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Penfield Post
  • LETTER: There's not always just one way

  • I am writing this letter to say I agree with Mr. Isham in his article, and to let parents know that when they recognize creativity in their children, they need not listen to them when they say, “That’s not how Mr. Isham does it.

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  • Mr. Ted Isham, Victor school teacher, had an interesting article in the Jan. 13 Victor Post in which he was writing to parents who might be helping their children with their homework. He suggested they not listen to their children when they hear, “Mr. Isham doesn’t do it that way.”
    I was taken back about 65 years when my late husband and I were attending Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn., together. When Charlie was in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific, he was studying an algebra book that he had purchased when still on shore. During his free time, he learned the course, which he had not taken when he was in high school.
    He was enrolled in a calculus class at Maryville, a liberal arts college. After struggling for a while to understand what he had been taught, he devised a way in which he could come up with the right answer by a different method. Turning his paper in, he said, “Dr. Sisk, I couldn’t understand the way you taught us, so I came up with a different way.”
    The professor asked Charlie how he had done the problem and laughed when he heard it, saying, “That’s how they teach it at MIT.” For those who might not know, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a well-regarded school for engineers.
    At that time I dropped out of college because we were running out of money and also waiting for our first baby to be born. Charlie transferred to the University of Tennessee at nearby Knoxville. He enrolled in calculus class again, to make sure he really understood what the class was teaching. Naturally, he couldn’t get the credit again, but he found it helped him.
    When he received a bachelor of science degree in engineering-physics, a new course, he was also elected to Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary society for engineers, comparable to Phi Beta Kappa. He was then hired by Kodak in their small division, Distillation Products, later becoming the special products manager in Consolidated Vacuum Corporation.
    I am writing this letter to say I agree with Mr. Isham in his article, and to let parents know that when they recognize creativity in their children, they need not listen to them when they say, “That’s not how Mr. Isham does it.”
    DORIS SMITH NAUNDORF
    Farmington
     

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