Yesterday while doing my weekly volunteer gig at a local elementary school, I witnessed a masterpiece in the denial of reality perpetrated by a first grade boy. It went like this:
Boy, addressing a small group in the hallway, led by a teacher:
“It’s not our day to have Tier 3.” (the name for his math practice session)
“Yes, today is Friday. We have Tier 3 on Fridays.”
“No, it’s not the day for Tier 3.”
“Friday is always the day for Tier 3.”
“But it’s the wrong time. We’re not having Tier 3 right now.”
Do you see me sitting here with the book? Do you see your friends around the table? We are having Tier 3 right now and you need to sit down and join us.”
“No, it’s not the right time and it’s not the right day.”
“We are having Tier 3 now, and you will sit down and get to work.”
Boy, thinking carefully about his last-ditch response:
“I don’t LIKE Tier 3.”
No dice. He sat down and got to work.
Why did I find this scene so funny? Because I’ve tried the exact same tactic on a grown-up level. Don’t like the realities of a situation? Pretend they don’t exist!
I don’t think it works much better for me than it did yesterday for my first grade friend.