Is it ADHD? Or merely lack of interest? I am teaching furiously, showing math using my document camera, and I ask the class a question. Two hands go up. Two attentive faces look straight at me. Ah, I must have caught the wave!
Student One: Ms. Q, can you beat box?
Beatboxing is the art of producing drum beats and other musical sounds by using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, and voice.
I reply that I really cannot beat box. I move on to Student Two, attempting to get back on track.
Student Two: Ms. Q, what is the name of the oldest tree in the world. You know, that tree. They told us about it.
I have no clue who they are and I don’t know the name of the tree either. I tell Two that I cannot name his tree. Maybe it is a sequoia? He will need to look that up later.
Eduhonesty: Dauntlessly, I return to the math at hand. I have a sense, though, that I may not be connecting. I keep flailing away at my material, asking questions, getting some right answers. Step by step…
Did my student ever look up the answer to his question? I did. Methuselah, a bristlecone pine tree from California’s White Mountains, is thought to be almost 5,000 years old—and the oldest non-clonal tree in the world. Wikipedia has a list of oldest trees. There appears to be one tree older than Methuselah that does not have a name. I will probably share that information with the class tomorrow.
They will never hear my pathetic attempts at beat boxing, though!