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Friday, December 29, 2006

Pure Chance

Multiple choice tests offer us the opportunity to `have a guess’. T.V. shows demonstrate clearly the need to think before arriving at an answer. The shows also show grown people in agony over making a decision or choice.

In an eleven plus examination children are not given the opportunity to `phone a friend’ or `ask the audience’. Parents, teachers and tutors will naturally have instructed their children to eliminate questions that just can not be correct – leaving just two options. This is where parents can be really useful on the day of the examination. They can slip their child a lucky coin.

The lucky coin can be blessed. It can be found or even handed down from generation to generation. I, for example, have the coin first carried by my grandfather and passed to my father.

Picture the examination hall. A hundred children solemnly flipping coins to find the right answer.

But what happens on a question like this?

Heavy rains had been forecast. There was a drainage culvert very close to the school where the eleven plus examinations were to take place. The culvert was just wide enough for one person to crawl through. A rare bird was nesting in the culvert. An excess of water could wash the nest away. The foreman sent two men to investigate.

Both men crawled into the culvert at opposite ends – and each came out from the other side from which he went in. They both reported on the state and the situation of the nest.

How did they mange to do this without widening the culvert?

The clue is probably in the answer. We think that the men may have flipped a coin to see who should go first. This has given the answer away. You will all be yelling: `The men went in at different times!”

So please supply your child with a lucky coin. You may want to reinforce the need to think and plan before answering a question. But on the day your child may also need a little luck and chance.

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