Home News Archives April 22, 2015


My Two Cents

by Stephen Scalf

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Singapore school children consistently score the highest in the world for their problem-solving abilities. The following logic puzzle is from an actual test administered to 5th grade children in Singapore (with a little editing for grammar/clarity).
First, let’s see how you do. Try to solve the 5th Grade Logic Problem (far right).
How did you do? Still struggling?
The staff at The Carlisle Courier worked this out together and got the right answer, but it took a little bit of effort to come up with a good explanation of how we figured it out. Here’s how we solved it:
ad any farther until you have worked out your own solution!)
First, we know that Albert couldn’t have come up with the right answer just from the month, because each month has at least two dates; however, when he said he also knew that Bernard couldn’t know the answer, it meant all the dates in the month Cheryl told Albert appeared in at least one other month. If she had told Bernard 18 or 19, he would have known the exact date; therefore, neither May nor June can be the month.
That leaves July or August.
Bernard says at first he didn’t have enough information to solve the date, but after Albert spoke, he was able to figure it out.
If the date had been 14, Bernard wouldn’t have been able to figure it out, because it could have been either July or August. So we know it wasn’t 14.
That leaves only three dates: July 16, August 15, and August 17.
Bernard was told one of these three dates, so he had the answer.
Albert only knew the month, and if the month had been August, he couldn’t have figured it out because there were still two possibilities, August 15 and 17.
So Cheryl must have told Albert she was born in July.
That means Cheryl’s birthday was July 16.
For 5th Graders?
Why is it that 5th grade children in Singapore are able to solve a problem that stumps many American adults? (Based on the results when this question was posted on the Internet over the past couple of weeks.)
It cannot be explained by genetics. Children in Singapore are not inherently more intelligent that children everywhere else. They are only better at this kind of problem-solving because they were presented with this kind of problems at an early age and taught how to work things out logically.
In other words, they have been trained how to think.
In many parts of Europe, soccer (or football as it is known just about everywhere else in the world) is THE sport. Keep in mind that it is a sport in which you are penalized if you use your hands. And because they don’t play baseball, or any other sport using hands, many otherwise talented European athletes simply cannot throw very well – not because they are physically inferior, they just never did it, and therefore never developed the muscle coordination necessary to do it well.
It is the same thing with education. Much of what we “learn” comes down to memorization. In History we memorized dates, names, and places; in Chemistry we memorize the symbols for the elements and their atomic weight; in Math, we memorize formulas like distance = rate times time and Area = base time height. But we aren’t necessary taught how to figure out these things for ourselves.
We have been blessed with many outstanding teachers here in Nicholas County who are as dedicated as they are gifted in their profession. I think the falling performance of American students compared to other nations is the result of a flaw in our approach to education - an approach that is being dictated to our teachers and our school systems - rather than the result of a weakness on the part of our teachers.
Hopefully we will all smarten up and let teachers decide how to teach, rather than administrators and legislators. But then, that’s really not the way we, as Americans, have been trained to think.

And that's my two cents,
Stephen Scalf

Sharing a Smile

by Tom Metcalfe

Will Play Sousaphone for Food

Last week, in his column, my favorite sousaphone player pointed out that he was going to experience the fourth anniversary of his column, “And On That Note.” The date for the big event was this past Monday, Apr. 20.
Considering that he started this column when he was 13 years old, makes this a historical event here in Carlisle and at the Carlisle Courier for sure!
He said his column was strategically placed just below the boss’ column and above the old guy.
Now. I looked around the editorial page and couldn’t figure out who he was calling “the old guy.” Could it be that he is really calling “Uncle Steve” “the old guy?”
I did a little research about this historical date, “April 20” and found some other significant things that took place on this day. They are as follows:
In 850 AD Guntherus became the bishop of Cologne.
In 1551 John Dudley became the Earl Marshal of England.
In 1611 The first known performance of Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth was held at the Globe Theatre in London.
In 1736 French mathematician Pierre Louis Maupertuis began his expedition to Lapland to measure a degree of latitude and prove the shape of the earth.
In 1809 Napoleon I and French forces defeated Austria at Battle of Abensberg, Bavaria.
In 1836 the Territory of Wisconsin was created.
In 1865 Chicago's Crosby Opera House opened.
In 1904 George Bernard Shaw's "Candida" premiered in London.
In 1912 Fenway Park officially opened, Red Sox beat NY Highlanders 7-6 in 11 innings.
In 1962 NASA civilian pilot Neil Armstrong took the X-15 to an altitude of 63,250 meters.
In 1976 George Harrison sang the Lumberjack song with Monty Python.
In 1983 President Reagan signed a $165 billion bail out for Social Security.
And in 2014 Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, American boxer whose murder convictions were overturned after 19 years in prison, died of prostate cancer at 76.
Well, in 2015, Ross Haney had his fourth anniversary at the Carlisle Courier. That will probably be in the books next year.
One more shot across the bow…

And On That Note...

by Ross Haney

Just Sayin'

As I’ve probably said before, it really stinks being a young adult sometimes. Adults are always telling you what you need to do, and are constantly critiquing your every decision – telling you what you want out of your life. (Oh, really? You know what I want? I thought I knew what I wanted…)
I spent a lot of time trying to decide which career path I wanted to pursue. I’ve been very involved with journalism, but also with music – my passion. So it took a long time for me to really decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. And I finally made the decision – Music Education.
I received a somewhat negative feedback on this decision from many people whom I thought would be extremely “supportive” of me.
“You don’t want to be a teacher for the rest of your life,” they’d say.
“You need to go into something that’ll pay well,” they’d continue.
In those brief moments, ait mazes me that someone actually thinks they can read my mind – that they know what I want with my life. It took me a great deal of thought and effort to build up my aspirations for my future, but only a few seconds for someone else to tear down my dreams and try to tell me exactly what I wanted for my future.
I eventually got over the fact that there were just going to be people that wouldn’t agree with the life path I had chosen, and that I just needed to block out the negativity that I received when discussing my future. Because in the long run, the random bystander on the street that told me there was no future in teaching in the arts is not paying for my education, and really has no effect on my life choices, no matter how much they think they’re helping.
So after I got over the criticism I received for the college major I had selected, I began to come across another problem – my school choice.
EKU offered me a substantial music scholarship, but at the end of the day, I decided Morehead was where I wanted to study, and where I wanted to be.
But once again, the naysayers flocked in.
“It’s just money.” I would tell them. “In the long run, it’s really not a big deal.”
“You’ll think that when you’re trying to pay off your student loans. Go where they offer you the most money,” they would chime in.
Although I was happy with my own decision, it made me mad that someone would question it like that, without even knowing the specifics. How dare they try to tell me how to make my decision without taking a minute to step into my shoes and realize that what I had decided was what I really wanted to do.
People will always doubt your decisions, whether you’re 17 or 110 (Sorry, Tom). But no matter what, always stick with your gut, and make the decision that is right for you.
At the end of the day, you’re the only one who has to be happy with your decision. So it’s up to you to make it.

And on that note, I’ll leave you!

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