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Catechism

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

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1. What do you call a group of crows?

2. Often seen at the end of a sentence, the three trailing dots that indicate the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues are known as…

3. How many kingdoms are part of the United Kingdom?

4. Solve the following equation: 5 + 3 * 4 / 2 – 1 = ?

Can you answer these questions? All were featured on the show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? What made the show funny was that college-educated adults went head-to-head with fifth-grade students and usually had to admit, “I am not smarter than a fifth grader.” Only two contestants actually won the $1,000,000 grand prize. Of course, the students had more recently studied all the subjects, and as the expression goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” I am never more aware of that then when I’m helping my middle-schooler with math. Every time I have to look up the difference between rational numbers, irrational numbers, whole numbers, and integers. My son will ask, “Mom, didn’t you have to learn all this?” And I reply, “Of course, but that was years ago.”

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Dear Fellow Confirmands

Dear Fellow Confirmands,

Wow, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  Don’t worry- that’s not our picture above, but it has been twenty-two years since we were confirmed.  Remember how the nine of us sat in Confirmation class every Wednesday evening for two years?  Remember those 5-question quizzes we had to take at the start of each class period?  We studied the Six Chief Parts of the Catechism over those two years, and then we had our public questioning the week before we were confirmed.  We were so nervous about that.  We studied the questions and answers over and over again so we wouldn’t mess up in front of everyone.  And then came Confirmation Sunday.  We all dressed in our white robes with the red carnation corsage, stood in front of church and made our Confirmation vows with the entire church witnessing it.  It was a marvelous day.  But since then I haven’t seen much of some of you.  In fact, there are a few of you I haven’t seen at all since we were confirmed.  And that makes me wonder what definition you are using for the word confirmation.  In the notorious words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means…”

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