Today's Overheard in Kindergarten is actually "Overheard at Hinode," the sushi restaurant where Duncan, now 9, and I have been eating together since he was a toddler. We enjoyed the buffet dinner there the other night and had some interesting conversation during which we each schooled the other on the question of perspective.
Duncan posed me a problem involving a desert island, coconuts and some "nerds." He then answered all my follow-up questions, though somewhat impatiently. When I finally got to the end of my earnest and strategic adult plan to solve the problem, he said, "Wow. You really think differently about this than anyone else I've asked. They all just throw the coconuts at the nerds."
Of course, everyone he's asked is a 3rd-grade boy--except for Bella, his good friend who first got the nerds to help her build a cannon, from which she then fired the coconuts at the nerds! (That right there is why they're such good friends.) Here's my poem.
What To Do If You Are Stranded On a Desert Island
with Nothing But a Lot of Coconuts and Some Nerds
Who are the nerds?
Am I friends with them?
What is my aim?
Are there coconut palms or just coconuts?
Am I trying to survive there
or am I trying to escape back
What time of year is it?
Why are they nerds?
What are they passionate about?
(After all, nerds are just people who are so focused on one or two things, like physics,
that they forget to notice other things, like what clothes are fashionable.)
First I would introduce myself to the nerds.
I'd ask them to help me devise a way to
crack a lot of coconuts in a short time.
We would drink the coconut water and eat the meat.
Meanwhile we would design and build a raft
out of the coconut shells and palm fronds.
Through cooperation and ingenuity
we would triumph over adversity and the ravages of nature!
Or maybe I would just
throw the coconuts at the nerds.
Heidi Mordhorst 2011
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