Patch Whiz Kid of the Week: Daniel Garrett Flynn, age 11
Whiz Kid's School: Lawrence Elementary School
Whiz Kid's Interests: Reading encyclopedias, joke books, and really any book he can get his hands on!
Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness: His unique sense of humor and his interest in all things quirky-factual.
Danny is a 5th-grader at Lawrence Elementary School. He is the third of four boys in his loving family.
“With three brothers in the house, it can sometimes get a little rough, like if we are playing a sport in the back yard we might end up finishing playing the sport in the living room. Like, just the other day we accidentally knocked over a lamp. The lamp survived, but the light bulb didn’t.”
What makes Danny special is he loves reading and he loves books; his mother reports that he will read as many as six books at the same time. There is a stack of books next to his bed, tucked away in every nook and cranny of the house, on the kitchen table when he is eating, and in his backpack if he ever gets bored. She once even caught him reading a book in the bathroom instead of showering, and that is a problem in a household of six people who are all waiting to use the shower, too!
“I’m interested in kinda like, interesting facts that are like, just random. I’m not really sure why. Some of my favorite books are like, just devoted to facts, and I even have an app on my Ipod Touch just for getting a random fact.”
Daniel doesn’t just read any old book, this young man loves big books like encyclopedias! His thirst for knowledge and desire to know all-facts-quirky knows no bounds. Dan has a great capacity to memorize jokes and interesting facts about all kinds of topics. If he hears about a topic that he doesn’t know anything about, he will go online and research it to death, per his mother. That makes Daniel Flynn a walking, talking, living and breathing volume of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Danny has a very effective way of incorporating his interest in facts into his friendships and his schoolwork; he will prepare random PowerPoint presentations about topics and facts, whether or not the assignment was given to him by his teacher. His mother notes that he uses his quirky facts to be engaging to other people and to make friends. She sees that he uses humor to overcome any social predicaments that smart kids may experience and he uses his knowledge and humor to make friends. In the process, he avoids becoming a target of teasing.
For the upcoming school talent show at Lawrence Elementary School Danny is going to be an emcee.
“Since I’m in 5th grade and we are the head class in the school, they wanted a 5th grade student who don’t have any trouble being in front of a crowd. So me and my friend volunteered to emcee the Talent Show. I like to be in front of a crowd because we like to memorize comedy skits like the Abbott & Costello’s Who’s on First? skit. Sometimes I memorize short puns like, What’s brown and sticky? A stick! Another one that I like is, What do you call two bananas? A pair of slippers! Ha!”
Dan continues, “Did you know that the word “news” actually comes from a combination of the words north, east, west and south--if you take the first letters of those compass points it spells out the word NEWS! Really, that’s where the word came from!”
I asked Danny what he wanted to be when he grows up.
“Well, uhhmm, I haven’t exactly decided that yet, but I’d like it if I ended up as a sports announcer like in baseball or basketball or football. Or as a comedian. I like making people laugh, I like to think fast, and I like sports.”
Remember his name because I am pretty confident that you’ll someday see Daniel Garrett Flynn either announcing for the Red Sox or doing stand-up comedy in Vegas.