Childhood misconceptions

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Voco
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Voco » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:47 am UTC

sweet_concorde wrote:I also thought that the offering trays in church were put into some kind of contraption like the tubes used at drive-through banks, and that all the money went straight up to God. We were paying him so that he would do the things we asked him to do in the prayers.


I thought this too, except that I figured the tubes just went to the back somewhere. I had a really hard time understanding that people did things by hand--I assumed that everything, at some point, had to be put into a machine to be processed.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Kurushimi » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:49 am UTC

I learned that sugar and spice and everything nice doesn't actually create the Powerpuff Girls. (And, yes, I'm a dude. I liked that show when I was little. >_>)

I thought there was actually a last digit to Pi.

And, I thought the same thing as sweet_concorde as well .

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby bakerstacy » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:25 am UTC

I came across this thread and read back from the first post, laughing for a good hour. I thank everyone for sharing what I now find to be some of my favorite kinds of memories from their own childhoods. We're really not all so different, are we... :D

Story One
I grew up in New England. In the smaller towns across the six states that comprise this region (as is in NY, PA and throughout Europe) the whole town centered on a church, either something like miniature Canterburys or Notre Dames, brooding and pretentious; or delicate woodwork in virginal ivory as depicted in every postcard from a New England foliage watching trip.
(spoilers used as cuts for example pictures because I love a good visual - I'm totally someone who would give slideshow parties after my vacations if my friends would let me)
Spoiler:
Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image Image Image
There are a few things that all of these churches have in common, steeples of large proportion, tower rooms and lofts for bells.
All dirt roads and cow paths lead to the church, and so did the roads they were cobble stoned, bricked and paved. All roads leading to the church meant that the first intersections to get stop signals were often near the town's center piece, the church. As we were driving around in rural America, where one could journey through 'one stoplight' town after 'one stoplight' town, I asked my dad how it was that traffic lights knew to change colors when the cars were there. My dad replied, well there are trolls that live in the church steeples that change the lights. The fantastic stories that this spawned while driving in the car kept me as enthralled as in-car televisions do today. (If we see some of the 5 year olds of today in twenty years speaking fondly of the times spent watching movies in the mini van, I'll eat a 5 1/4 floppy disk)

Number Two
Another frequent sight along New England roads is the following yellow caution sign:
Spoiler:
Image
I think I wondered on and off until I reached driving age how on earth some rocket scientist thought it was a good idea to let blind people drive...

And last, my favorite
Behind a spoiler so people won't hate me too badly for a very long post.
Spoiler:
I'm going to date myself here, probably more than I'd care to admit but it's a worthy cause. I remember a time when we had both BETA and VHS tapes piled next to the TV set, (no one calls it a TV set anymore, do they... *sigh*) liberally used in the video cassette players owned by way of 'trickle-down-technology economics'.
Image not my actual TV set, but close enough for the visual aid

I remember coming home after kindergarten classes, anxious for the highlight of my afternoon; my favorite television program (yes, not show, but program) 3-2-1 Contact. I'd dash into the living room and plop down on the mustard yellow shag carpet and wait for my mom to perform the secret magical ritual that brought the television to life.
Imagebehold, a cable converter box so even poor folks with hand-me-down television sets that were *gasp* not cable ready could enjoy the modern splendor of not having to stand on one foot holding rabbit ears to get in the evening news! What you can't tell from the picture is that it's a black box - we got hbo free. They talk about stealing movies today as if it were new. pshaw. My folks were some old skool hax0rs

We had strict television viewing rules in our house, only they weren't rules that one could break per se, they were more laws of nature. It was explained to me that there was a finite amount of television available, so it was in fact possible to use up all of the television. Therefore, we all had to very carefully decide what we would watch so everyone would get their fair share of television time. If, for example, you were to wander out of the living room and leave the television on, you could ruin family television time later that evening, when the whole family was planning on piling on the couch with popcorn to watch the debut of Short Circuit on cable. Behold my parents clever avoidance of fighting to get their children to go outside and play, to read a book, or listen to dad tell stories about church trolls. But what really made this absolute genius is this; we kids had no idea of the existence of remote controls. The television was turned on by pushing the right buttons and turning the appropriate knobs and that was as far as our universe went. The sun revolved around us, the earth was flat and you had to get up to change the channel.

