Monday Math Makeover

Maybe, there is a special alignment of the stars in the heavens that is predisposing me to plummet down the off ramp to Whiny Town.  Maybe it’s the effort I’m putting into moving my complaint reminder from one wrist to the other (see recent post.)  Maybe, I’m just tired and frustrated.

Lord, I want a new attitude.  Why can’t reality cooperate?

At the end of the table, sits a packet that requires my response and signature.  Lately, I’ve had both children put things in front of me to sign.  I have no idea what I am signing. This packet has an additional demand.  It requires me to review the contents, comment on my son’s performance and then outline the ways in which I think my son and I can improve “our” grade in math. Apparently, I am also a student subject to the teacher’s instructions.  I am reminded that a parent should fill this out and answer the questions in complete sentences.

The word should starts to burn a hole in my brain.

I take a peek at the packet.  Before me, squirms letters forming story problems.  Story problems make me anxious.  I never understood why people I didn’t know where traveling by train or crossing rivers in boats with chickens or mixing apples and oranges.  It seems like insanity, pure and simple.  How do you reduce that  to numbers and call it good?  The burning should in my brain starts to really hurt.  My son with a less than typical world view would find these story problems even more maddening than I.  The fact that he has done anything at all is a huge victory.  I say so.  I think it’s great that my son has done as well as he did.   I can see him hurrying here and there and coming up with wild guesses but he is hanging in there.  He is trying to complete the problems even when I know he is struggling against the insanity that story problems bring into his head.

If I were Queen of Mathematics, heads would roll.  Story problems would be banished to the Island of Illogical Behaviors.  No road-crossing chickens carrying bushels of apples to market here .  No Bobbies or Alices traveling alone, speeding across desolate landscapes, where math symbols and numbers hang in the sky like bloody question marks, threatening life as we know it.

If I were Queen of Mathematics, we would begin a linear, well-ordered journey across time-tested methods each providing a solid foundation for the next.  We would build our math skills in a giant tribute of logic and engineering.  And, then one day, as we near the end of the rational, linear journey, we would set our sights on the highest levels of math and enter the world of the possible.  Here each number has a musical note representing it and together they play the music of the spheres and draw us in to the realm of the fantastic and the amazing.  If only, I were Queen of Mathematics.

Right now, I have to come up with suggestions on how to improve.  I should write in complete sentences.  I hope the teacher won’t take off points because my son has a snarky mom who had no taste for homework and shoulds.  Maybe, I should insist on having some voice in deciding the curriculum?   First, I’d have to become Queen of Mathematics.  The probability of that happening is a probability I don’t know how to solve.  Right now, I’m just snarky mom.  My words are my only defense.  I’ll leave numbers to some one else.

I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.


I am reading

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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