THE usual topics that appear on this space have to give way to the amazing story of a little boy who is only seven years old, but knows all the days in the 2017 calendar. Due Diligencer has to take a detour and write the story because I personally know the kid, who was already a good reader of English words when he was only three years old.
In four years, he has matured in intelligence and knows more than simply reading the English words shown to him. He has excelled even more in memorizing the days of 2016 and 2017.
In four years, he has learned a lot more. Being able to read at the age of three was no mean feat already. To have installed in his memory all the days of a particular year was even more surprising. He also knows the days as far back as 2016. When he was asked what day was March 1, 2016, he answered Tuesday.
I checked with a 2016 calendar. He was right. My younger sister died on March 3, 2016, which fell on Tuesday.
Through a text message, I asked the kid’s mother to ask her son what day of the week was Nov. 2, 2016. Came the reply: “Miyerkules daw. Pag 2017, Huwebes na [Wednesday. If it’s 2017, Thursday].”
I checked and found both answers to be correct.
Then I asked a personal question. What day was March 3, 2017? On this particular day I turned 70 years old. He said Friday. He was correct.
I don’t know how he got to remember all the days of the entire 2017. Has he been reading the calendar? I asked him if he had any kind of formula. He looked at me as if to say he did not even know what a formula was.
I could only safely assume that in responding spontaneously to a question, he relied on his mental ability to guess. Or should the word be “calculate”?
The word “guess” is, of course, something that connotes not knowing exactly the answer, while “calculate” is something that would be more scientific.
He did not have any kind of background either in school or anywhere else to have imbibed the information stored in his brain. Remember, he is only seven years old.
Others tested him too
My younger brother visited him upon learning of the little boy’s talents. Like others before him, my brother was wondering how this kid could have known the days of the year and correctly guessed the day our sister died.
Does this little boy know what a leap year is, when February has 29 days? Definitely, he would not know what leap year means.
Asked what day was February 31, he was quick in his response. “Wala namang ganoon [There’s no such thing].” Really? How did he know that February does not have 31 days?
Other relatives also came to give the little kid their own tests. They also discovered in the little boy certain talents that other kids of advanced school age could not possibly match.
In my recent encounter with this little boy, I learned about a cousin who was astounded by the kid’s ability to state the days on which certain dates fell.
Going to school
I do not know how to rate this child, who will be going to a public school in June. At seven, he may be old enough to get a formal schooling but how will his teacher rate him as a Grade One pupil?
Not that I doubt the capability of the teachers in the only public school in the barangay [village]. But what if this little child is really gifted? How will he fare against his classmates?
There really is a problem in a faraway town where only the government takes the risk of investing taxpayers’ money by putting up schools for the sake of educating the less fortunate of this country’s more than 100 million people.
Luckily, this precocious and intelligent child will be one of the beneficiaries of the government’s education budget. He could not possibly excel in any private (and expensive) school. Who said poverty is not a hindrance to a successful education? Just asking.