No one saw that coming!
Bret Turner isn’t just a teacher of first-graders, he’s a father, author, and “amateur funnyman.” When it comes to using wit and cunning to teach his young pupils interesting life lessons, he’s a master of the craft. He never thought, however, that the five, six, and seven-year-olds that populate his class would get the better of him.
Mr. Turner gave his students a word puzzle that would make them think hard for a simple answer. Yet, their profound answers left him stunned by their young genius.
Puzzle of the Week
Mr. Turner wrote his Puzzle of the Week on the whiteboard for all the kids to ponder. It read: “I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I’m the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space.” What am I?”
The teacher thought that he would stump his students, but he quickly realized that they are deep little thinkers.
Mr. Turner explained that his first-grade students casually threw out erudite answers like “all stuff,” “the end,” and “nothingthing.” There was also “NOT everything” just to cover all the bases. The very first answer he got was the most profound though. He explained, “The first guess from one of my 1st graders was ‘death’ and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the class…”
The rather existential answers from the young children stunned the learned teacher who expected more childish, tactile things. He worried that the actual answer would seem banal. He finally revealed that the answer to this head-scratching puzzle was simply the letter “E.” He shared that the children were “largely unimpressed.”
While the young ones were left underwhelmed by the true answer, Mr. Turner’s Twitter followers were extremely intrigued by their own answers. Twitter user @helsouth told him that he should tell his young ones how someone else solved the riddle.
“Too late, but a cushion to the seeming banality of the final answer might be that Odin hung himself upside down for three days to gain the wisdom of letters… what magical things, that allow us to know another’s words across time and space!” she said.
“That goes into my next unit, ‘Cushioning Banality Through Germanic And Norse Mythology,’” responded Mr. Turner.
Although, not everyone was impressed by the children’s answers. User @FebrusHarrow felt pessimistic about the situation because the kids didn’t come close to solving the riddle. “There is nothing profound about giving random and wholly incorrect answers to questions,” they began. “‘Death’ does not satisfy a single part of this riddle. The children should have been corrected rather than allowed to assume there is some sort of deeper meaning in nonsense.”
Thinking Outside the Box
Despite not getting the right answer, so many people were enthralled by the kids that they applauded them for reaching for a larger meaning. “You’ve got kids who think instead of just spitting out an answer. Hope they don’t lose that while sitting through pages of standardized tests that elementary schools spend so much time drilling,” added @MSMom_Blog.
Mr. Turner was happy that his followers and new fans enjoyed the riddle and ensuing answers. He concluded, “I’m considering telling the kids tomorrow that a tweet about them went viral, and given their facility with the internets, I expect their response will be ‘Sure but did it go SUPERviral,’ ‘Just how many retweets are we talking about here,’ and “Can I go to the bathroom?’”
What was your guess to the riddle? Tell us in the comments and SHARE this story!