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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Three Different Answers

"Daddy, what's this?"

My seven-year-old daughter was holding the letter her school had sent to my wife and I about her scheduled "Gifted Screening", which we had decided not to tell her about to avoid causing stress over having to take a test.

But the secret was out, so I explained she'd be taking a test so the school could determine if she should be put into a special program. "You might be asked English questions, math questions, pattern-recognition questions..."

"Pattern-recognition questions?", she asked. So I decided to give her a few examples.

I drew four squares on a piece of paper, three of which had a line across them and one of which had a circle inside. Then I asked, "Which one is different?"

"The one with the circle."


I wrote down four numbers: 2, 4, 7, 8.

"Which one is different?"

"7. The rest are even."

"Very good."

I wrote down four names: David, Aidan, Robert, Alessia.

"Okay, which one is different?"

I thought it was an easy question with a clear answer.

She thought for a moment, then said, "Alessia... the other names all have a vowel as their second letter."

That wasn't what I was expecting.

I thought she'd choose Alessia as her answer, but believed the reason would be because she knew people who had these four names, and of the four people, Alessia was the only girl.

Curious, I asked my wife the same question.

She replied, "Robert... the only one without an "a" in it."

Three different answers. All of them were correct.

That's why diversity matters.


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