Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peter Whitson done good…

The following is an excerpt from a report card for Peter Whitson, a seventh-grader in the United States, written by his English teacher, Mrs. Claren:

"I'm very pleased with Peter's progress this semester. He has demonstrated a clear grasp of analogy. He can make clear connections between different areas of knowledge and even link different levels of experience. Also, he has led the class in our 'mind-mapping' activities. When I show the class seemingly random pictures and words, Peter regularly shows how they link up in intelligible ways. He has had some trouble with expressing values but clearly recognizes a 'hierarchy' in the world, such as when we discuss new stories from different cultures. He seems very comfortable with abstract concepts, and can 'interact' with things well beyond his immediate experience. He's got a bright future ahead of him if he keeps it up."

Now here is an excerpt from Mrs. Claren's comments about Harold Morgan, who happens to be mildly autistic:

"As we have discussed before, Harold has done as well as we can expect, given his different needs in class. I'm glad to see he's interacting more with classmates this semester. But he still has trouble with analogy. When he sees one object in one category, he hasn't quite made the leap to seeing how it can function as something in another arena. But, again, you know this as well as I do. I think he has a chance for real progress in free association activities (mind-mapping) but he'll need lots of stimulation at home. If Harold can be encouraged to look for 'links', I think he can overcome his… distaste for making such links. More than once, though, he has flatly refused to admit how one series of facts even possibly leads to another larger set of ideas. I think some extra modal grammar exercises might help, but I'd love to hear from you your own thoughts."

Now, transpose Peter into a theist and Harold into an atheist.

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