn't manifest completed instantly. That says then, time is a ball of 64,800 (360 x 180) degrees that we tend to stretch out lineally and divide into seconds, minutes, hours, evenings, mornings, days, weeks, months, seasons and years, to name the most common ones, for determining "the speed for completing...". Time doesn't slow down nor speed up, per say, whereas, because man tend to like some things and dislike others our emotional state causes the duration to appear to do the opposite of what we desire.

      Your F & S conversations make me remember how I was always told, my know-it-all school teacher mom, to stop asking so many questions. I believe if she had I may have become like so many I've noticed, loose all desire to learn, or, if she answered them in the the way you do It may would have still led to my objectivity observing, participating, reasoning and finding my own answers.

      I really appreciate reading your dialogs.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank. I am glad that we can share these.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      8 months ago from Shelton

      I meant Listen to their conversation..OOPs..LOL

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Manatita,

      He is very young for such things. And thankfully most the time he just acts like a crazy little kid up to no good :-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      From the mouths of babes shall come the wisdom of the Ages.

      I don't think I spouted wisdom at your son's age, but whatever I did spout probably had something to do with baseball. :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Last night, we had dinner with our 27 year old grand son and it is now a different interaction just as enjoyable as when they had all those questions. This time, we can talk about things that did not matter to them then and it is just as enjoyable. Enjoy them at this age or at every stage for that matter as each one is unique. Of course, you know this very well Eric. Why am I telling you this?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      8 months ago from Shelton

      Clever piece yet again.. this series places us in a seat directly in front of the boy teacher and sitting behind us is the father student as we learn and lesson to their conversation... bravo Eric

    • manatita44 profile image


      8 months ago from london

      Thanks Eric

      Another nice conversation between father and son. I learned some things here. The boy is still so young! Awesome!


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