The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Singapore Zoo: a day out.

Yesterday we went to Singapore zoo with Tiarnan, sixteen months and Fintan, three.

Now, Tiarnan had never been to a zoo before and his reactions were most interesting. When he was taken to the White Tiger enclosure, he looked inside at its green expanse and seemed puzzled: he didn't know what he was supposed to see. It was about a minute of looking around, until, one sudden moment of perception, he saw the two big cats basking in the Sun. His face split wide in his enthusiastic grin, the one he saves for when he is very happy, and he pointed at the White Tigers. They were, indeed, beautiful - and it is somewhat saddening to read, elsewhere, that there are as few as 7,000 tigers (of all kinds) left in the world today. 100 years ago, that total was over 100,000. Someone has been doing a lot of hunting.

There were several instances of Tiarnan's behaviour that are worth remarking on. Throughout he was very intense, with a slight frown as he looked at the animals, as if he couldn't quite believe what he was seeing: these strange looking animals were actually alive and moving.

On one occasion, Tiarnan excitedly pointed at a metal bin and said, very clearly: "Zebra!". We looked at the bin. It was black and white striped, like a Zebra. It was a funny moment - and an enlightening one, too. Tiarnan has never seen a Zebra in the flesh - but he recognized its coat pattern when suggested in paint. That speaks well of his visual perception - and ability to associate.

Later he saw actual Zebras and he was reduced to pointing and going "OOOH!", so excited was he.

At one time, he pointed and said: "Crocodile!" and looking where he had pointed, we saw a TV monitor, with a crocodile showing. I find it interesting that he is already able to name and identify animals of all kinds - and yet he had never seen any in the flesh, until yesterday.

I will save Fintan's zoo behaviour for another post.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:48 AM 


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