Category Archives: Education

Teenage Girl Kills Anthrax

Teenage girl Sarit Sternberg’s little friends are tiny yet powerful viral killers of anthrax…

Sarit Sternberg
“It was wonderful, I was really, really happy. I was literally jumping up and down, it was amazing,” she said.

Researcher Sarit Sternberg

Sarit Sternberg

Israeli student Sarit Sternberg has made a significant scientific discovery – finding a virus that can kill anthrax, all at the age of 16.

Sternberg is part of the Alpha program for gifted high school students in Israel and is in Australia to talk about her discovery.

Antibiotics are usually used to treat anthrax, but certain bacteria are building resistance.

Sternberg has been looking at bacteria-killing viruses called phages, and she found one that can kill anthrax.


Anthrax: The target

Chancellor to Censor Racist Algebra?

A July 19, 2017 NPR  interview attributes this logic to  (California community college) Chancellor  Eloy Ortiz Oakley:

Algebra .. is also the single most failed course in community colleges across the country. So if you’re not a STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math), why even study algebra?

The Chancellor later uses Bob Moses’ success as an excuse to remove internediate “absract” algebra as an requirement – an illigocal step which is the OPPOSITE of Moses’ path. Bob Moses , the civil rights activist, started the Algebra Project, teaching concepts of algebra to black students in the South. He saw the teaching of math as a continuation of the civil rights struggle.

The Chancellor continued:

Rates of failure in algebra are higher for minority groups than they are for white students. Why do you think that is? Do you think a different curriculum would have less disparate results by ethnic or racial group?

First of all, we’ve seen in the data from many of the pilots across the country that are using alternative math pathways — that are just as rigorous as an algebra course — we’ve seen much greater success for students because many of these students can relate to these different kinds of math depending on which program of study they’re in. They can see how it works in their daily life and how it’s going to work in their career.

In the next paragraph the chancellor, almost as an aside, correctly identifies the statistics also exists for poorer non-minorities… Which suggests he may be just throwing up incendiary verbiage to attract some media frenzy to his campaign.

The second thing I’d say is yes, this is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans. If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don’t have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It’s what has kept them from achieving a credential.

An eruption in social media followed, in which  an agitated near-nanogenarian critic opined:

Is Racist Algebra the only culprit? Are Evil grammar, diabolical Debate and Elitest Rhetoric in the same hit list?

Algebra is a very structured, even “simplified” form of language-like (read as “English-like” for American students) communication. Hence the dreaded “story problems”. If this eraser-head Academic has his way, then grammar will be the next neo-racist culprit to be banned from education.

This fellow is the “big bad wolf**” of RACISM disguised as a “loving grandma” when he spouts “minorities can’t do math”.

(does he or his favorite minority know what a **metaphor is? I don’t. I get them mixed up with similes and allegories. Then should these abstractions  also be ripped from textbooks as federal hate crime concepts?)

I wonder what Benjamin Banneker, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, Katherine Johnson or Angie Jones would say to this?

Didn’t even Rev Jessie Jackson1 resist similar LOGIC that argued relevant Ebonics should replace elitest and obsolete English in minority classrooms?

The racial statistics the Chancellor sites exposes failure to recruit quality teachers to low pay in dangerous neighborhoods – NOT their students’ ability to learn

LinkedIn example of a young (minority) industrial-expert who teaches people of all races and age groups

This is not the first time Academics Patrons have demonstrated their “noblesse oblige” to carve out safe space (scholastic ghetto?) for their pet constituents:  1Jesse Jackson and Maya Angelou   both resisted this temptation to cull English that the chancellor seems to embrace for Algebra.

Oakland Scratches Plan To Teach Black English – NYTimes.com
The poet Maya Angelou said ”the very idea that African-American language is a language separate and apart” could encourage young black students not to learn standard English. The Rev. Jesse Jackson warned initially that the plan could undermine efforts to preserve the opportunities available to black men and women in affirmative-action programs.

CONCLUSION:
Community colleges help people specialize in intermediate middle-class careers.

