Friday, April 11, 2008

Illogical

Back in the very late 1980s, very early '90s, I went to Memphis State University for a minute. One of my favorite courses that I took was a logic class. Elementary Logic, I believe it was called. It was soothing to me, like sinking back into a comfortable chair, to see how these letters and symbols fit together to form the foundation of all the more complex decisions we make every day in this insane society. The basic theory that A=B, B=C, therefore A=C sounded like Sinatra to me at that time.

S needed money today for a field trip at school. Among the three older kids, there is a field trip about once a week, all requiring $5 or $10 or $4 or, once, $40. I'm still not sure about that one, but soon after C was seen wearing some new sneakers. Today the fee was $9, which I put on top of her homework folder last night, and then at some point she came up to me at my desk to get an envelope for Kristy to put that money safely into.

On the way to school this morning, I asked S if she'd gotten her money for the field trip, which is to the zoo, by the way. "No," she said.

"Did your mother put the money in an envelope last night?" I asked.

"Yes."

"What happened to that envelope?"

"She put it in my folder."

"Do you have the folder?"

"Yes."

"Hey, S, do you have the money for your field trip?"

Silence.

Money = Envelope
Envelope = Folder
Therefore, Money = Folder

She had failed to grasp the simplest tenet of logic. Not only failed to understand, but was actually stymied by it all when I tried to explain it to her. Maybe her tiny 5-year-old brain hasn't fully developed enough, or perhaps it was just too early in the morning for Dad's smart-ass point-making. Or, maybe, I expect too much from my kids, for them to see that A=C, when they can't even grasp that Daddy is always right, the simplest axiom in our family.

4 comments:

katherine said...

give her a break. you didn't even learn it until college!

Stephanie said...

It's never too early in the morning for smart-ass point-making.

Kristy said...

I love the smell of syllogisms in the morning!

La C. said...

I too loved elementary logic. My firm grasp of it still makes me feel slightly superior to most people to this day.