Father and Son, Brother and Nephew

The apple does not fall far from the tree in my family. We tend to have such strongly recognizable stamps from generation to generation that one could accuse us of cloning.

The point here? I went to watch my brother teach World Civ at the local college. He’s good at it, but he’s the kind of zany teacher who makes wise cracks that everyone loves. His lecture on the Byzantine Empire was fast but thorough and I learned stuff I didn’t know. That was cool. HOWEVER I also know that if it wouldn’t get him fired that he’d just lie through his teeth to these kids for the sheer fun of it. I mean, he’d fess up eventually, but the urge to see how far he could push the lie would be very tempting.

This comes to mind now, because I just got off the computer after spending an hour hanging out with my nephew IMing. My nephew enjoys being off the wall just for the sheer fun of it. (I would show you some of his fiction, but he was very quick to claim copyright.) But they also both enjoy being smarter than the other person.

What’d we talk about? I showed him this puzzle, which took me a couple of days the first time I solved it. He just finished it. Now, it’s possible that he found a spoiler sheet, but he also learned to play chess over a weekend from reading a book.

Lord knows when he’ll show an interest in me again, or why he did tonight, but I’ll have another puzzle waiting for him. I’m not even going to try chess.

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One Response

  1. Mike Munsil

    Loved the notes about your brother’s teaching style. Good for him!

    When I was teaching paleobiology one Monday morning at Oklahoma State, I was concentrating on the ecological niches that paleo-snails occupied. Major yawner. So, since the class was half asleep, and since I was talking about tree snails, I decided to… extemporize.

    It was only after I had sketched the blood dripping from the fangs on the rare carnivorous blood-sucking flying paleo-tree-snails that the kids started to wake up. They were in full sleep-note-taking mode and some of them had even sketched out the pseudo-wings before waking up.