The Chancellor stumbles over, yet misses the wonderful idea to turn advanced abstract algebra into workable solutions for every class. Instead of making classic and  “alternative [math] pathways” into enemies, he should bolster and encourage an academic standard.

Intermediate algebra” is obviously an intermediate and very necessary step. Therefore the Alternate and the Standard should not be politically divisive, nor mutually exclusive – just as  “abstract” Axioms and practical “story problems” are side-by-side  in every High School algebra textbook.

Akita Students Excel

Rocket News Reports !

“Overall consensus put Akita Prefecture in first place, stealing it from Miyazaki who was pushed down to second place, and Yamanashi remained the same in third.”

1 Akita Prefecture 65.8
2 Miyazaki Prefecture 63.3
3 Yamanashi Prefecture 57.0
4 Saitama Prefecture 56.4
4 Hiroshima Prefecture 56.4
6 Tochigi Prefecture 56.2
7 Fukui Prefecture 54.8
8 Okayama Prefecture 54.0
9 Toyama Prefecture 53.8
9 Yamaguchi Prefecture 53.8

 

 

¿Stellar Sign Hidden in Plain Sight?

Isn’t it too late to argue? Look at the date on your European and US coins?
Conjunction (multiple planets) align Comet or Nova or Supernatural
Planets align, ungroup, re-align (elusive?)

Using astronomer Johannes Kepler’s map of the solar system, Josephus’s calendaring system and Imaginova’s state-of-the-art Starry Night® software, Larson pinpointed the year of the Star’s appearance. While most astronomers researching the Star only look to the sky, Larson took his findings a step further …


And the UK Daily Mail uses actual photos and video of a RECENT EXAMPLE to rub your face in their click-bait

Comet! Dramatic, unavoidable?

Comet: NBC news! Friendly

Agnostic? (extraneous?)

Others postulate but do not decide:
Joe Rao of New York’s Hayden Planetarium:  (this seems the MOST informative, covering all possibilities AND how contradictory dates became popular)
(reported by both Space.com  and CNBC)

Ultimately, the projector was brought to a halt on Feb. 25 in the year 6 BC with the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars forming a triangle low in the western sky.

OZ teaches Children Asian Languages in Virtual Classes

Children Learn Asian Languages in Virtual Classrooms from prwire.com.au

Excerpt below as public service – click link above to full article. (Emphasis below is from this editor.)

 Australian children have now the added option to learn Asian languages under the guidance of a teacher through live virtual classrooms, aside from ‘traditional’ learning at school or via foreign language apps. 

SYDNEY, Australia – 26 January 2017 – Despite some parental concerns that exposing young children to a second language can cause first language delay, experts have shown that children learning a second language actually enjoy improved academic performance, including better first language skills. Bilingual children also possess enhanced cognitive flexibility and a broader world view.

Learning a second language should not solely be seen as an academic pursuit. As a matter of fact, learning a second language can be a very enjoyable extracurricular activities for children that improve their experiences and creativity. For that reason, children who are not interested in learning a second language for academic reasons can attend private classes to learn useful foreign language skills. Learning through virtual classrooms is a plus for saving time on commuting and finding a language school near you.

Understanding the language learning needs of children in Australia, Asian Language School have created language programs in Chinese and Japanese for students age six to seventeen years old. Curriculum is divided for primary school children and secondary school children. The program for children age six to eleven teaches Japanese for three years and Chinese for four years from term one to term four, providing these young learners with year round exposure to the second language and clear learning objectives. Meanwhile, the program for teenage children are more flexible whereby students can enrol in any level throughout the terms. The language programs for teens are created to enable students to achieve fluency at the completion of their study, including speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Classes are taught by native-speaker teachers who are long-term Australian residents and are familiar with Australian culture. The school also enables parents to join the first few classes to accompany their children learning. Tuition fees are affordable at around $200 per term. Children learn in a virtual classroom with two to three other students under the guidance of a teacher. There are options to learn either once a week or twice a week.

