This is capital production in real time. An unplanned, organic exchange effecting both and all around them. Moments like this are high risk because they can point a potent force in a destructive direction if not handled with care. What a privilege for both that Alexander would share this with one of the most intelligent, compassionate, and experienced elders around and at such a critical time in the young man’s life. This is exactly the kind of special moment Judge Caprio has worked so hard to be ready for.
Did you know Rhode Island Department Of Education has an advanced learning program? Check it out!
But only time will tell…
If you haven’t yet watched Judge Caprio’s show Caught in Providence then picture this. The location is Providence, Rhode Island. Francesco “Frank” Caprio is chief municipal judge and for the past few years publishing short highlights of real people dealing with their very real problems. By applying compassion or “balancing the equities”, as his honour might say; he’s gone a long way toward building the trust Providence residents’ have in their local justice system. This is the scene where the most unlikely of moments plays out. By pure happenstance having nothing to do with a 9 year old boy named Alexander, a proud father finds himself visiting with the Judge discussing a very bright future.
These are real people, not actors. Please keep that in mind when you comment. They don’t deserve negative scrutiny. Thank you. — CIP Disclaimer
Edward and his son Alexender walk into court and stand before Judge Caprio. The father carries a folded laptop and some papers. Alexander is eating a chocolate treat.
Edward: Good morning, your honour.
Frank: Good morning, sir. Mr. Setter, you’re charged with parking in a prohibited area. You had a parking violation.
Edward: Ya. It was father’s day and my wife picked up some food from public street and she left the car not even ten minutes. We sent the parking ticket [cheque] by mail. I even have a picture of it in here [lifts laptop/Alexander looks at laptop] dated and everything. I sent it June 18. I dropped it off because I work at night so I dropped it off in the mail box and waited and waited. Nothing came out in our bank account, but as far as I knew it was 30 dollars. Then I received a notice for…
Frank: You sent in a cheque for 30 dollars?
Edward: Ya, cause I’ve never had a parking ticket over the last 30 years.
Frank: Ok. [looking at some documents/ Alexander peels some foil back.]
Edward: But I receive this notice and it’s 90 dollars now.
Frank: [Nods] Ok, this is a parking ticket on a public street. Parking in a prohibited area at 5:41 in the evening. Ok? You indicate that you sent in the 30 dollars and the cheque has never been cashed… and because the city has taken the position that the ticket has not been paid the ticket has now gone from 30 to 90. So you’re saying to me. “I paid the 30 dollars now they want 90 plus the 30 I already paid.” So the question is whether I believe you and I believe you. [Alexander is looking at the judge with more interest than his treat for the first time] This is the only parking ticket you’ve ever received in Providence cause I have your record. Ok? Now who’s this with you?
Edward: My son.
Frank: What’s your name, son?
Alexander: Um… Alexander. [too short for the mic to pic up his little voice]
Frank: What is it?
Edward [into the mic]: Alexander.
Frank: Alexander… how old are you, Alexander?
Frank: Come up here.
Alexander walk around the bailiff and stands beside Judge Caprio and the entire court.
Frank: Ok. What do you want to be when you get older?
Alexander: Umm… a pianist… and an engineer… and a programmer.
Room is stunned. Judge is stunned. Bailiff’’s jaw drops. Father is beaming with pride.
Frank [looking at Edward]: You’re future is secure. He’s going to support you. He’s going to be a pianist. He’s going to be an engineer and a programmer. [to Alexander] Now when you become an engineer you want to build big bridges… big buildings?
Alexander: Umm… no, I just want to… like… build like… new machines. That could reverse aging [judge looks over at Edward] or at least stop aging.
Frank: Well you better stay really close to me cause I could use that. [Chuckles. Turns again to Edward] This is a… you have a very bright young man here.
Edward: Ya. He started reading when he was 3 years old.
Frank: When he was 2 he was reading? [assuming it takes a little practice to pick up the skill. Let me just say I really love the way Frank always tries to see and present people in their best light.]
Frank: He wants to reverse aging.
Edward: He’s already starting on Algebra right now.
Frank: Well he’ll be the most popular guy in the world if he can reduce aging. [turns to Alexander] well don’t give up that pursuit. That’s a wonderful thing that you could try to do. Ok?
Frank: Is your father guilty or not guilty?
Alexander: Umm. Not guilty?
Frank: [Chuckles] You think he’s… not guilty because of what reason?
Alexander: Umm… I think it’s… [squints in frustration]
Frank: Because he’s paid the ticket already?
Alexander: I think.
Frank: He says to me he paid the ticket. Was he telling the truth?
Frank: Ok, that solves it. [to Edward] He says your truthful. You have an unbelievable young man here.
Edward: Thank you.
Frank [to Alexander]: If you could do anything in the world right now what would you do?
Alexander: I wanted… I would want to… umm… get… get some cardboard and then build my prototype for the reverse aging machine.
Frank: If you had one wish for the world what would that be?
Alexander [without skipping a beat]: Probably Immortality. [9 years old!]
Frank: …and peace in the world.
Frank: Ok, I agree with that. Shake hands. [they shake] You’ve got a bright future. [clapping]
Absolutely extraordinary the way the world can still surprise us. This kid, and others like him, are the future proteges good teachers dream of. They’re gonna make history. Every generation has its champions, but the broader world has many different twists and turns as we all discover in short order.
Let’s hope Alexander and his family “stumble” into some educational opportunities that puts that potential to constructive devise. Any university in the world would like to see this kind of ambition in their students. Let’s make sure it happens for Alexander. He entered the zeitgeist for a reason.