There are stories of rubber ducky (or teddy bear) problem solving, where the only thing that a person needs to do to solve a particular problem is articulate that problem to someone else, or in this case, something else. This leads to stories of engineers being able to solve their problems by explaining them to inanimate objects. When I explained this to my family, I suggested that I might want a rubby duck for Christmas, so that I would have something to explain my programming problems to.
So it was great fun to get a rubby duck for Christmas from my sister. She added a little story to it, projecting what Jules (the rubber duck) would be doing with me as I work on my programs. (She hadn’t read the wikipedia article that I linked to.)
Jules went through the papers, carefully picking up each sheet with his small orange bill. But Jules wasn’t really paying much attention to the papers. Nope. He was juggling complicated math problems and arranging and rearranging a line of ones and zeros in his head. He sighed; some problems are just too tough for a duck. This is what he’d been trained to do. But up ‘til know he’d only known the basics. And well, it was a lot easier to learn things in the training course.
Jules dropped the paper that was in his bill. He was tired. And the ones and zeros within his mind were in a dreadful brawl. A tall proud One had said to a pleasant chum of a Zero that he was fat! And well one thing had followed another…Jules yawned. He didn’t have the time or energy to sort it all out now. Jules set off clambering over mountains of paper. And twisting through mazes of knick-knacks that lay strewn across the desk.
Finally he came to a stop, looking at a crumpled snow white shirt. “Good,” he said quietly “it will do.” With that Jules started to wiggle his stout little body into the armhole. Jules now fully in the armhole had stopped wiggling and was resting his head against the soft material. It was warm and cozy. “Peaceful,” Jules thought as he slowly drifted off…
It’s awesome to have someone go the extra mile on a gift like that.
Published January 11th, 2014