...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Friday, June 29, 2007

Two recent conversations about polar bears

Conversation between a community college writing instructor and a student at the same college, overheard while waiting for the 12 at 3rd and Stark a few days ago. The student was enrolled in Composition 1; the instructor taught Composition 2 and was offering advice about the courses:

Teacher: "So, what paper are you working on now?"
Student: "Argumentative. We've already done Cause and Effect and (something else)."
Teacher: "Comp 2 is where it really gets tough, because you get into the research papers."
Student: "Well, I find that any paper incorporates research. Like, my Cause and Effect, I did on global warming, so I did a ton of research for that one. I probably researched for fifteen hours."
Teacher: "Oh...global warming...One of my students is doing her research paper on how they say that polar bears will be extinct in fifteen years...you know, that whole thing."
Student: "Pish posh. Polar bears like water, not ice!"

Conversation between me and E, a four-year-old boy, outside on our playground one afternoon a couple weeks ago:

E: "Mumble...mumble...predator."
Me: "What?"
E: "I said, the sperm whale is the largest predator that ever existed. But what's the largest predator right now?"
Me, confused: "Oh....hmmm...well. I know that the polar bear is very big."
E, witheringly: "That's not even the largest bear. The Kodiak Grizzly is way bigger than a polar bear."
Me: "Well, I guess you're right."
E: "I think the largest predator is the orca whale."