Critical Thinking, April Fool’s Day, and Dido

Some of the best memories that I have of my Grandfather, Dido, are the times that he would mess with us.  Dido loved us very very much.  He showed his love by teasing and pranking us.

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(A cute picture of Dido smooching his favourite grand daughter, my sister Olexandra.)

My favourite Dido story takes place when my siblings and I were quite young.  My parents, brother, sister and I lived in the country, and my grandparents had a piece of land across the street.  Their property had a huge garden, and they would use “working in the garden” as an excuse to play with their grandchildren.

On one of these days, Dido asked us if we wanted to catch a bunny.

Of course we did!!!  What group of kids doesn’t want a bunny?!  Even better one that they had caught themselves and trained to be the world’s best pet!  Dido leaned in and told us how to catch a bunny: “Grind up some fresh pepper and leave it on a really big rock.”

None of us understood.

Dido explained, “Bunnies’ noses are always sniffing.  When the bunny comes close to the rock, he’ll sniff up your pepper.  He’ll sneeze and bang his head on the rock.  He’ll knock himself out, and you can trap him.”

So for the rest of the afternoon we found rocks and covered them with pepper while Dido laughed.

I’d like to think that this kind of teasing and joking around is what made me into a critical thinker.  Precise teaching that fosters a culture of deep thinking is important, but, this April Fools Day, let’s mess with our students (just a little).  We owe it to their learning 😉

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