(photo credit: AP)
It certainly beats "the dog ate my homework."
Gil Kornberg, 10, a pupil at the Tali Bayit V'Gan school in Jerusalem, happens to be the son of the new Nobel chemistry laureate Prof. Roger Kornberg.
On Wednesday, when news of the award came through, "Gil came back from school to his grandmother's house. There was a great commotion of endless phone calls, and he forgot to do his English homework," said his mother, Yahli. "He remembered at 10:30 at night. So what do you do?"
Gil, worried his teacher would be a trifle too strict, urged his mother to help him out. "You have to write a note, or the teacher will shout at me," he implored.
Yahli obliged. "I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but it went something like, 'I apologize he hasn't done his homework, since my husband just won the Nobel Prize.' Actually, it was probably funnier than that. It was quite ridiculous," Yahli said, laughing.
On a more serious note, Yahli said she tries hard to raise her children without undue pressure for achievement.
"I am adamant my children grow up normally," she said. "I try to raise them as decent, caring people who don't need to set the high bar of prizes as their goal."
Yahli also took the opportunity of the interview to stress a wider concern for Israel (the family divides its time between the US and Israel). "I hope [the award of the prize] will encourage the government to give more money to science," she said, echoing her husband's belief, expressed in his Thursday interview with The Jerusalem Post, that aside from defense, there is nothing more crucial than nurturing education and research.