The remote control was cleverly hidden in the safest child free zone in the house; the top of the refrigerator. So after 3-2-1 Contact was over, I was supposed to turn the television off and go and read or go ride my bike. But there sooo many good programs after... Well, the voices of my better angels were shouted down by my impish demons n my head and I'd try to sneak some extra tv time in. My mother would slip into the room as silent as a ninja and power off the tv with the remote reclaimed from it's high perch. I would then of course, do what any young kid would do; panic! Oh no, oh no, I used up all the tv time. I had to hide. I had to get rid of the evidence. I had to blame it on my younger brother. Then, like clockwork, I would hear my mother call from over the sink of dishes she was washing, inquiring after my goings on in the all too quiet living room. I can still hear her walking into the living room, calling me by first and middle name, and admonishing me for using up all the tv time and how could I be so selfish...

Outside of the lingering guilt complex (which would have happened anyway as my whole family is Roman Catholic), I have to say, it was quite brilliant. I was at least 9 or 10 before I knew of remote controls and by this point I had read our entire encyclopedia set, every Nancy Drew book ever written, most of Stephen King's published works, and the time life series mysteries of the unknown.

I should apologize for the length of this post. Pithiness, like punctuality, has never been an overly developed character trait for me.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:38 pm UTC

bakerstacy wrote:*stories*
I can't tell if your parents are mean or awesome or both.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Naurgul » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:05 pm UTC

My vote goes to "Both". I have a question about the last story, though: If you read the encyclopaedia so often, wouldn't you come across how a TV worked too soon for this trick to have worked for so long?
Last edited by Naurgul on Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:46 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Lizabeff » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:22 pm UTC

I think I love your parents.
I always used to think that the words 'esophagus', 'sarcophagus' and 'asparagus' were completely interchangeable. This led to lots of confusion when I first started learning about Egyptian mythology (Egyptian mythology being pyramids which were always, and mummies coming to eat you in your sleep - I had lovely teachers). I had no idea why I always got funny looks when the class was asked where the dead Egyptians were put.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

Ooh, I remembered one: I thought Chevron gas was made specially for Chevrolet cars. Like HP inks.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby mr p » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:57 pm UTC

This one's from my childhood:
Once when I went to visit my grandma in a big city I got to ride with the black-skinned (probably African) train driver, which was really fun because I used to be a train freak in younger years. I had never seen such a man before; I used to live in a much smaller city.
Anyway, later that day when me and my granny went up an escalator I saw another black man and exclaimed; "Look grandma! It's the train driver!" -- pretty logical, but I got it explained to me later. :oops:
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Waldo » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

:lol: Reminds me of the time when I was maybe 4 or 5; I was at the market with my mother. I pointed at some random black guy and shouted, "Look mom! It's O.J. Simpson!" This was around the time he was on trial (the first time)

Also, I'm not sure it's a misconception per se, but when I was really young (and small) I had a really terrible sense of scale. For example, I was sure my tiny kiddie bike with it's 9" wheels was the same size as a normal, adult-sized bike. After all, adults were human and their bikes fit them, and I was human and my bike fit me, so they had to be the same size! Somehow, direct comparisons made no difference in my impressions.

Around that same age I was also sure that I was at least as tall as a car was wide, and that this somehow made me immune to being run over.

I was a strange, dumb little kid... :lol:
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby mypsychoticself » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:22 pm UTC

I thought that trees were aware (I mean, they knew which direction is up, didn't they?)
For a while I thought that left and right were always in the same direction (like east and west).
Once I asked my aunt what it was like to be dead.
I knew that we had suffered each as other,
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Mokele » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:11 pm UTC

I use to think that people died on their birthdays, and that's why they said so-and-so died at age 83 rather than 83 years, 2 months, and 4 days.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby singlefin » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:14 pm UTC

Mokele wrote:I use to think that people died on their birthdays, and that's why they said so-and-so died at age 83 rather than 83 years, 2 months, and 4 days.


