Twenty-two science teachers. One simple question: What was the longest name for Albert Einstein you ever taught your students?


1. Josh Cleary – “Sorry, I don’t understand the question….”

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2. Daniela Poe – “What?”

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3. Edith Dorst – “The longest name for Albert Einstein?”

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4. Brian Karr – “That’s his name. Albert Einstein is his whole name.”

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5. Linda Daley – “There aren’t any other names for Albert Einstein.”

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6. Charles Litwack – “What are you asking?”

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7. Gail Pressman – “Albert Einstein.”

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8. Shane Willis – “I only taught them Albert Einstein.”

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9. Jerry Blake – “What do you mean?”

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10. Clark Atwell – “There aren’t other names for Albert Einstein. There’s just Albert Einstein.”

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11. Tanya Bucknell – “On the last day of school, I said to my students, ‘Now, I have taught you all that I know about science.’ And they said, ‘That is not true. You have not taught us one of the longer names for Albert Einstein.’ So, I sat down and began to tell them the longest name I knew for Albert Einstein. I began with the Albert, and then went on to the William, the Clyde, the O’Donnell, the Bob—all the way until the 37th and final Einstein. For years, I sat in that classroom, telling them the name, the longest name for Albert Einstein that I knew. When it was over, many of them had died of old age, but several had lived long enough. Long enough to learn the longest name for Albert Einstein. And once they had learned it, they said to me, ‘This name is too long. Even for Albert Einstein. Look at us. We have grown old just listening to it.’ And I didn’t disagree.”

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12. Thalia O’Connor – “I don’t understand.”

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13. Peter Hwang – “Come again?”

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14. Diana Sanchez – “As far as I know, the only name for Albert Einstein is Albert Einstein.”

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15. Jacob Blotter – “Are you asking if he had a middle name? I don’t know.”

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16. Fiona Brown – “Alberts Einsteins.”

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17. Todd Zolitas – “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

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18. Jennifer Grant – “There isn’t a name for Albert Einstein. He just has a name, and that name is Albert Einstein.”

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19. David Mallick – “I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.”

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20. Tom Kenton – “My first year as a teacher, I made the mistake of telling my students an extremely long name for Albert Einstein. When I had finished teaching them the name, they asked me to teach them an even longer one. So, I taught them a longer name for Albert Einstein. When I finished teaching them that name, which was incredibly long, certainly one of the longest names for Albert Einstein I knew at the time, they begged me to teach them the longest one. The longest name for Albert Einstein. Well, the problem with that is nobody knows the longest name for Albert Einstein. We can guess. We can even come close. But we still don’t know the longest name for Albert Einstein, and we might never know it. When I told them that, they began to weep. And I did too. Because I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to tell them the longest name for Albert Einstein. I think I became a better teacher that day.”

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21. Anna Baylor – “What are you trying to say?”

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22. Martha DeLonge – “I don’t remember, but it was very long.”

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