Same or Different?

I never went to Kindergarten. By the time I started the first grade, I was six and a half years old and a very eager student.

This was, of course, long before innovations like Sesame Street. I began my school career able to sing the ABC song and count to ten. Everything else was new.

My teacher had been teaching the first grade for 40 years and she didn’t put up with what she referred to as, “being a baby.” I was very careful to stay on her good side!

Sally, Dick, and Jane were my new best friends. The reading and writing came quickly for me. Other things, not so much.

A particular struggle was my teacher’s fondness for worksheets with pictures of objects in neat rows and the perplexing directions to mark which ones were “same” and which were “different.”

I had a particular challenge going with fruits and vegetables. I knew the difference between apples and grapes, but they were both fruits. Cucumbers and squash were even worse.

I knew nothing of botany at that time but, in my mind, they were “same” because they lived near each other in the produce department at the Kroger store where my Dad knew everybody. (And, yes, now that I know some botany, they are both “same” and “different”.)

And then there were dogs.

Neverminding for a moment that the Westminster Kennel Club show I was watching last night was a re-run, anybody “should” be able to see that, while they’re all dogs, there are 197 different breeds and I began relating to them very early in my journey. “Same”? “Different”?

Here’s part of the challenge… It’s not until kids are about 12 years old that the ability to think abstractly begins to kick in developmentally. And, like me, most of us have some pretty firm opinions by the time we reach our tween years.

And, Westminster is not the only thing on TV. There’s CNN. It seems there’s still Fox News because it somehow keeps leaking into my email. Then there are political parties. Run the “same” or “different” game on those!

If you’re hoping, about now, for a tidy answer, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

This is the best I’ve got…

Let’s change the questions! What if we went with something along the lines of “What do we/these things share?” And, “What might we learn from each other?”

If the news is to be trusted, break time, such as it was, is over and Georgia’s about to get even more complicated. I’m in.

I have two granddaughters growing up in this world and I am going to vote on the questions!

ps… Westminster, for which we’ve often moved Valentine’s Day at our house, will happen (Gasp!) in June this year in Westchester County, NY instead of the traditional Madison Square Garden site, because of pandemic restrictions. Same? Different? Both? (The stunning black Standard Poodle won last year/night, in case you were curious!)

pps… Phoebe and Luther, who aren’t much for running in circles, will probably just nap, while sending out their wondrous, peaceful energy. I hope they believe me when I tell them they’d win if those judge folks knew them!


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Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity® Color of Woman Teacher

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