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« Empirical Experience | Main | Please Leave The Stage »

January 25, 2005


Bruce DeBoer

I too have put some thought into whether or not to stay from the rails and what to teach children. I think there is a key element that becomes very important once rail diversion begins >>>> judgement! Naturally, intelligence helps too so that decisions are of high quality. i.e. If you're going to make judgements of the quality that Dairy Queen used when deciding that "Brazier" was a good food descriptor - I'd suggest staying on the rail is a much better idea.

Andy Havens

I have "Tootles," too, and had the same issue. On the Myers/Briggs scale, I'm a huge non-judger. Off the charts.

That being said, I remember one December back in college, watching the claymation "Rudolph" Christmas special with a bunch of friends in the dorms. We were tipping back a few and making generally merry as exams were just about over and we were all mostly heading home for a long holiday. During the segment about the Island of Misfit Toys, one of the gang started coming up with additional Misfit Toy ideas that maybe... shouldn't ever get invited off the island. Like "Rat Poison Gum-Ball Machine" and the doll with fangs. The roller skates that couldn't stop. The 10-pound super ball. We got increasingly hysterical. Clearly there are toys that are too "misfitted" for play.

Obviously we need a balance between creativity and judgement. But I think that Tootles is both a dumb book, and that trains should stay on the track. And that Brazier is a dumb name.

Katherine Stone

Considering the coincidence of the awful derailment in California, let me say for clarity's sake that I don't mean to suggest trains shouldn't stay on their tracks. But Tootle wasn't meant to be a train in the traditional sense, as he clearly seemed much happier doing other things. It might have been better for him to figuratively leave the rails ... as it sometimes might be better for us to do the things we believe in and have passion for, rather than what we think everyone expects us to do.

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