Thursday, June 2, 2011

Air Head Grammy

Algorithm. What?!?!?! She's a third grader!

I saw the word and immediately went brain dead. Too old. I'm too darn old for this! Stop the world I want to get off! Egads (cartoon figure of me pulling out my hair)!

"Maybe you can do this with Daddy tonight," I told Gabby.

"Okay," she said. She thinks Grammy is mathless.

Well, that was easy; Dad can handle it. Yet....my eyes kept going back to her homework folder. A little voice was saying, "You can do it. Sure, you can. I'm sure you can."

"Gabby, we can do this," I said. And sure enough, we did.

I remember my parents talking about the difficulty of learning new math. I did the same with my own children. Math has changed in the two years between my granddaughters. New catches us off-guard. I had read the instructions and looked at the example. It was 'all Greek to me'. Then I decided to toss out the example, clear the butterflies and focus on the problem. I could do it. I just needed to tell myself those words. I could do it.

The kids are learning in new ways. Many times I think they are going at it the long way, but the idea is clear. The kids are learning to process information quickly in their heads. Gabby multiplies backwards. She finds her answer in two different steps from what I learned. She is learning to calculate. Her brain is the calculator she is using.

Algorithm. I feels like the word must have been invented long after I was born, because it was never part of my life. I hated math....still do. I go brain dead whenever math homework comes up. But I'm not too old to learn.

I hear this all the time from friends. I'm too old to learn Facebook. I'm too old to learn a new phone. I'm too old to do this or that. I believe that we do have blanks where before we had all the blanks filled. I do believe that we live on overload and feel we just don't need that one more piece to topple the load. I know that I often am too tired to tackle something new. But I can do it. One step at a time.

The math was finished. I know it was all correct. Gabby seemed pleased that her air-headed Grammy could make it look easy. Little does she know.....

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