Back in the mid to late 50s, our teachers only addressed us children by our surnames or more usually as ‘You boy’, or, ‘You Girl’. I’m afraid on many occasions I was told “You boy, pay attention and stop your day dreaming”. As I got a little older, this rebuke was delivered in my direction, more times than I’d care to say. It wasn’t as if I was deliberately ignoring the teacher, but I just day-dreamed about better things.
Fast forward a sixty-five years or so. One of my three sons came to Christmas dinner with his family. After we’d eaten, our presents were exchanged. I was pleased to receive a smallish cardboard box with a three-D plastic puzzle of the thinker. “We thought you would like the puzzle even though we never know what to get you.” Well over the next week I must had tried twenty or more times to put those pieces together, only to scoop them all up again and return them to the box.
Over the following months, as friends and other family members visited us, I asked several of them to put the puzzle together. No one succeeded. It was truly difficult.
Then my wife’s cousin, and her eighteen year old Granddaughter came to visit us all the way from Toowoomba Queensland Australia. They only stayed with us for a week. One Tuesday I asked the Granddaughter, Shania, if she would like to try my impossible puzzle? She was up for the challenge and once again all the hundred pieces were spread out on the coffee table. I glanced over a couple of time whilst I was talking to Helen (her Grand-mother) and was surprised to see that she was actually making slow but steady progress. She started with the bottom plinth, and was build the figure up from the legs, torso, arms and finally to head. Within about two hours she had achieved the finished model.
I was amazed, that an eighteen year old woman had successfully achieved the completed model that had stumped both my friends and others from achieving. It stands proudly on my mantle-piece to this day.