^{th}grade Rebecca is very much like 6

^{th}grade Christy. She asks the same kinds of questions about math that I did. For instance, “Why does it work to invert and multiply when I’m supposed to be dividing fractions? Who came up with this stuff? When will I ever need this? Ever?”

I’m sure when I asked those very same questions I thought
I was terribly clever. Smart, even. In reality, I was just putting off the
inevitable. When Rebecca asks them, she’s really looking for an answer. She
really wants an explanation as to why we invert and multiply when we divide
fractions. She really wants to understand why we don’t write all whole numbers
over one when that’s what we have to do when dealing with fractions. And she
really, really wants to understand when she’ll ever use this stuff. Ever.

“So how much sauce do we need to buy?” asked I.

“Sixty ounces,” said she.

“See! You do need math in the real world!” said I.

“I already know how to do real world math, so can I
be done?” asked she.

She had a point.

I resorted to the only reply I had at this stage of the
questioning: “Look, it’s just something you have to persevere through. You
never know what you’ll want to be when you grow up. You may need lots of math
skills. Don’t limit yourself now!”

When people told 6

^{th}grade Christy that, she gagged. Rebecca was much more respectful. She simply shrugged her shoulders and moved on to the Pop Tarts.
Poor kid. I empathize with her plight. I really do.
Goodness knows if I had to go back to school and do math my head would simply
explode. I swear, can’t I just write about how the problem makes me feel and move
on?

I really need to call my dad and thank him for not
killing me when we did math together.