Did that make you nervous on your birthdays or invincible every other day? Or both?

I used to think "drink driving" was drinking *while* you were driving. And not just alcohol - take a swig of coke and you'd stack it into a tree straight away.

On the other hand, anything you drank before getting into the car didn't count.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby The Scyphozoa » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:24 am UTC

mypsychoticself wrote:For a while I thought that left and right were always in the same direction (like east and west).

Yes, that too.
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3rdtry wrote:If there ever is another World War, I hope they at least have the decency to call it "World War 2: Episode One"

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby LinuxPenguin » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:32 pm UTC

singlefin wrote:I used to think "drink driving" was drinking *while* you were driving. And not just alcohol - take a swig of coke and you'd stack it into a tree straight away.



Could be true in some situations... My car hasn't got a cup holder, so, hmm... one hand to steer, one hand to work the shifter (manual gearbox). That doesn't leave any hands for drink containment!
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Grop » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:29 am UTC

You do it wrong, because you don't steer and change gear 100% of the time, and, when not steering, you may old both the wheel and a glass with one hand.

Now, because this is related to security: don't do it at home :P.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby AJR » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:12 am UTC

Waldo wrote:Also, I'm not sure it's a misconception per se, but when I was really young (and small) I had a really terrible sense of scale. For example, I was sure my tiny kiddie bike with it's 9" wheels was the same size as a normal, adult-sized bike. After all, adults were human and their bikes fit them, and I was human and my bike fit me, so they had to be the same size! Somehow, direct comparisons made no difference in my impressions.

Around that same age I was also sure that I was at least as tall as a car was wide, and that this somehow made me immune to being run over.

I did a version of that: we were at the top of a hill, and I could see the car park at the bottom of the hill. In what might be described on Teh Interwebs as a perspective fail, I asked "can I go down and play with the toy cars?" :D

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby LinuxPenguin » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

Grop wrote:You do it wrong, because you don't steer and change gear 100% of the time, and, when not steering, you may old both the wheel and a glass with one hand.


Well, d'uh, but, the point still stands. There is nowhere to put a drink! I always keep at least one hand on the wheel while the car is moving, so, if i'm holding the drink w. the other hand...
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:31 am UTC

LinuxPenguin wrote:Well, d'uh, but,

Apparently I was under the misconception that "duh" is not a contraction. WHA?
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3rdtry wrote:If there ever is another World War, I hope they at least have the decency to call it "World War 2: Episode One"

doogly wrote:murder is a subset of being mean

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Grop » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:56 am UTC

LinuxPenguin, I don't know how you parsed "[h]old both the wheel and a glass with one hand", but I didn't mean to be very serious anyway. It's something I do, but there's nothing wrong if you can't do it.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby thejohnli » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:06 am UTC

I thought that people could explode randomly for no reason, and that I was the smartest person in the world. I thought I was the best kid in the world.
Now, I know I"m an idiot. ._.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Lizabeff » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:02 am UTC

Thanks to the explanations of machinery from my mother, I used to think that all machines were sentient. She used to say things like 'when the tumble drier thinks the clothes aren't wet anymore' or 'the car will stop blinking when it thinks we've turned the corner', and that scared the hell out of me when I watched Matrix.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Gears » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:20 am UTC

What you don't know, is that she is speaking the truth. Hasn't anyone told you?
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Walter.Horvath » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:25 pm UTC

You're so cute when you get into something.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Ended » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

I remember thinking that 1.2 was equal to one and a half, 1.3 equal to one and a third, 1.4 equal to one and a quarter, and so on. My mum then explained the actual meaning of decimals, which I thought to be completely illogical. I was also convinced that numbers could have several decimal points, and got very confused trying to work out what they would signify.

