Saturday, February 23, 2008


We were at our niece's birthday party on Thursday when Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? came on. We marvelled at the depths that game shows had sunk to. We marvelled at how the Americans were either self deprecating enough or actually daft enough to take part in such a challenge that would more likely than not reinforce the perception of them being the Stupid American.

But then, we all agreed that if it was a game show in Singapore and the intellectually average or above average Singaporean was pitted against a Primary Sixer, there was no question who would win. Every year, the press picks up the story of how difficult that year's PSLE Math paper was and would feature some of the questions. We would always be suckers for punishment and attempt to do it, failing miserably when we had to solve it without using algebra and sometimes, even with algebra. And some of the better ability kids wouldn't bat an eyelid and very innocently ask "what's the big deal?"

Then yesterday, I thought that the eventual challenge should be against the P6-er. We could start with Are you Smarter than Primary 3 kid? And even at that point, I think I would fail. Reason? My nephew came home with a problem sum.

A dragonfly has 6 legs. A spider has 8 legs. In all, there are 20 bugs and 144 legs. How many dragonflies and spiders are there?

This stumped my mom, me, 2 colleagues, Packrat and my brother. I ended up asking Olie who very kindly explained and showed me how to do it sans algebra.

Then, there was the English.

Jenny walked unsteadily to the town. She could see that she was nearing it. The villagers took care of her and gave her a place to rest.

In the paragraph above, find which word meant "unconscious".

My mother said it was "the villagers" and we asked her why. Her explanation was so bizarre it was comedic. She claimed it was 'the villagers' because the last thing Jenny saw was that she was nearing the village and the next thing she knew, they were taking care of her. So she must have lost consciousness after the fullstop! Now, that's bizarre space time awareness for you. I think this one was a matter of a bad question but the Math one... I think I'm pretty dumb and some university saw it fit to confer top honours on me. I think maybe I should write to them and ask them to confer my nephew with something as well seeing that he figured it out eventually. As is, he's apparently on the Corridor of Excellence. I'm guessing that's a Primary school equivalent of being on the Dean's List.

But gee, we really are getting dumber and dumber and our kids are fast surpassing us. I wonder if we're going to be able to cope with Primary One work by the time the twins get to that point!

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:23

1 thoughts...

1 thoughts...

At 10:25 pm Blogger xdd_rulz said...

ooh.1 yr w/o math and i can still do the proud of myself.wahahahaha


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