THE MINIVAN MOMOLOGUES

Sadly, skills in math have disintegrated

2013-03-03T00:00:00Z 2014-10-10T11:48:13Z Sadly, skills in math have disintegratedKristen Cook Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Hey, kids, head on over to the comics for a few minutes. I know this kinda looks like a cartoon, but see all the words? Not a comic, so scoot on through the paper, OK?

They're gone, right? Good. I need to unburden myself, and I don't want any school-age witnesses:

I hate homework.

Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it.

Hate. It.

There. Now I just did two things that I tell my three kids never to do - use the word "hate" and complain about homework.

I did homework once. Quite well and quite gleefully, actually, because I was Supernerd. I was really, really good at school, and I have the nearly straight-A report cards through elementary, middle and high school to prove it. In college, I got one stinkin' B in a class worth a single credit. Yes, decades later, I am still bitter that I ended my collegiate career with a 3.9999999 GPA instead of a perfect 4.0. And look what I did with those awe-inspiring grades - toiling away in an industry that could go poof any minute. Ha.

No matter. As any high achiever will tell you, the real reason to excel is because it gives you something to lord over other people, especially your kids and your husband. And I do.

But sadly, lack of hard-core brain usage since I earned my B.A., coupled with the sleep deprivation of parenthood, has atrophied my once-mighty gray matter. At one time, I knew my way around a polynomial. But these days, my math skills, which were really only so-so at their height, have almost completely disintegrated. Well, except for figuring out how much 40 percent off that cute silk blouse on the sale rack is. Discounts I can do.

Ask me about Euler circuits or paths? Not a clue. Even after checking several math sites, I could not tell you what those darn things are. When No. 2 brought home a worksheet about Euler dealios - but no textbook, of course - I hit the Internet. The math sites went on and on about vertices and odd degrees and even degrees, and my head hurt so much that I needed to take a brain break on Shopbop.com. Let me tell you, Internet shopping is amazing. They even figure out the discounts for you.

Call me crazy, but I did my time. I don't want to do any more icky homework.

At least I can do second-grade math, not that No. 3 needs help. But the other day he was stumped by his homework packet that had him matching words with their definitions.

"What does v-i-e mean?" he asked.

"Oh, "vie," that means to compete," I said.

"I don't get it," he responded, and showed me how "appear" was supposed to mean "to come into vie."

"That's so weird," I said.

"View!" my husband, who was reading the paper and not even a part of this homework session, yelled over his cereal. "It's missing a 'w' - it's a typo."

Ooooooh. Whatever, Mr. Smarty Pants. I still graduated summa cum laude.

One thing's for sure. I am so ready for spring break. Probably more than the kids are.

Contact Kristen Cook at kcook@azstarnet.com or 573-4194. Heard around the house, husband to No. 3: "You will instantly become my favorite child if you don't need braces."

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