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Archive with last of tag-string W168

3V1179.1

3V1179.01 Counting Plates with numbers in various ranges (4/15/81)

Peggy loves to help empty the dishwasher. After stacking the small plates on the shelves, she began counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, etc…18… She continued from stack to stack, using ‘big’ numbers as well, “eighty, ninety, tendy” repeating them as well as smaller numbers and in no obvious order. After getting up, she announced to the world, “I counted all the plates.” — as she had done in her terms by assigning a number name to each item (mauger the lack of order and repetition of tokens).
What does Peggy have to learn about number?
1. use each number name once only.
2. use the number names in a fixed order.
Let’s observe closely how she picks up these ideas — not pushing them on her… but focusing on her natural learning of them, probing some in videotape experiments but not too much otherwheres.

3V1181.1

3V1181.01 Blocks microworld: “Clever little blocks” (4/17/81)

Peggy was introduced to computers with P168 and P169. We talked a little today about what she was doing with the computer upstairs. She replied that she was “making the blocks walk.” I asked if she was able to make the blocks turn yet. She replied, “No, they turn themselves.” (they turn 180 degrees by demon intervention at screen edge.) When I asked her why (fishing for her recall of the anthropomorphic metaphor, of their turning around when they encounter a wall) she answered, “They’re clever little blocks.”

Besides being true, Peggy’s observation is interesting because she is applying to these computational objects the label “clever” which she has recently applied with clear pride and self-congratulation (applied) to herself. These past few weeks, it has been clearly important to Peggy that she calls herself
“clever.” Frequently, when she has done something we approve of or find amusing, we say, “You’re a clever little rabbit,” oftimes accompanied by a hug or some other expression of affection. The expression comes by paraphrase from a nonsense verse of Walt Kelly’s”
“See the rabbits in the wood
..Eating porridge as they should…
…..Those clever little bunnies….”
Another example of Peggy’s feeling for the computer arose when I decided to bring it downstairs (to free up a table for working on my chain saw.) She pestered me a little, “When are you going to bring down the beautiful computer?”

3V1181.2

3V1181.02 Anything can represent anything: Forks and Bottlecaps (4/17/81)

Anything can represent anything. Sitting in the chair beside [me] at the end of supper this evening, Peggy began playing with a dinner fork and a cake fork (the smaller of the two). They became me and her, going for a ride in the car. The little fork said, “I’ll sit behind Daddy,” which Peggy often does, then stands in back of and between the two front seats of the car so we can easily talk to each other while I drive). I can’t remember what all she did, but for me one extreme moment was when Peggy[‘s] bottle cap fell off the table. She picked it up off my chair with her toes (she had by then migrated into my lap) and the bottle cap began complaining about being knocked down.