Short stories: The boy with no "spatial perception"

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 28th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/30yy5j2a/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

This is a short story about people who think differently than the rest of us do. These people are not often understood. They usually have a hard time in their life, especially in their early years.

This is a fictional story of course, but it might just have been true, who knows, for sure. Something must have happened to this young boy Bobby in his school years to turn him so much off school.

Bobby's school-room test of his thinking abilities

Bobby's school teacher told him that he would never amount to anything much at all. He would never be any good at chess, nor at any logic puzzles, he told him.

The school teacher told him that, "he had no spatial perception."

He meant that the boy could not visualise. He was cognitively blind, or illiterate. He could not mentally picture how things could connect together. He was not aware of how one thing could relate to another. He could not calculate into the future. He could not foresee events.

In short, Bobby's math's teacher told young Bobby, "that he could not think outside of the box."

The teacher had devised a little test for his class to test their thinking ability. He wanted to see if they could think outside of the square, as he put it.

This is well-known test, and it involves the connecting together of nine dots that have been drawn onto a page.

You must connect them all together by drawing straight lines, not curved lines, and by not taking your pen off from the paper. The most lines you can use to do this with is four, that is with not more than four continuous straight lines.

This puzzle is known as the "nine dots puzzle." Apparently the creator of this idea is unknown.

Picture Credit:

This picture has been freely sourced from the free media site, Wikimedia Commons.

The usually given solution to the nine dots problem

Most people assume here that you are limited to the field of the nine dots.

They assume that they are bounded by the square made by these dots. Have a look at the solution above, (see photo image) and you will see that the usually accepted answer actually moves the lines outside of that square!

Anyway, back to the story again now.

Bobby's teacher drew the nine dots onto his blackboard. He invited members of his class to get up and have a shot at solving his puzzle. Nobody could do it.

Bobby was the only boy who had not even moved from his chair though. It appeared that he had no interest in how this problem could be solved at all.

The teacher, as most good teachers will do, also wanted to involve Bobby in his class.

He said to him, "Come up to the board, Bobby, and at least have a shot at this. You might even prove me wrong, in what I said about you before."

Bobby was a very bright lad actually. He always did think out of the box, but it was his box that he thought out of, not his teacher's expected box. He never gave his teacher the answers that he wanted. Bobby was a bit of a rebel.

Now you must also know here that the teacher had drawn these dots with very big dots onto the black-board.

Read onto the next section to see Bobby's ingenious solution to this problem.

Picture Credit:

This picture has been freely sourced from the free media site, Wikimedia Commons.

Another solution to the problem of the nine dots

Bobby walked up to the board. He picked up a piece of chalk. He solved this problem with only three straight lines.

The teacher was astonished, "But that's not the right answer," he remonstrated, waving his hands and arms around in the air, in a frustrated sort of a way.

Bobby said to him, "It is in the real world. Real dots have substance. It is only in your pretended ideal mathematical world where points have no substance. A point is not a thing, but a place. Your dots though are things! My solution works too!"

Bobby was feeling rather pleased with himself in his having bested his teacher like this.

He had his confidence up. He decided to take this just a little bit further then too.

Bobby told the teacher there are actually many other different solutions to this problem also.

Bobby's teacher scoffed at this, as he replied, "No, my solution is the correct one. But yes, go ahead Bobby, give us another one of your so-called solutions".

Bobby went back to his desk. He opened the wooden lid. He had prepared for this day in advance. He had overheard the maths teacher skiting about his giving of this test to his students to the other teachers, when he had walked past the staff-room, when making his way to the library, the day before.

Bobby took out a can of paint. He also took out from his desk a very large paint-brush.

He went up to the board now, with both of these items in his hands. Quickly now, and before his teacher could step in and stop him, he opened the can of paint. Then he dipped the brush in deeply. Finally now, in one swift movement and stroke of his brush, he drew the one very wide line across all of the dots together.


"See he said," smiling widely, "I have solved your problem now by drawing just the one straight line with my paint-brush."

With that, he gathered his brush, and can of paint, and went and sat back down at his desk, feeling now very satisfied with himself indeed!

Picture credit:

This picture is sourced from the google images pages, and can be used without copyright.

Bobby's future years

Bobby Fischer, (1957 to 2008) did have spatial perception. He had it in spadeful's.

Bobby Fischer went on to become the chess champion of the World in his later life, and he was to my mind arguably the greatest Chess champion of all time.

Like other great people, his teacher was wrong about him too. He dropped out of school to devote his life to chess playing at only sixteen years of age. He knew what he wanted for himself.

"You don't learn anything in school. It's just a waste of time."

This is what Bobby said about school. Perhaps it would be more true to change this to this though.

"I didn't learn anything in school. It was just a waste of time (for me)."

This story is a fictional one about young Bobby, and I remember when this same event happened to me in high school too.

My math's teacher had asked the very same question to his class too, giving them this exact same little logic or cognitive puzzle to solve.

He did not draw it on the board though. He gave it to us on a sheet of paper where he had had it printed on.

My own solution was also a radical one, but then again I was always a bit of a rebel too.

What did I do then? What was my solution?

I simply took my scissors out of my bag. I cut the piece of paper into three strips, three dots in each strip. I then placed the three strips of paper alongside of each other, end to end.

Then taking my pen, I simply drew the one long straight line, right through all of the nine dots, one after another, in the one continual straight line, running right across the three strips of paper!

The teacher said to me then, "But, you weren't meant to cut the paper like that."

