I'm working on it! :P

This is a perfect example of a pretty important paper I read on problem solving skills. It details the difference between well-defined and ill-defined problems, the one you set out to "solve" being the latter.

What makes yours an ill-defined problem is that there's no single, definitive "right" answer, no single or defined set of obvious solution paths, nor are the constraints really defined at all. Problems we encounter in our every day life are typically ill-defined. As opposed to well-defined problems, which are your typical back-of-the-textbook problems which can, essentially, be stripped down to a linear algebra problem regardless of what words are wrapped around it. There's typically a single right answer that you can verify, one solution path... sometimes more, but all fairly rigidly defined.

The thinking has been that learning to solve well-defined problems leads to sills in solving ill-defined problems. As it turns out, that's not the case. There are a lot of secondary skills in solving ill-defined problems that are actually rather difficult to acquire. The thing where you assumed the wings were rectangles, or that you looked up some values for wing flapping rates. Identifying and making assumptions, and recognizing the consequences thereof, is critical to solving these kinds of problems. We do it *all the time*, and it's something I'm going to work in instilling in my kids this year. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm sure you get the gist.