We’ve all heard the saying, “kids say the darndest things,” but this first grader took things to a new level — a philosophical level.
Earlier this week, elementary school teacher Bret Turner thought it would be fun give his class a Monday morning riddle to start the week off right. But his students’ responses went far beyond the simple answer to his “Puzzle of the Week.”
“I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I’m the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space,” the riddle read. “What am I?”
The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the class that I didn’t want to tell them that actually the answer is the letter e, which just seemed so banal in the moment pic.twitter.com/7sYFxHNcZk— Bret Turner (@bretjturner) January 2, 2018
And the student’s answer? “Death.” Pretty deep, right?
Turner was so astonished by this student’s answer that he posted the riddle on Twitter with a caption that read, “I didn’t want to tell them that actually the answer is the letter ‘e,’ which just seemed so banal in the moment.” In a later tweet, Turner said the unnamed first grader’s classmates “continued along a similarly existential vein” by shouting out “not everything,” “all stuff,” “the end,” and his personal favorite, “nothingthing” as second guesses.
Before I finally revealed the "correct" answer to the riddle, to a largely unimpressed audience, I fielded other guesses that continued along a similarly existential vein. There was "NOT everything," "all stuff," "the end," and maybe my favorite, "nothingthing."— Bret Turner (@bretjturner) January 3, 2018
In Turner’s final post, he said he was considering telling his students that a tweet about them went viral, expecting their response to be along the lines of “Sure, but did it go super-viral?” and “Just how many re-tweets are we talking about here?” and the inevitable “Can I go to the bathroom?”
I’m considering telling the kids tomorrow that a tweet about them went viral, and given their facility with the internets, I expect their response will be “sure but did it go SUPERviral” and “just how many retweets are we talking about here” and “can I go to the bathroom”— Bret Turner (@bretjturner) January 4, 2018
Parents responded to Turner’s post with a variety of reactions. Some praised the clever first-grader, while others said their children came up with the exact same answer. How weird!
“Give that kid the “A.” I expect a great screenplay from him/her some day,” wrote one Twitter user. “See it’s things like this (as well as my own son’s insights) that give me a lot of hope for the future. Honestly,” wrote another.
Whether you’re as perplexed about this student’s answer as Turner was or not, we definitely think he or she is going places!