To find out more about the children language program with Asian Language School, please visit https://www.asianlanguageschool.com. For media enquiries, please contact Asian Language School at +61 2 9152 8740 or via email at info@asianlanguageschool.com.

You can connect with [them directly] via Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/chineseforkidsonline or https://www.facebook.com/japaneseforkidsonline

艾偉德 Gladys Aylward 147cm

See Bibliography below:

The movie, released in 1958, was taken in large part from the book The Small Woman by Alan Burgess. One reviewer of the book said that the written material was more action-packed than the movie. The reviewer described Aylward as one “who had to deal with unbelievable conditions and reconcile her actions with her religious beliefs.”the small woman book

“a well-produced, heartwarming movie starring the great actress Ingrid Bergman – it was a thorn in the side of Gladys Aylward. She was deeply embarrassed by the movie because it was so full of inaccuracies. Hollywood also took great liberties with her infatuation with the Chinese Colonel Linnan, even changing him into an Eurasian. But Gladys, the most chaste of women, was horrified to learn the movie had portrayed her in ‘love scenes‘. She suffered greatly over what she considered her soiled reputation.”

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/73.html (alternate renditions say she and 100 orphans trekked the mountains for 22 days)

She met and became friends with “General Ley,” a Roman Catholic priest from Europe who had teken up arms when the Japanese invaded, and now headed a guerilla force. Finally he sent her a message. The Japanese are coming in full force. We are retreating. Come with us.” Angry, she scrawled a Chinese note, Chi Tao Tu Pu Twai, “Christians never retreat!” He sent back a copy of a Japanese handbill offering $100 each for the capture, dead or alive, of (1) the Mandarin, (2) a prominent merchant, and (3) Ai-weh-deh. She determined to flee to the government orphanage at Sian, bringing with her the children she had accumulated, about 100 in number. (An additional 100 had gone ahead earlier with a colleague.) With the children in tow, she walked for twelve days.

  • Bibliography from bdcconline.net/en/stories and others
    • Latham, R. O., Aylward, Gladys. One of the Undefeated: The Story of Gladys Aylward as Told by Her to R. O. Latham (1950).
    • Swift, Catherine. Gladys Aylward: The Courageous English Missionary (1989).
    • Thompson, Phyllis. London Sparrow (1971).
    • The work of Gladys Aylward was memorialized in a 1959 film, The Inn of the Sixth
    • Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. Most of the material for the film was derived front Alan Burgess, The Small (1957).
    • Aylward’s letters are in the archives at the SOAS, University of London.

Awesome Aviatrixes

 

uewb_03_img0194

 

220px-Dr._Mae_C._Jemison,_First_African-American_Woman_in_Space_-_GPN-2004-00020
Mae Carol Jemison – Wikipedia Astronaut, Test Pilot, Peace Corp, Nine Doctorates

PI  Duterte welcomes Japan’s Abe

Manila Bulletin January 14, 2017

(WATCH) How Japan appreciates Davao’s hospitality to Abe

Before leaving for Australia, [Japan’s Prime Minister] Abe and his wife Akie visited the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, a Japanese-language school in Davao City, where they were welcomed by students and staff waving Philippine and Japanese flags and were treated to a performance of “Chiisana Sekai” (It’s a Small World).

The 62-year-old leader expressed how delighted he was to see Filipino students “having fun” learning the Japanese language.

The Filipino students, in turn, thanked the Japanese visitors for dropping by their humble school.

Read more: (WATCH) A display of Davao hospitality for Abe

Japanese netizens were also impressed with the welcome given by the Davaoeños to their leader.

“It is truly a wonderful welcome party. Certainly, it made me cry,” said one netizen.

“A wonderful welcome, I’m impressed,” said another.

Teen Inventor Feted by Forbes 2017

Ann Makosinski re-discovered by Forbes in time for their 2017 award.
Previously featured by Google for her 2015 invention of a human powered flashlight.

makotronics320x486

Makosinski invented the Hollow Flashlight, which runs off the heat of the human hand.

