Wednesday, May 7, 2008

World's Tallest Woman

Today's posting continues a series on lessons I use to keep the idea for learning alive with the boys aged 6-9 that I find myself tutoring this school year. For those of you with kids, you know how hard it is to control the short attention spans kids have at that age, especially boys. So, I've come up with little lessons that keep them interested and anxious to learn. Here's one about the current title holder of the world's tallest woman:

Yao Defen was born in 1972 and is listed in Guinness World Records as the tallest female in the world. After 3 days of measuring (in the morning, afternoon, at midnight) it was confirmed that she is, generally, 7 feet, 8 inches (233.6 cm) tall. She weighs about 440 lbs (200 kg). Her gigantism is due to a tumor in her pituitary gland.

She was born to poor farmers in the town of Liuan in Anhui province.

At birth she weighed 6.16 pounds. At age 3 she was eating more than 3 times the amount of food that other 3 year-olds were eating.

When she was 11 years old she was about 6 feet 2 inches tall. She was 6 feet 8 inches tall by the age of 15.

The story of this "woman giant" began to spread rapidly after she went to see a doctor at age 15 for an illness. After that, many companies attempted to train her to be a talented sports star. However, the plans were discarded because Defen was too weak.

Because she is illiterate, since 1992 Yao Defen has been forced to earn a living by traveling with her father and performing.

Defen currently suffers from hypertension, heart disease, poor nutrition and osteoporosis. She also has acute acromegaly (or gigantism) as a result of a tumor in her pituitary gland that causes excess growth hormone secretion. Find out more about current title holders in the strangest categories at:

Research info gathered at:

Now, here's one of my poem that weaars big shoes too:

Sylvia Plath, Awaiting Our Applause

The eggs.

The boiling water.

And an empty salt shaker.

Or it could be a poem filled with streets and
sewers and a thick overcast that burns off
at noon. You know, the kind that seems to
hop around on that good leg it broke falling
from a branch high up in the tree of life. And
it might wear an exotic apron stolen from
the kitchen of illicit greasy spoons. Or it might
be a pustule camouflaged on a parking meter
only a stanza could come from. One unpolluted
stop sign. A couple of left-winged construction
cranes. A billboard sacred to lip-synch. And if
you happen to take the alternative way to the
dry cleaners you could drive right by a rundown
elementary school with a playground longing for
its muse to repair the lopsided merry-go-round.
You have plenty of time to prepare to applause.
As for me, I have a blind date with a wrist slasher
who’s online profile is innocent and cruel too. It
will be dressed in an orange jumpsuit and will be
carrying a plank card implying that every faith is
created by infidels and that even the path to the
Pearly Gates leads straight to hell.

Poem first published at:
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