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Mariah's avatar

Will you tell us something impressive and something not-so-much from your childhood?

Asked by Mariah (18398 points ) June 7th, 2012

For example, mine -

Impressive: I noticed this relationship between odd numbers and perfect squares when I was 7 or 8 years old, by looking at my wall paper in my bedroom (it had a geometric design that helped me to visualize it).

Not so much: until I was embarrassingly old, like 13, I thought the atmosphere was a thin layer of fire that surrounded the earth. I thought this because I was always hearing that space junk “burns up in the atmosphere.” Ha!

I’d love to hear some of your shining and not-so-shining childhood moments!

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24 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

My child hood was banal. I have no shining moments that I can think of. I have a lot of not-so-shining moments, though.

I had really bad grades in high school, until I realized I wanted to graduate and not be a loser. So I put in some effort and went from a really low GPA to a 2.9 very quickly. I was in the nomination for “most improvement” award, lol. But this is not a shining moment for me because I saw it as me finally coming to the level of the average person and no longer being a dumbass.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I like tacos. Still do.

flutherother's avatar

1. I had the idea when I was very young that everything was made up of tiny individual pieces and when I told my mother this she said I was right. This was before I ever heard of atoms.
2. Less impressively, I thought tides were a local phenomenon so that when the sea withdrew from the north shore of the bay it rose on the south side.

Fly's avatar

When I was very little (I’m not sure of my exact age at the time- maybe two?) I taught myself the alphabet from Wheel of Fortune. (For the record, that was the only show I was allowed to watch besides Sesame Street and Barney, so I did not actually watch much TV)

Fast forward to elementary school elementary school- I was not nearly as well-versed in French as I am today, and I completely mispronounced some cognates; I thought “lingerie” was pronounced “linger-ee” and “bureau” was pronounced “bur-ee-ooh.” I had heard both words out loud before, but I never made the connection between the verbal and written forms. I said both words like this for several years until @augustlan heard me say them and corrected me.

SuperMouse's avatar

Somewhat impressive: I was exposed at a very early age to the Viet Nam war. My uncle was over there fighting and of course it was on the news every single night. I vividly remember when I was 8 or 9 years old realizing how incredibly silly it is that the side that kills the most people wins. It just made absolutely no sense to me even back then that vast amounts of killing and death made for a winner.

Now so impressive: My big brother told me once upon a time that the name Brian was pronounced brain. I believed him completely and pronounced the name Brain for quite a few years. The same brother also told me he could get a ticket and thrown in jail for driving without a shirt. I believed that too.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I learned how to read very well when I was four and, by second grade I was reading on an advanced high school level. That’s the most impressive thing I could think of, haha.

Even though I could read well, there were some words I hadn’t heard in spoken conversation, so for a few years I thought gazebo was pronounced “gaze-boe”. :D

Sunny2's avatar

@Mariah You are lucky to have a very special mind. I had no revelations of such import.

I discovered that if you put a straw in your nose, it came out your mouth. Didn’t everybody?

I was a bright student, and the 7th grade teacher was starting a physiology unit on respiration. I was asked about the tube that go from the mouth into the body. I announced that there were 2 tubes, one for air and one for water. The teacher was kind and did not laugh out loud, but I bet the gang in the teachers’ room did.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

look, squirrel!

Symbeline's avatar

In kindergarten, we learned to tie our shoes. So when the teacher thought a kid was ready, she’d test them out, and if they succeeded, that kid got a round sticker put up next to his or her name on the wall. Blue round stickers, red ones, yellow ones…

Because I ain’t so bright, I was the last kid to learn to tie her shoes. This was around Christmas. So I passed the test, but the teacher didn’t have any round stickers left…she looked, but there were none. She had Christmas stickers though…I got this bitchin Christmas tree sticker, that was all big and bright and colorful, and totally thwarted those boring round stickers that all the other kids had. I was all like, in yo face, gangstah!

I also pissed myself in kindergarten, because I wasn’t able to undo the button on my pants, and really had to go. It all just came out, and all the kids laughed at me when I got back in the room. That was probably less than stellar.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ Oh man that’s wild. When I was in gym class we played dodge ball. I was the last one left on my entire team. Everyone on the other team threw their balls at me at once. I caught the first one. Three of them nailed me in the face.

Symbeline's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe That’s pretty badass for a little kid. :D

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline I knew I was toast. Might as well go out fighting.