She also created eDrink, a mug that converts heat from your drink into an electric current to charge your phone.

Has appeared twice on Jimmy Fallon and in 5 TEDx talks.

 

Love is a Fallacy

Dating Tips” and Male-Female Communication in a humorous intermediate English Reading Comprehension Exercise
Setting” contains teen slang and style references of  the 1930’s – ’40s era in USA
The reader may ‘Mouseover’ or click hints for idioms, euphenisms, definitions


Love is a Fallacy –  by Max Shulman (1919-1988)

Cool was I and logical. Keen, calculating, perspicacious, acute and astute—I was all of these. My brain was as powerful as a dynamo, precise as a chemist’s scales, as penetrating as a scalpel. And—think of it!—I was only eighteen.

It is not often that one so young has such a giant intellect. Take, for example, Petey Bellows, my roommate at the university. Same age, same background, but dumb as an ox. A nice enough fellow, you understand, but nothing upstairs. Emotional type. Unstable. Impressionable. Worst of all, a faddist. Fads, I submit, are the very negation of reason. To be swept up in every new craze that comes along, to surrender oneself to idiocy just because everybody else is doing it—this, to me, is the acme of mindlessness. Not, however, to Petey.

One afternoon I found Petey lying on his bed with an expression of such distress on his face that I immediately diagnosed appendicitis. “Don’t move,” I said, “Don’t take a laxative. I’ll get a doctor.”

“Raccoon,” he mumbled thickly.

“Raccoon?” I said, pausing in my flight.

“I want a raccoon coat,” he wailed.

I perceived that his trouble was not physical, but mental. “Why do you want a raccoon coat?”

“I should have known it,” he cried, pounding his temples. “I should have known they’d come back when the Charleston came back. Like a fool I spent all my money for textbooks, and now I can’t get a raccoon coat.”

“Can you mean,” I said incredulously, “that people are actually wearing raccoon coats again?”

“All the Big Men on Campus are wearing them. Where’ve you been?”

“In the library,” I said, naming a place not frequented by Big Men on Campus.

He leaped from the bed and paced the room. “I’ve got to have a raccoon coat,” he said passionately. “I’ve got to!”

“Petey, why? Look at it rationally. Raccoon coats are unsanitary. They shed. They smell bad. They weigh too much. They’re unsightly. They—”

“You don’t understand,” he interrupted impatiently. “It’s the thing to do. Don’t you want to be in the swim?

“No,” I said truthfully.

“Well, I do,” he declared. “I’d give anything for a raccoon coat. Anything!”

My brain, that precision instrument, slipped into high gear. “Anything?” I asked, looking at him narrowly.

“Anything,” he affirmed in ringing tones.

I stroked my chin thoughtfully. It so happened that I knew where to get my hands on a raccoon coat. My father had had one in his undergraduate days; it lay now in a trunk in the attic back home. It also happened that Petey had something I wanted. He didn’t have it exactly, but at least he had first rights on it. I refer to his girl, Polly Espy.

I had long coveted Polly Espy. Let me emphasize that my desire for this young woman was not emotional in nature. She was, to be sure, a girl who excited the emotions, but I was not one to let my heart rule my head. I wanted Polly for a shrewdly calculated, entirely cerebral reason.

I was a freshman in law school. In a few years I would be out in practice. I was well aware of the importance of the right kind of wife in furthering a lawyer’s career. The successful lawyers I had observed were, almost without exception, married to beautiful, gracious, intelligent women. With one omission, Polly fitted these specifications perfectly.

Beautiful she was. She was not yet of pin-up proportions, but I felt that time would supply the lack. She already had the makings.

Gracious she was. By gracious I mean full of graces. She had an erectness of carriage, an ease of bearing, a poise that clearly indicated the best of breeding. At table her manners were exquisite. I had seen her at the Kozy Kampus Korner eating the specialty of the house — a sandwich that contained scraps of pot roast, gravy, chopped nuts, and a dipper of sauerkraut—without even getting her fingers moist.

