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Prodigy (standard:Flash, 1216 words)
Author: Reid LaurenceAdded: May 19 2006Views/Reads: 2296/1214Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A child prodigy creates the surprise of a lifetime!
 



“Dad, I'm hungry,” I heard my daughter say from where she was sitting on
the living room sofa. At four years old, she was no where near capable 
of preparing her own meals and so I saw to it that she got something 
nutritious and fun to eat while she sat watching her favorite programs 
on t.v. 

Busy with my own work - writing home inspection reports - I wasn't
always sure exactly what it was that she busied herself with or what 
she watched. I just tried to keep her safe and occupied until her mom 
got home, thinking that her Barbie dolls and tiny porcelain tea sets 
would keep her busy until five-fifteen rolled around and Mary would 
finally arrive home. But today, when I walked in to answer her request 
for something to eat, I was shocked to find her sitting there on the 
couch, practically glued to a televised college course on advanced 
finite three-dimensional geometry. 

While the teacher expounded on the virtues of live graphic 3D applets, I
could see that she was fascinated by the complex wire-frame forms 
taking shape on the screen - revolving in different directions before 
her eyes - and had to wonder to myself just how much of this kind of 
information a child of four could possibly be absorbing. 

“Ellie,” I said, sitting down next to her. “Mom just got you a brand new
Barbie car with room enough for ken and the whole gang. Don't you wanna 
take it for a spin around the living room? Sure looks like fun, doesn't 
it?” 

“I guess.” 

“I don't understand El. Why don't I put all the dolls in it an give you
a head start?” 

“I don't think so dad. Not now. Besides, I'm hungry.” 

“Okay,” I answered. “We got bologna an we got peanut butter. What'll it
be?” 

“Bologna. But could you cut it into a shape?” 

“You bet,” I answered, feeling sure of myself. “I can do squares or
triangles, take yer pick.” 

“Well... “ she answered, after some deliberation. “I was really thinking
more on the order of an Augmented Hexagonal Prism.” 

“A what?” 

“It's not as tough as it sounds,” she explained. “The teacher just
showed the class the pattern and I think I can remember it. I'll help 
you with it.” 

“Are you sure Ellie? I mean, wouldn't it be easier to just cut some
triangles and let it go at that? I gotta get back to what I was do'in. 
I really don't have much time.” 

“It's okay,” she answered, after some careful thought. “I can use my
Play-Doh tools and cut it myself. Besides, the shape I really wanted to 
see was a Great Stellated Truncated Dodecahedron, but I didn't wanna 
bother you with details.” 

“Don't worry about me,” I replied. “If that's what'cha wanna do, then
fine,” thinking that she'd no sooner be able to create a form like 
that, then I could be nominated for the presidency of the United 
States. “I'll get the bread and bologna and you go get your tools, and 
if you need me, I'll be in the computer room finishing up my report. 
Fair enough?” 

“That's fine dad,” she said. And as she wandered off to look in her toy
chest for her plastic Play-Doh tools, I had to wonder to myself just 
what in the world a child who was not yet even in kindergarten was 
doing even so much as contemplating such an incredibly complicated form 
- consisting of roughly one hundred complex surfaces - and approach the 
whole thing as if it were just a kind of interesting game to play while 
passing the time of day. As I walked back to my office, wondering what 
might have been responsible for putting such thoughts into her head in 


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