Tuesday, October 18, 2005

If you had asked me years ago what was important in my daughter's development, I would have stressed academics. I have depressing recollections of physical education as a child, performing poorly in the national fitness tests and getting picked nearly next-to-last in various P.E. team activities. Although I have fond memories of kickball, there is no end to this sentence that does justice to my awkwardness of actually playing the sport. Kick it with your foot, little Mike!

As Psychology 101 would predict, I seek for my child to succeed where I have failed. This is why I get the most joy out of seeing her perform any physical tasks like jumping on her pogo stick, or even skipping down the sidewalk. The skipping down the sidewalk thing brings me exquisite joy. It's the most accuracte kinetic represenation of the joy of being in a six year-old body.

Why is this relevant in a blog post where I discuss her math homework? I'll tell you why. Going out to eat and having two martinis at dinner. That's why. That's what enables me to start with one point and veer drunkily to the opposite one. God bless vodka.

So, my daughter's homework.

Last year, in kindergarten, homework was all coloring and lettering practice. I feared for the future of our nation. Not only were our nation's children spending an inordinate amount of time coloring simple animal drawings, but they mostly sucked at it.

This year, however, it's real homework. Daisy has spelling lists, and honest-to-god-,-regardless-if-there-is-really-a-god math homework. She's doing addition and subtraction and all sort of academics that require her to bust out all 10 of her fingers. It's real school! Her reading is improving by gigantic leaps and bounds, and she's beginning to utilize the associative property and I'm falling in love again. Admit it, the associative property makes you a little weak in the knees too. 8 + 2 or 2 + 8? It's all good.

When she learns pi, my heart will burst. It will bubble out and taste like granny smith apples.

(*Update* - I am dumb! It's the commutative property and not the associative one. Those of you who have come here looking for accurate mathematics have been robbed of your time and innocence again. My apologies. Thanks to Mike Duffy!)


Mike Duffy said...

8+2 = 2+8 is the commutative property. [grin]

Associative: 1+(2+3) = (1+2)+3 [for + or *]

Transitive property for $400, Alex.

Kick it with your foot, Mike!

(PS - love your post)

Mike said...

Mike, thank god there's one smart Mike around here. Thanks!