Haf-n-Haf

MacKenzie Guynn Every time the math team gets back from a competition, you can count on their announcement to include both of the Hafners. David and Ben Hafner, or Haf-n-Haf, if you will, are the dynamic duo of the year. Their combined intelligence is probably equal to that of Albert Einstein, so that’s pretty cool. But, contrary to popular belief, the Hafner brothers aren’t only math geniuses– so let’s get to know them. Before taking Latin by storm, they attended The Children’s School in Berwyn, Illinois. It has a project-based curriculum and focuses on a more progressive style of teaching. Before sixth grade, they had never taken a math course. Despite the late start, math has become “a personal interest for both of [them] now,” according to David, the younger of the two. They also seemed to have a natural talent for it, no surprise there. “We have never taken two courses at once, but in middle school we were taking more advanced math classes than some of our peers.” David is a sophomore taking Honors BC Calculus. He is also involved in Robotics, the Chess team, the Math team, Cross Country, and Track. Ben is a junior and is taking Multivariable Calculus. He also plays Ultimate Frisbee, is on the Chess team, Math team, Soccer team, and participates in Robotics. You may notice that David and Ben are in many of the same activities, hence their dynamic duo relationship. However, this has caused some competition between the two. They “used to used to compete a lot with each other, and as [they] have gotten older, [they] still compete some, but most of it is nominal.” David goes on to explain that now they usually collaborate rather than compete. But in any sibling relationship, there is bound to be some competition. For example, Ben might argue that elephants are the best animals while David would feel strongly that Steve the cow is the best. But at the end of the day, David and Ben are two individual people. They approach life in different ways. David tries to put his thought process into words: “I constantly find myself not thinking about the task at hand, but rather about how it plays into the larger picture. Rather than try to solve a problem in chemistry, I think about how to generalize the process, and when I am generalizing it, I think about how I could more efficiently generalize scientific problems. I find that this meta-thinking can sometimes be counterproductive, but for the most part I can chose when to use or not use it.” Ben, on the other hand, doesn’t know how his mind works, it just kind of does. While the Math team’s season is over, keep an eye out for the Hafner duo. They have a lot to offer Latin and, on top of it all, they’re really nice guys.]]>