Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ryan and Shichida

The biggest news last week for Ryan was that he was selected as a "Shichida Genius"! The Shichida centre in Singapore holds regular sessions for the parents where one or two star students will demonstrate an ability. These sessions are called "Meet the Genius" sessions and Ryan is going to be one of the Genius kids!

He is being recommended by his present and previous senseis and, if their recommendation is approved, he will be doing his showcase in March. I asked them what he should do and they said it's up to us to choose, since he is good in a few aspects. We can even choose an activity that is not taught in Shichida, for example, music or sports.

At this point, I have no idea what he should do. He hasn't really done anything spectacular - all this while I just make sure that he does what he needs to do for class and I don't push him to do anything further than that. I suppose that, now that this has come about, it will be an opportunity to see what he is capable of!


Ryan did spectacularly well in linking memory in the last class (which was also one factor that supported his selection as a "Shichida Genius"). The students were supposed to recite 50 items from memory in not more than 2 minutes. Ryan was the only one who could do it. One other child could recite the 50 items but needed more than 2 minutes. The others didn't even want to try. I was surprised. Ryan practised with me only the day before the class and, in class, he did it in 46 seconds. Not to boast, but he wasn't trying to be fast. In fact, we were taking our time because we were only aiming to get under 2 minutes. It therefore didn't seem difficult to me and I fully expected all the students to be able to do it. I must say though, that it did take some effort to do the practice. It took quite a few rounds before Ryan pieced all 50 items together. Nevertheless, once it clicked together, it stuck, and from then on, he could recite the sequence automatically, without thinking.

Ryan's sensei asked him to recite the poem that the class has been learning because we skipped the previous class when the students did the recitation. I was not prepared for that. As I knew that we were going to skip the poem recitation class (week 3), we stopped practising the poem after the second class of the term, which meant that it had been two weeks since Ryan last heard it. Still, Ryan was happy to get in front of the class and he recited the poem flawlessly. I was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, here he was last night, playing with some coloured cubes that he received as a birthday gift. If you look carefully, you can see that he is arranging them in a pattern - red, orange, yellow, green, purple and blue, and then back to red. He came up with the pattern on his own (it's loosely based on the colours of the rainbow).

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