Intelligent she was not. In fact, she veered in the opposite direction. But I believed that under my guidance she would smarten up. At any rate, it was worth a try. It is, after all, easier to make a beautiful dumb girl smart than to make an ugly smart girl beautiful.

“Petey,” I said, “are you in love with Polly Espy?”

“I think she’s a keen kid,” he replied, “but I don’t know if you’d call it love. Why?”

“Do you,” I asked, “have any kind of formal arrangement with her? I mean are you going steady or anything like that?”

呆れる , (ちょっと) どっきり, びっくり

“No. We see each other quite a bit, but we both have other dates. Why?”

“Is there,” I asked, “any other man for whom she has a particular fondness?”

“Not that I know of. Why?”

I nodded with satisfaction. “In other words, if you were out of the picture, the field would be open. Is that right?”

“I guess so. What are you getting at?”

“Nothing , nothing,” I said innocently, and took my suitcase out the closet.

“Where are you going?” asked Petey.

“Home for weekend.” I threw a few things into the bag.

“Listen,” he said, clutching my arm eagerly, “while you’re home, you couldn’t get some money from your old man, could you, and lend it to me so I can buy a raccoon coat?”

“I may do better than that,” I said with a mysterious wink and closed my bag and left.

“Look,” I said to Petey when I got back Monday morning. I threw open the suitcase and revealed the huge, hairy, gamy object that my father had worn in his Stutz Bearcat in 1925.

“Holy Toledo!” said Petey reverently. He plunged his hands into the raccoon coat and then his face. “Holy Toledo!” he repeated fifteen or twenty times.

“Would you like it?” I asked.

“Oh yes!” he cried, clutching the greasy pelt to him. Then a canny look came into his eyes. “What do you want for it?”

“Your girl.” I said, mincing no words.

“Polly?” he said in a horrified whisper. “You want Polly?”

“That’s right.”

He flung the coat from him. “Never,” he said stoutly.

I shrugged. “Okay. If you don’t want to be in the swim, I guess it’s your business.”

I sat down in a chair and pretended to read a book, but out of the corner of my eye I kept watching Petey. He was a torn man. First he looked at the coat with the expression of a waif at a bakery window. Then he turned away and set his jaw resolutely. Then he looked back at the coat, with even more longing in his face. Then he turned away, but with not so much resolution this time. Back and forth his head swiveled, desire waxing, resolution waning. Finally he didn’t turn away at all; he just stood and stared with mad lust at the coat.

“It isn’t as though I was in love with Polly,” he said thickly. “Or going steady or anything like that.”

“That’s right,” I murmured.

“What’s Polly to me, or me to Polly?”

“Not a thing,” said I.

“It’s just been a casual kick—just a few laughs, that’s all.”

“Try on the coat,” said I.

He complied. The coat bunched high over his ears and dropped all the way down to his shoe tops. He looked like a mound of dead raccoons. “Fits fine,” he said happily.

I rose from my chair. “Is it a deal?” I asked, extending my hand.

He swallowed. “It’s a deal,” he said and shook my hand.

I had my first date with Polly the following evening. This was in the nature of a survey; I wanted to find out just how much work I had to do to get her mind up to the standard I required. I took her first to dinner. “Gee, that was a delish dinner,” she said as we left the restaurant. Then I took her to a movie. “Gee, that was a marvy movie,” she said as we left the theatre. And then I took her home. “Gee, I had a sensaysh time,” she said as she bade me good night.

I went back to my room with a heavy heart. I had gravely underestimated the size of my task. This girl’s lack of information was terrifying. Nor would it be enough merely to supply her with information. First she had to be taught to think. This loomed as a project of no small dimensions, and at first I was tempted to give her back to Petey. But then I got to thinking about her abundant physical charms and about the way she entered a room and the way she handled a knife and fork, and I decided to make an effort.

I went about it, as in all things, systematically. I gave her a course in logic. It happened that I, as a law student, was taking a course in logic myself, so I had all the facts at my fingertips. “Poll’,” I said to her when I picked her up on our next date, “tonight we are going over to the Knoll and talk.”

