Rare and Valuable Talents Might be Discovered in that Young Head!
I remember witnessing a jaw-dropping ability in an eleven year-old. The child had no clue he possessed the gift. That day changed his life and mine. The occasion was a reflection/refraction workshop I gave at a middle school in Virginia. At these events I introduce the intriguing, magical art of anamorphosis. As you probably know, anamorphoscopes are optical illusion devices comprised of 2 parts – an unrecognizable, twisted drawing (the morph) and a cylindrical mirror (the decoder). You position the decoder on the morph and all at once the drawing “mirror-aculously” reflects as perfectly normal!
I engaged my young audience by demonstrating three amazing ancient anamorphoscopes. (Lots of “oohs and ahhs”.) Then, before l lowered the mirror onto the fourth morph (displayed below), I challenged the children to call out their predictions what its reflection will reveal. Guesses were way off base…until a sole voice in the packed amphitheater called out “Marilyn Monroe!”
I was astonished. “Wow! You got it!” I uttered and slowly lowered the decoder onto the morph. The room grew quiet. All faces swung upward toward the child. Slack-jawed and delighted, his classmates demanded to know, “What? How did you do that?” “How did you figure it out?” He simply said, “I just see it.” (This child, I learned later – a former outlier – achieved a kind of superstar status that day.)