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That evil sucking sound as the IQ sinks

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By John Pawlak

Can you calculate 8 times 7? Well, let me “figure it out.” Two sevens is 14. Two twos is four, so four sevens is two 14s. Two 10s is 20 and two fours is 8, so that makes 28.
Now two fours is 8, so 8 times 7 would be two 28s. Two 20s is two sets of two 10s, so that’s four 10s which is 40, and two 8s is 16.
OK, 40 and 16 is four and one tens, or 50, plus the 6. So 8 times 7 is 56!
Whew! Good thing you didn’t ask me to calculate 16 times 13. I would get carpal tunnel of the tongue.
So, give me another one! What’s that? 8 times 7?
Hmmm, let’s see. Two sevens is 14. Two twos is four, so four sevens is two 14s.
Gee, haven’t we been here before?
Memorization is out of fashion. The recent trend has been “constructivism,” the belief that children learn better if they “discover” the knowledge rather than being given it to consume.
Translated to normal English — people learn not by being told how to do something, but rather by figuring it out all by themselves. You know, kind of like how people learn to fly airplanes?
That’s an interesting concept. I wonder how many people “discovered” the Pythagorean Theorem on their own? Or how to calculate pi?


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