“Oo, terrif,” she replied. One thing I will say for this girl: you would go far to find another so agreeable.

We went to the Knoll, the campus trysting place, and we sat down under an old oak, and she looked at me expectantly. “What are we going to talk about?” she asked.

“Logic.”

She thought this over for a minute and decided she liked it. “Magnif,” she said.

“Logic,” I said, clearing my throat, “is the science of thinking. Before we can think correctly, we must first learn to recognize the common fallacies of logic. These we will take up tonight.”

“Wow-dow!” she cried, clapping her hands delightedly.

I winced, but went bravely on. “First let us examine the fallacy called Dicto Simpliciter.”

“By all means,” she urged, batting her lashes eagerly.

Dicto Simpliciter means an argument based on an unqualified generalization. For example: Exercise is good. Therefore everybody should exercise.”

“I agree,” said Polly earnestly. “I mean exercise is wonderful. I mean it builds the body and everything.”

“Polly,” I said gently, “the argument is a fallacy. Exercise is good is an unqualified generalization. For instance, if you have heart disease, exercise is bad, not good. Many people are ordered by their doctors not to exercise. You must qualify the generalization. You must say exercise is usually good, or exercise is good for most people. Otherwise you have committed a Dicto Simpliciter. Do you see?”

“No,” she confessed. “But this is marvy. Do more! Do more!”

“It will be better if you stop tugging at my sleeve,” I told her, and when she desisted, I continued. “Next we take up a fallacy called Hasty Generalization. Listen carefully: You can’t speak French. Petey Bellows can’t speak French. I must therefore conclude that nobody at the University of Minnesota can speak French.”

“Really?” said Polly, amazed. “Nobody?”

I hid my exasperation. “Polly, it’s a fallacy. The generalization is reached too hastily. There are too few instances to support such a conclusion.”

“Know any more fallacies?” she asked breathlessly. “This is more fun than dancing even.”

I fought off a wave of despair. I was getting nowhere with this girl, absolutely nowhere. Still, I am nothing if not persistent. I continued. “Next comes Post Hoc. Listen to this: Let’s not take Bill on our picnic. Every time we take him out with us, it rains.”

“I know somebody just like that,” she exclaimed. “A girl back home—Eula Becker, her name is. It never fails. Every single time we take her on a picnic—”

“Polly,” I said sharply, “it’s a fallacy. Eula Becker doesn’t cause the rain. She has no connection with the rain. You are guilty of Post Hoc if you blame Eula Becker.”

“I’ll never do it again,” she promised contritely. “Are you mad at me?”

I sighed. “No, Polly, I’m not mad.”

“Then tell me some more fallacies.”

“All right. Let’s try Contradictory Premises.”

“Yes, let’s,” she chirped, blinking her eyes happily.

I frowned, but plunged ahead. “Here’s an example of Contradictory Premises: If God can do anything, can He make a stone so heavy that He won’t be able to lift it?”

“Of course,” she replied promptly.

“But if He can do anything, He can lift the stone,” I pointed out.

“Yeah,” she said thoughtfully. “Well, then I guess He can’t make the stone.”

“But He can do anything,” I reminded her.

She scratched her pretty, empty head. “I’m all confused,” she admitted.

“Of course you are. Because when the premises of an argument contradict each other, there can be no argument. If there is an irresistible force, there can be no immovable object. If there is an immovable object, there can be no irresistible force. Get it?”

“Tell me more of this keen stuff,” she said eagerly.

I consulted my watch. “I think we’d better call it a night. I’ll take you home now, and you go over all the things you’ve learned. We’ll have another session tomorrow night.”

I deposited her at the girls’ dormitory, where she assured me that she had had a perfectly terrif evening, and I went glumly home to my room. Petey lay snoring in his bed, the raccoon coat huddled like a great hairy beast at his feet. For a moment I considered waking him and telling him that he could have his girl back. It seemed clear that my project was doomed to failure. The girl simply had a logic-proof head.

