September 06, 2012



once upon a time…enthusiastically recited, sung, played and shouted by Frenchtoast  



frenchtoast said...

Yes, I remember it well!

Charles said...

It's a Gift to be Simple;
with Green Hairy Balls –

This was the late physicist Richard Feynman’s approach to problem solving. One that's always stuck with me is this one:

“I had a scheme, which I still use today when somebody is explaining something that I'm trying to understand: I keep making up examples.
For instance, the mathematicians would come in with a terrific theorem, and they're all excited. As they're telling me the conditions of the theorem, I construct something which fits all the conditions. You know, you have a set (one ball)-- disjoint (two balls). Then the balls turn colors, grow hairs, or whatever, in my head as they put more conditions on.
Finally they state the theorem, which is some dumb thing about the ball which isn't true for my hairy green ball thing, so I say "False!" [and] point out my counterexample.”

Feynman was illustrating something akin to mathematical induction. It's the same thing I do when someone's explaining something to me and I stop them and say: "show me an example!" Or: "Look, if it doesn't work with a simple example; it'll never work for the complex one you're trying to solve!"

See how your post has brought back memories.

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

-"--"- interesting point

Mona said...

It’s not A gift to be simple.
It’s THE gift.

Bill said...

Thanks Ms Edna for capturing, in your own way, one of my all time favorite hymns! I even have note cards with the words done by hand (some clever calligrapher did it in a circle!). I’ll have to post one to you, so you can appreciate the subtlety.

Anonymous said...

I listened!

Now, simple gifts – a really fine song, but also a fine concept.
I enjoy finding unexpected posts.
A SIMPLE Childs poem and a SIMPLE Quaker song wedded by the inspiration and memories of a woman with imagination. WELL – that is no mere simple gift :-) Thanks, mucho.

SvO said...

G.K. Chesterton, not a simple man, quipped; “Men rush toward complexity, but they yearn toward simplicity.”
Whenever I’m in need of calming down this hymn comes to me sooner than any comforting words I could assemble on my own.
I remember best what is simple and meaningful. ‘This that simple.
Thanks for the post.

Ms Epstein said...

The “mustn’ts” and the “impossibles.”

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
I actually begin every school year with this poem. Many people think that this poem is not one primary students can grasp. I completely disagree. My students understand it, especially my students who struggle more than others — sometimes they are the ones saying the “mustn’ts” and the “impossibles.” This is how I set the stage for success, dreams, and goal setting.
Thanks for the post. With your permission I will copy and play in class.

Diffendoofer and Co said...

Love this!:)

Charles (the other) said...


Ms. Edna (squared) said...

by any and all means copy Ms Epstein