In church when people would give the response 'Thanks be to God', I thought they were saying 'Thanks Peter God'. I wondered who Peter God was and why everyone was so grateful to him. I had an Uncle called Peter who was pretty cool, and I kind of thought that he must be Peter God, that maybe he helped out with the church or something and that's why everyone thanked him.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby HarleyQuinn » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:08 pm UTC

I used to think that there was some really complex system to running the bases in baseball. I could never understand that you just run straight to it. Also, as mentioned on the first page, I never say the "D" in Disney until a few years ago. Oh, and I assumed cartoons were made when people dressed up in suits and were taped.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:33 pm UTC

HarleyQuinn wrote:I used to think that there was some really complex system to running the bases in baseball. I could never understand that you just run straight to it. Also, as mentioned on the first page, I never say the "D" in Disney until a few years ago. Oh, and I assumed cartoons were made when people dressed up in suits and were taped.

I assumed that, because cartoons were drawn, and my Super Mario 64 game was kind of like a cartoon, someone had hand-drawn every single possible frame of the game.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Walter.Horvath » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:26 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
HarleyQuinn wrote:I used to think that there was some really complex system to running the bases in baseball. I could never understand that you just run straight to it. Also, as mentioned on the first page, I never say the "D" in Disney until a few years ago. Oh, and I assumed cartoons were made when people dressed up in suits and were taped.

I assumed that, because cartoons were drawn, and my Super Mario 64 game was kind of like a cartoon, someone had hand-drawn every single possible frame of the game.

Me too, and when I learned the basics of C++ and Basic and standard programming languages, I thought that pressing 'A' would be validating an If command, and the same picture would run in a loop until you forced your way out by using controller input!

I also remember two separate, embarrassing events. The first one was in a day in the winter-springish time of my Kindergarten year. In the car loop, I forgot my age/grade. So I looked outside, and saw 'K' printed on the building. 'That can't be right', I thought, 'I have to be much older than that!' From that day on, I believed that sometime in 2nd grade I'd travel back in time, and that's how plausible time travel works, duh. :(

The second: At 11, before church in a roundabout. I forgot my age. What am I supposed to do, ask my mother and play it off as a joke? I convinced myself for awhile there that I was 12.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:31 pm UTC

Also, I used to think that all of the colleges in the world were in the United States, until I learned about Oxford, Sarbonne, etc. Then I thought, "Well, a great majority of them, anyway."

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby i_ll_winn » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:43 am UTC

I used to think that everyone thought in english, because thats how I thought! It confused me to learn other languages existed.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby thejohnli » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:59 pm UTC

I thought that the US controlled the entire world and everyone else just did what we said. XD
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby kcsand » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:41 pm UTC

H.E.L.e.N. wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
keozen wrote:
MoonBuggy wrote:I thought I could fly. I had lucid, recurring dreams that I was able to fly around my house, and didn't believe anyone who told me they weren't real. Yes, it was awesome.


I used to have very lucid dreams that I could fly by doing breaststroke in the air and then literally "swim" up, down anywhere I wanted to go.

I also used to have a recurring theme that I could almost "glide" along if I lifted my legs up while walking, only having to pop my feet down now and again.


Wait, you too? You're the only person I've ever met who has to "swim" in order to fly.


This is also how my dreams of flying work. And I was also convinced they were real.


AHHH! me too! this is the first time i've ever met someone w/ that same dream as me! I've had it sooo many times. wow. and i was so convinced it was true, that I tried to fly off my bed, but it didn't work. ow.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby wst » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:07 am UTC

I used to think my mum closed her right leg in the door every time she drove with me in the car. (UK)
I was seated in the left rear seat and from my angle could only see her left leg. I couldn't figure out where her right leg went. I figured there was some kind of prosthetic thing. Anyway, when I sat in the front seat for the first time I was amazed.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby guyy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:51 am UTC

thejohnli wrote:I thought that the US controlled the entire world and everyone else just did what we said. XD


Most of our politicians still think this. But you probably knew that already.

kcsand wrote:*multiquote snip*
AHHH! me too! this is the first time i've ever met someone w/ that same dream as me! I've had it sooo many times. wow. and i was so convinced it was true, that I tried to fly off my bed, but it didn't work. ow.


