Teacher: OK, class. If Martin has three apples, and Stacey has four, how many apples do they have together?
Teacher: Sorry, Donny, that’s incorrect. Does anyone else have the answer?
Teacher: Very good, Joey.
Donny: Hey! That’s not fair! Why did you say Joey was right, and I was wrong?
Teacher: Because he was right, Donny. Three plus four equals seven.
Donny: But I say there’s six!
Teacher: But there are seven.
Donny: I don’t want there to be seven apples. I want six!
Teacher: But Donny, it doesn’t matter how many apples you want. There are seven.
Donny: I don’t believe you!
Teacher: Look, I have some apples right here in this basket. Let’s count them together, OK?
Teacher: First, let’s take out three apples for Martin, one…two…three. You see them, Donny?
Teacher: Now, let’s take out four apples for Stacey, one…two…three…four. You see those, Donny?
Teacher: Now, how many apples do you see?
Teacher (sighs): Let’s count the apples together, shall we? That’s one…
Donny: I stopped counting.
Teacher: Donny, don’t you see? I have seven apples here.
Donny: What if I don’t believe you? What if you snuck in an apple when I wasn’t looking? What if that isn’t a real apple?
Teacher: Donny, this is simple math. Three plus four equals seven.
Donny: That’s what they want you to believe!
Teacher: It’s not about what you believe. It’s a simple fact. Three apples plus four apples equals seven apples!
Donny: But I don’t want there to be seven apples! I don’t like apples!
Teacher: Then what about something you like? Tell me, what do you like?
Teacher: OK, if I had three cheeseburgers and added four more, how many cheeseburgers would I have?
Teacher: So why would three plus four be seven if we’re talking cheeseburgers and six if we’re talking about apples?
Donny: Because I like cheeseburgers, and I don’t like apples!
Teacher: Donny, math doesn’t care what you like and what you don’t like. Three plus four equals seven regardless of what you’re counting!
Donny: Well, if I say it’s six, it’s six! And if I say it’s seven, it’s seven!
Teacher: Math doesn’t work that way!
Donny (stands up): Well, you’re just being unfair to me, teacher! I’m telling my mommy and daddy on you!
(Donny storms out of class. Teacher sighs in exasperation.)
Joey: Um, teacher? When it’s snack time, could we please have some apples?
Teacher: Sure, Joey. (smiles) Apples for everybody.