“The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago that he has forgotten. He sees the whole subject, by now, in such a different light that he cannot conceive what is really troubling the pupil; he sees a dozen other difficulties which ought to be troubling him but aren’t.”
C.S. Lewis. Reflections on the Psalms. Chapter 1.
How often have we been asked for help on something simple when we have launched into an unwanted “fuller explanation” only to exasperate our would-be pupil and waste their time – and ours too, of course.
Note to self: when little Johnny comes for help with his maths homework, just answer the question and remember that he came to Dad only because fellow pupil and best buddy Tiny Tim was unavailable.