# “All right,” she said. “Inductive reasoning. It’s what those so-called detectives on CSI, SVU, LMNOP and all the rest of them call deductive reasoning, which is wrong and they should know better. It’s inductive reasoning, a tool you will use frequently in geometry as well as calculus and trigonometry, assuming you get that far and that certainly won’t be you, Jacquon. Stop messing with that girl’s hair and pay attention. Your grade on that last test was so low I had to write it on the bottom of my shoe.” Mrs. Washington glared at Jacquon until his face melted. She began again: “Inductive reasoning is reasoning to the most likely explanation. It begins with one or more observations, and from those observations we come to a conclusion that seems to make sense. All right. An example: Jacquon was walking home from school and somebody hit him on the head with a brick twenty-five times. Mrs. Washington and her husband, Wendell, are the suspects. Mrs. Washington is five feet three, a hundred and ten pounds, and teaches school. Wendell is six-two, two-fifty, and works at a warehouse. So who would you say is the more likely culprit?” Isaiah and the rest of the class said Wendell. “Why?” Mrs. Washington said. “Because Mrs. Washington may have wanted to hit Jacquon with a brick twenty-five times but she isn’t big or strong enough. Seems reasonable given the facts at hand, but here’s where inductive reasoning can lead you astray. You might not have all the facts. Such as Wendell is an accountant at the warehouse who exercises by getting out of bed in the morning, and before Mrs. Washington was a schoolteacher she was on the wrestling team at San Diego State in the hundred-and-five-to-hundred-and-sixteen-pound weight class and would have won her division if that blond girl from Cal Northridge hadn’t stuck a thumb in her eye. Jacquon, I know your mother and if I tell her about your behavior she will beat you ’til your name is Jesus.” The”

Joe Ide,
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