But then I reconsidered. I had wasted one evening; I might as well waste another. Who knew? Maybe somewhere in the extinct crater of her mind a few embers still smoldered. Maybe somehow I could fan them into flame. Admittedly it was not a prospect fraught with hope, but I decided to give it one more try.

Seated under the oak the next evening I said, “Our first fallacy tonight is called Ad Misericordiam.”

She quivered with delight.

“Listen closely,” I said. “A man applies for a job. When the boss asks him what his qualifications are, he replies that he has a wife and six children at home, the wife is a helpless cripple, the children have nothing to eat, no clothes to wear, no shoes on their feet, there are no beds in the house, no coal in the cellar, and winter is coming.”

A tear rolled down each of Polly’s pink cheeks. “Oh, this is awful, awful,” she sobbed.

“Yes, it’s awful,” I agreed, “but it’s no argument. The man never answered the boss’s question about his qualifications. Instead he appealed to the boss’s sympathy. He committed the fallacy of Ad Misericordiam. Do you understand?”

“Have you got a handkerchief?” she blubbered.

I handed her a handkerchief and tried to keep from screaming while she wiped her eyes. “Next,” I said in a carefully controlled tone, “we will discuss False Analogy. Here is an example: Students should be allowed to look at their textbooks during examinations. After all, surgeons have X-rays to guide them during an operation, lawyers have briefs to guide them during a trial, carpenters have blueprints to guide them when they are building a house. Why, then, shouldn’t students be allowed to look at their textbooks during an examination?”

“There now,” she said enthusiastically, “is the most marvy idea I’ve heard in years.”

“Polly,” I said testily, “the argument is all wrong. Doctors, lawyers, and carpenters aren’t taking a test to see how much they have learned, but students are. The situations are altogether different, and you can’t make an analogy between them.”

“I still think it’s a good idea,” said Polly.

“Nuts,” I muttered. Doggedly I pressed on. “Next we’ll try Hypothesis Contrary to Fact.”

“Sounds yummy,” was Polly’s reaction.

“Listen: If Madame Curie had not happened to leave a photographic plate in a drawer with a chunk of pitchblende, the world today would not know about radium.”

“True, true,” said Polly, nodding her head “Did you see the movie? Oh, it just knocked me out. That Walter Pidgeon is so dreamy. I mean he fractures me.”

“If you can forget Mr. Pidgeon for a moment,” I said coldly, “I would like to point out that statement is a fallacy. Maybe Madame Curie would have discovered radium at some later date. Maybe somebody else would have discovered it. Maybe any number of things would have happened. You can’t start with a hypothesis that is not true and then draw any supportable conclusions from it.”

“They ought to put Walter Pidgeon in more pictures,” said Polly, “I hardly ever see him any more.”

One more chance, I decided. But just one more. There is a limit to what flesh and blood can bear. “The next fallacy is called Poisoning the Well.”

“How cute!” she gurgled.

“Two men are having a debate. The first one gets up and says, ‘My opponent is a notorious liar. You can’t believe a word that he is going to say.’ … Now, Polly, think. Think hard. What’s wrong?”

I watched her closely as she knit her creamy brow in concentration. Suddenly a glimmer of intelligence—the first I had seen—came into her eyes. “It’s not fair,” she said with indignation. “It’s not a bit fair. What chance has the second man got if the first man calls him a liar before he even begins talking?”

“Right!” I cried exultantly. “One hundred per cent right. It’s not fair. The first man has poisoned the well before anybody could drink from it. He has hamstrung his opponent before he could even start … Polly, I’m proud of you.”

“Pshaws,” she murmured, blushing with pleasure.

“You see, my dear, these things aren’t so hard. All you have to do is concentrate. Think—examine—evaluate. Come now, let’s review everything we have learned.”

“Fire away,” she said with an airy wave of her hand.

