One semester when my brother, Peter, attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, an art-student friend of his asked if he could paint Peter's portrait for a class assignment. Peter agreed, and the art student painted and submitted the portrait, only to receive a C minus.
The art student approached the professor to ask why the grade was so poor. The teacher told him that the proportions in the painting were incorrect.
"The head is too big," the professor explained. "The shoulders are too wide, and the feet are enormous."
The next day, the art student brought Peter to see the professor. He took one look at my brother and said, "Okay, A minus."
One day during cooking class, the teacher, Mrs. Jones, was extolling her secrets for preparing perfect sauces. When she ordered us to the stoves to prepare our assignments, she said, "Don't forget to use wooden spoons."
As I stirred my sauce, I contemplated the physics behind the mystery of the wooden spoon, and decided it must have something to do with heat conduction. I approached Mrs. Jones to test my theory.
"Why wooden spoons?" I asked.
"Because," she replied, "if I have to sit here listening to twenty-three metal spoons banging against metal pots, I'll go nuts."
Our 15-year-old daughter, Melanie, had to write a report for school about World War II, specifically D-Day and the invasion of Normandy.
"Isn't there a movie about that?" she asked.
I told her there was, but I couldn't think of the name.
Then it came to her, "Oh, I remember! Isn't it something like 'Finding Private Nemo'?"