Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Math

My daughter has always been good at math. Her third grade teacher told me that no one in the class had their math facts down like she did. She used to race through those "Mad Minutes" at lightning speed. 60 multiplication problems in 60 seconds — zero errors.

Mathematically speaking, those were the good ol' days. Middle school math? Well ... not so much.

I'd like to think that it's nice to be needed. Here's a little sample of mother-daughter bonding over algebra ...

ME: So, what are we trying to figure out here?

HER: I don’t know. I hate algebra!

ME: Well, didn’t Mr. A go over this in class?

HER: I don’t know. I hate algebra!!!

ME: Well, are there any sample problems in the textbook?

HER: I don’t know. I HATE ALGEBRA!!!!!

You get the general idea. We finally figured it out (two grilled cheese sandwiches and caffein-free Diet Cokes later — yes, I know I'm a terrible mother). So, she was all set.

But, here's what I wonder about. If my tween daughter dislikes math so much — claims, in fact, that she's "not good" at it — how can she do such complex equations in her head?

ME: Put your phone away.


HER: (v.o. These thoughts are in her head - she's way too smart to say them out loud.) Okay, if Mom says "Put the phone away," I have almost 45 seconds before she says "I mean put the phone away now." In 45 seconds, I can text 3 BFFs — 4 if I don't use vowels, and I never use vowels. I can increase my score on Tap Tap Revenge by at least 10% reaching an all-time high score of more than 20,000. I can order 2 new Ke$ha songs on iTunes and still have $12 left on my birthday iTunes gift card.

ME: I mean put the phone away now.

HER: (v.o. in her head) What? Are you deaf?

ME: What? Are you deaf?

Oh, and in case you didn't notice, my daughter isn't just a mathematician. She's a clairvoyant too.

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