Heartened by the knowledge that Polly was not altogether a cretin, I began a long, patient review of all I had told her. Over and over and over again I cited instances, pointed out flaws, kept hammering away without letup. It was like digging a tunnel. At first, everything was work, sweat, and darkness. I had no idea when I would reach the light, or even if I would. But I persisted. I pounded and clawed and scraped, and finally I was rewarded. I saw a chink of light. And then the chink got bigger and the sun came pouring in and all was bright.

Five grueling nights with this took, but it was worth it. I had made a logician out of Polly; I had taught her to think. My job was done. She was worthy of me, at last. She was a fit wife for me, a proper hostess for my many mansions, a suitable mother for my well-heeled children.

It must not be thought that I was without love for this girl. Quite the contrary. Just as Pygmalion loved the perfect woman he had fashioned, so I loved mine. I decided to acquaint her with my feelings at our very next meeting. The time had come to change our relationship from academic to romantic.

“Polly,” I said when next we sat beneath our oak, “tonight we will not discuss fallacies.”

“Aw, gee,” she said, disappointed.

“My dear,” I said, favoring her with a smile, “we have now spent five evenings together. We have gotten along splendidly. It is clear that we are well matched.”

“Hasty Generalization,” said Polly brightly.

“I beg your pardon,” said I.

“Hasty Generalization,” she repeated. “How can you say that we are well matched on the basis of only five dates?”

I chuckled with amusement. The dear child had learned her lessons well. “My dear,” I said, patting her hand in a tolerant manner, “five dates is plenty. After all, you don’t have to eat a whole cake to know that it’s good.”

False Analogy,” said Polly promptly. “I’m not a cake. I’m a girl.”

I chuckled with somewhat less amusement. The dear child had learned her lessons perhaps too well. I decided to change tactics. Obviously the best approach was a simple, strong, direct declaration of love. I paused for a moment while my massive brain chose the proper word. Then I began:

“Polly, I love you. You are the whole world to me, the moon and the stars and the constellations of outer space. Please, my darling, say that you will go steady with me, for if you will not, life will be meaningless. I will languish. I will refuse my meals. I will wander the face of the earth, a shambling, hollow-eyed hulk.”

There, I thought, folding my arms, that ought to do it.

Ad Misericordiam,” said Polly.

I ground my teeth. I was not Pygmalion; I was Frankenstein, and my monster had me by the throat. Frantically I fought back the tide of panic surging through me; at all costs I had to keep cool.

“Well, Polly,” I said, forcing a smile, “you certainly have learned your fallacies.”

“You’re darn right,” she said with a vigorous nod.

“And who taught them to you, Polly?”

“You did.”

“That’s right. So you do owe me something, don’t you, my dear? If I hadn’t come along you never would have learned about fallacies.”

Hypothesis Contrary to Fact,” she said instantly.

I dashed perspiration from my brow. “Polly,” I croaked, “you mustn’t take all these things so literally. I mean this is just classroom stuff. You know that the things you learn in school don’t have anything to do with life.”

Dicto Simpliciter,” she said, wagging her finger at me playfully.

That did it. I leaped to my feet, bellowing like a bull. “Will you or will you not go steady with me?”

“I will not,” she replied.

“Why not?” I demanded.

“Because this afternoon I promised Petey Bellows that I would go steady with him.”

I reeled back, overcome with the infamy of it. After he promised, after he made a deal, after he shook my hand! “The rat!” I shrieked, kicking up great chunks of turf. “You can’t go with him, Polly. He’s a liar. He’s a cheat. He’s a rat.”

Poisoning the Well ,” said Polly, “and stop shouting. I think shouting must be a fallacy too.”

With an immense effort of will, I modulated my voice. “All right,” I said. “You’re a logician. Let’s look at this thing logically. How could you choose Petey Bellows over me? Look at me—a brilliant student, a tremendous intellectual, a man with an assured future. Look at Petey—a knothead, a jitterbug, a guy who’ll never know where his next meal is coming from. Can you give me one logical reason why you should go steady with Petey Bellows?”

“I certainly can,” declared Polly. “He’s got a raccoon coat.”