I never have flying dreams...pretty much everything else that doesn't make sense, but never flying without a vehicle. I don't know why.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Kayube » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:32 am UTC

From my limited understanding of Mad Magazine, I thought "horny" meant you liked seeing people naked. (Which is SORT OF true...) After too many times of people walking in on me in the bathroom, I said it to one of them. Yeah, I got in trouble for it.

Also, when I first got Pokemon, I had both Red and Blue versions. I played Red first, but then I found a Pikachu, beat it, and then couldn't find another one. I didn't realize that the Pokemon had different rarities at the time, so I thought I killed all the Pikachus and couldn't get one. So I switched to Blue version.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby eekmeep » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:53 am UTC

Not mine ~ my dad had black and white TV till he was about 13. That year, "The Wizard of Oz" really blew him away.

Car alternators are REALLY expensive ... like thousands of dollars ... because when ours died it really worried my mom.

The "Little House on the Prairie" books were grown-up literature (they were my first chapter, non-picture books, I think).

Since "Little House" was a true story, the "Little House" TV show must also be true.

Like someone else, cavemen and dinosaurs lived at the same time.

I knew the penis got bigger and went into the vagina. I thought it got to be, like, 6 feet long. And that the vagina led to some sort of tube, kind of like the intestine, so it would fit.

My niece, whose mom is a stay-at-home, upon first seeing her dad naked: Daddy has a big vagina!

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Gears » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:11 am UTC

My first understanding of atoms led me to believe there was an atom for everything. Kool-Aid atoms. Seawater Atoms. Normal water atoms. Atoms, not molecules. And when you mixed anything, it would become a new atom, or something. You know what I mean.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Namaps » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:28 am UTC

At various ages in my childhood I thought:

-When someone died they turned into a pile of bones in a matter of a few seconds (just like in Warcraft, right?)

-God was like Santa Claus, in that it was just something adults told kids about to get them to behave. If it was impossible for Santa to know everything, why would it be possible for God? (Incidentally, learning that my parents lied to me about Santa really shook my faith in the goodness of humanity in general)

-"Sperm" was a blue liquid the same consistency as water and that if a couple wanted to have kids they needed to act fast while the man was leaking his blue liquid, because it didn't last long. (Also, kissing was the ultimate form of romance. Sex was just a baby-making chore.)

-Only cool kids could solve Rubik's cubes and that's why I couldn't do it.

-Tiberium crystals (as in Command and Conquer) actually existed. I wanted to get a job harvesting it.

-I had a recurring dream where a six inch tall version of the imps from the original Doom (if you're noticing a recurring theme, my dad let me play a lot of video games when I was really little, and my mom would always scold him for letting me) would hide in my toothpaste drawer and kill me by shooting me with the toothpaste. I eventually confused this dream with reality and was scared of brushing my teeth every night. I would tell my mom but she would just brushed it off as me not wanting to brush, but I was truly, deathly terrified.

-Albert Einstein was still alive.

-Every girl gets full grown breasts in the summer between 5th and 6th grade, and if they didn't something was wrong

-Half of five was three, because if you wrote out "1 2 3 4 5," three was in the middle.


I also have a good friend who believed in cooties until the 7th grade. There's not much in recent memory where I laughed as much as I did when he told me that.

EDIT: I just remembered, there was one point where I convinced myself that different colored m&ms were different flavors. I can't remember what I thought they all were except blue was Sprite flavored (as in the soda)
Last edited by Namaps on Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:51 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Alpha Omicron
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Alpha Omicron » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:12 am UTC

Only cool kids could solve Rubik's cubes
Actually true.
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Hefty One
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Hefty One » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:51 pm UTC

When I was a child I remember thinking a sheet of paper was 2-dimensional.

eekmeep
Posts: 169
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby eekmeep » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:37 am UTC

One more. "Yonder" is an actual place. Spent my first few years in North Carolina, and our neighbor always said she was "going over yonder." But she always gestured in different directions. I was very confused.

My mom finally explained, "Wherever you are, yonder is somewhere else."


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