I simply replied to him then, "Why not? You didn't say that I couldn't do that, now did you?"

"It’s not about breaking the rules. It is about abandoning the concept of rules altogether."

This is a quote from Paul Lemberg, a business coach, and author.

It is one which both Bobby and I would both agree with!

My father also told me that I had, "a mind of jelly".

He told me that I had no brains, no intelligence, was autistic, and without any natural affection, and yes, he also told me that I too would never be any good at chess. I too, had, "no spatial perception."

I didn't ever do as well as Bobby Fischer did, but I have got a large trophy here on my mantelpiece at home, just the same.

I did win the City Chess Championship here once, with a picket-fence score, as they call it. Eleven straight wins, and no losses! I still hold the record in our city for doing that.


Afterword:

Love must never be boxed in either. Let it run free in your life and follow the path of this love. Go with it to wherever it takes you to. Never be afraid of what love has in store for you in your life.

Picture Credit:

This picture has been freely sourced from the free media site, Wikimedia Commons.

Tags

Bobby Fischer, Breaking The Rules, Chess, Chess Player, Chess Players, Fiction, Fictional Stories, Fictional Story, Nine Dots Puzzle, Short Stories, Short Story, Spatial Perception, Thinking, Thinking Outside The Box, Visualisation, World Chess Champion

Meet the author

author avatar spirited
I have been interested in the spiritual fields for over thirty five years now. My writing is mostly in this area.

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Comments

author avatar brendamarie
29th May 2015 (#)

I love that you pointed out that Bobby did think out of his own box. That is the important thing, I think.

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author avatar spirited
29th May 2015 (#)

yes thanks brendamarie.

The teacher was teaching his class how to think out of the box, but this was only really just to lift the lid a little.

Bobby thought out of the box in his own unique way. If we think out of the box in someone else's way, we really are still in a box!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th May 2015 (#)

Interesting Spirited. It is seen people who really think out of the box become employers to those who strictly think within the box and outscore the former in exams.

Creativity should be encouraged than rote learning. Great minds never really worried about academic results - siva

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author avatar spirited
29th May 2015 (#)

"Great minds never really worried about academic results."

Yes, I agree with that siva. Einstein was a prime example of that too.

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author avatar Retired
30th May 2015 (#)

Thinking out of the box and living on the edge makes all the difference.

Great story, Spirited. There's a lot to learn from it.

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author avatar spirited
31st May 2015 (#)

Thanks Joyesh, I am glad you like it.

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author avatar Carol Roach
1st Jun 2015 (#)

that is wonderful that you did so well, but spatial awareness is refers to location, in space, and the relationships between this location, I have no spatial awarenss, I get lost because I can't see the objects and how it relates in space, such as direction, ewns in relation to me and the sun.

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author avatar spirited
1st Jun 2015 (#)

yes thanks Carol,

Chess requires such an awareness too.

The location of the pieces in the space of the board, and the relationships so formed.

If you can't see how the pieces relate to each other in their spaces from their locations, if you can't connect the dots and get lost trying to hold the connections together spatially in your head it is hard to visualise the future board position.

Spatial awareness in chess is a borrowed term, but chess players know what it refers to.

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author avatar spirited
1st Jun 2015 (#)

I also get lost easily in the mind sense of being lost, in recognising the outer structures of things.

I do not remember faces, or buildings that I have seen before, features of a place, I am never sure enough about to say that I definitely know where I am.

On the other hand though, I have an innate inner sense of where I am, and if someone places me on top of a mountain where I have never been before, I can tell them which direction is the town where I live.

Actually I play chess from the inner sense not from calculation. I seem to know what move is stronger than another, but you can only reach a certain level playing like this, and so my Dad was right in the end, I have no spatial awareness/perception either.

Funny thing is though this could also be partly physical. When I go to place a cup on a table I cannot judge where the edge is, it so annoys me this and I have broken so many dishes because of this.

I have no depth perception.

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author avatar Kingwell
2nd Jun 2015 (#)

Another good post spirited. I do think it's terrible when anyone especially parents or teachers, tell a young person that they will never amount to anything. In your story Bobby teaches us that there are different ways to look at things and not always just one right way to do something. We may not always think outside the box that others see but like Bobby think outside of our box. Blessings.

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author avatar spirited
2nd Jun 2015 (#)

Yes, thanks Kingwell, it really kills the inner fire, dampening it like that, and once dampened, its very hard to reignite it. I have never done so, at least Bobby kept his flame burning for his chess until he won the World Championship, but then unfortunately he was afraid of losing what he had and his flame never blazed like that again. It turned inwards and sadly it only burnt him up then instead.

Our candle must burn both inwardly and outwardly it seems.

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author avatar Adam
5th Sep 2016 (#)

Another good post spirited. I do think it's terrible when anyone especially parents or teachers, tell a young person that they will never amount to anything. In your story Bobby teaches us that there are different ways to look at things and not always just one right way to do something.

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author avatar Adam
5th Sep 2016 (#)

Another good post spirited. I do think it's terrible when anyone especially parents or teachers, tell a young person that they will never amount to anything. In your story Bobby teaches us that there are different ways to look at things and not always just one right way to do something.

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author avatar Adam
5th Sep 2016 (#)

Another good post spirited. I do think it's terrible when anyone especially parents or teachers, tell a young person that they will never amount to anything. In your story Bobby teaches us that there are different ways to look at things and not always just one right way to do something.

this is my blog >>>

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