Ponderer983's avatar

My mother conceived me as a virgin and I walked on water. But then I got nailed to a cross for all the dumb shit humanity was doing at the time.

woodcutter's avatar

Impressive: When I was two ,I got into a storage closet at home and carried out a 12 lb sledge hammer to show the family. I remember that event clearly for some reason. I remember my aunt shouting,” Jesus Christ ,get that thing away from him!” I still remember her rhinestone cat rimmed glasses circa 1962.

Not so impressive: remembering my mom pushing a inguinal hernia back up inside my crotch while changing my diaper. I wished they had done something to discourage me from just picking up heavy shit back then.

wundayatta's avatar

In first grade, I was the second to last person to learn how to read. Yeah. That was impressive!

Also in first grade, I said I bet I can throw this stone at the window of the classroom (we were standing in line outside) and the window won’t break.

Yep. The window broke. Yep. I got to have a meeting with the principal. Not so impressive.

Of course, not to outdo myself, I was later throwing a rock in the air in the general vicinity of our family car, and how about that? It hit the window. And guess what? Cracked the shit out of that window, too!

That time I had to answer to my father; something I remember with a great deal more clarity than I remember my meeting with the principal.

JLeslie's avatar

I always liked the multpication of 9 was the answer flipped around from 2–9. It madeit really easy for me to remember.

18 and 81
27 and 72
36 and 63
45 and 54

I only had to memorize 4 answers, and the answers all start with one number below what I am multipying by. For instance 9×4=36. the 3 is one lower than the 4 I am multipying by.

Plus, the answers went up by one in the tens place. A simple pattern.

Later, when taking an accountng class the teacher taught us when numbers did not tally, if the mistake was divisible by 9 the error was a transposition error. Since I always liked multiples of 9 that make perfect sense to me.

I have a lot of number things that I think I organize oddly in my head.

Not so much: I thought taking typing in school would be a waste of time. Thank goodness I listened to my dad and took it one term/quarter in jr. High. Even that short time defnitely helped me type my assignments in college and eventually work on computers.

Ponderer983's avatar

@JLeslie And if you add the numbers together after multiplying by 9, they equal 9 or a multiple of 9 (example: 9×4=36, 3+6=9 OR 9×36=324, 3+2+4=9)

JLeslie's avatar

@Ponderer983 Someone pointed that out to me years later. I was already an adult. For whatever reason that had not occurred to me when I was young and no one pointed it out.

bewailknot's avatar

@Ponderer983 @JLeslie Have you tried taking the multiplication further out. Fascinating.

JLeslie's avatar

Another is I cannot understand why figuring a tip is so hard for people. I just take the subtotal, double the dollars, basically multipy by 2, otherwise known as 20% and round down a bit. I don’t focus on where the decimal is, it just seems obvious. $33.50 bill in my head I think 66, so $6.60. I would leave $6 most likely. I have 3 superclose best girlfriends from college who don’t understand how that works. I cannot understand what is difficult about it, even if a person is not math oriented. Can’t anyone double the dollars (leave off the cents) in their mind? Of course depending on the tax rate where you live you can double or triple that too, or to check yourself.

@bewailknot I don’t bother to do math in my head for much bigger numbers, so I have never really looked for patterns with higher numbers. I went through Business Calc, Stats, Finance, and even tutored algebra for a while, and never thought about it.

King_Pariah's avatar

Impressive: Finished 2 weeks of homework that I had not done within an hour in front of my 3rd grade teacher while she was having a conference with my father “due to my apparent mental retardation.” Oh, the look on her face was priceless.

Not-so-Impressive: I was a very gullible child, my dad had once joked to me that if the crew aboard the Titanic had duct tape, they wouldn’t have sunk. Lo and behold, I make a fool of myself telling classmates and teachers this…

ucme's avatar

I won lots of trophies/medals for my sporting achievments, mainly running & football.
When I was really little i’d often come out with random bullshit. This one time a teacher said she liked my trousers, asking when did I get them, I replied in a loud steady voice, “tomorrow”
Like I said, dumb as fuck, she smiled nicely & continued to mark my maths homework.

augustlan's avatar

I scored 100% on all 5 parts of the big standardized test (I think it was the California Achievement Test?) we used to take every year, every time I ever took it. That put me in the top 1% of students in the country, and I was quite impressed with myself.

Not so impressive… when I was quite young (maybe 4?), the TV show Welcome Back Kotter was popular, as were the “Up your nose with a rubber hose” jokes that the show spawned. My (adult) family members were trading these jokes back and forth at a big family dinner, when I piped up from the living room with, “Up your vagina with North Carolina.” Stunned silence, followed by howls of laughter. I had no clue why my joke was so funny to them.

Symbeline's avatar

“Up your vagina with North Carolina.”

That was fuckin epic.

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