I ask the kids to fill out questionnaires on the first few days of school that help me get to know them, and we use them to get to know each other. One group of questions are:
"Do you believe that Santa Claus is real? Answer yes or no."
"Do you believe that the Easter Bunny is real? Answer yes or no."
"Do you believe that the Tooth Fairy is real. Answer yes or no."
I'm sitting there watching the kids eagerly fill out this questionnaire that has them writing about hobbies, loves, favorite things, etc., but in the middle of the writing, Hannah looks up somewhat distressed and raises her hand. I go over to Hannah's desk and quietly ask her if she has a question.
"Yes. I want to know if I can change one of my answers."
"Of course, Hannah. Which one do you want to change?"
"This one," pointing to her "No" answer as to whether Santa Claus is real.
"Do you want to change these two?" I asked, pointing to her "No" answers on the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
"No. I don't want to change those. I want to change this one," she said, pointing to her "No" answer to Santa Claus.
"You go right ahead and change your answer, Hannah."
But when I go back to my chair, I see Hannah writing away on her paper. The word "Yes" doesn't take that much time to write, so when I get her paper back, I go straight to the question, "Do you believe that Santa Claus is real? Answer yes or no." Here is her new, revised response.
"Tecknikally yes. tecknikally he is real. He isnt really real but he is real on a technikality.
This is heavy. "I think. Therefore I am on a technicality."