Outcomes Offered

■ Being careful about jumping to conclusions

■ Assessing the beliefs you are forming

Sally put up her hand. "Please, ma'am, can I be excused?" She needed to go the toilet. She had just entered the cubicle and sat down when she heard the voice from the next cubicle say, "Hi, how are you?"

This is weird, thought Sally; kids don't usually talk to each other in the toilet. She didn't recognize the voice but Sally had been brought up to be polite, to speak when you are spoken to, and all those sorts of things, so she replied, "Eh, fine. How are you?"

"I'm okay," came the voice from the next cubicle. "What are you doing?"

That seemed a bit of a rude, personal question to ask someone when they were both sitting in the toilet, thought Sally. Yet she was polite, and answered, "Eh, the same as you, I suppose."

"How did you do on the exams? What did you think of the math test?" the voice inquired. "Okay, I think." said Sally. Maybe the girl with the voice is just trying to be friendly, she thought. "Math doesn't worry me. Actually I like it and was happy with the test." "Do you think you passed?" the voice asked.

"I think so, but I'm still glad they're finished. What about you? How did you do?" asked Sally. "I might have scraped through," continued the voice. "Say, what are you doing at the weekend? Would you like to celebrate with a sleepover at my house?"

Sally was taken by surprise. How do you answer such a question by someone you don't even know, except as a voice in the cubicle beside you? It was kind of the girl, thought Sally. She seemed friendly enough, but do you just go to a stranger's house for the night? What would her mother say when she tried to explain this one?

"Thank you," answered Sally. "That is a kind invitation but I think I will need to check with my parents first."

"Listen," came an irate-sounding reply, "I got excused from class so I could talk to you. Now there is this idiot in the next cubicle who keeps answering all my questions. I'm going to have to hang up and call you back later."

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