Sunday, December 24, 2006


Kadin is still very enamored of the computer game Civilization where you set up civilizations and they evolve. A year ago he was telling me about how he had invented the alphabet (even though he couldn't read) and pottery and the wheel and so forth. The game is quite sophisticated and word intensive, so I don't know how he gets so much out of it. It has, in fact, taught him to read and much of his worldview comes from this game. When we traveled to England last summer our little preschooler would come up with statements that surprised us such as: "Elizabeth is queen of England. England has a monarchy." We realized he knew this from the game, and in the game it was Elizabeth I, not Elizabeth II, but we weren't about to burst his bubble.

Then there was the time he was playing at a friend's house and his friend's mother was telling them the Hanukkah story about the Macabees and the oil lamp that miraculously burned for eight days. "Now wait a minute," she told me Kadin had said, "Was this in the Middle Ages or the industrial ages? Because they didn't have oil until the industrial ages." She said it stopped her right in her tracks, and she didn't know. Okay, so they didn't have geological oil for energy in the middle ages, but they did have plant and animal oils for lighting. But when were the Macabees?

And then there was the other day when Kadin's civilization was really getting quite advanced. He was in the modern times and was building a space ship. "Dad," said our serious kindergartner as he came out of the office, "I have lots of research labs. They are very useful you know."

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