Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Something So Simple. Yet So Difficult

Last week, the director of the Literacy Council in my county asked me to tutor a single mom who wants to pass the GED.

My first thought: How awesome is that. She wants to pass the GED. Good for her. Of course I want to help.

The director then said, the woman needs help in math.

My first thought: how hard can it be? I taught third grade math.

Are you laughing? I would too...if it wasn't me.

I researched the GED test (which I have never taken) to find out the highest level of math tested and rolled up my sleeves. 

Our family room library has LOTS of books. Some from my college years. I dragged out the math books and chose one for review. Last night, problem 16 threw me for a loop. 

My gift is tenacity. Incredible, nothing can distract me from whatever is plaguing my mind until it is solved tenacity.

Problem 16 was the age old, two consecutive numbers problem. This particular question wanted even integers only and the product had to equal 288. All I needed was the set up. Solving would be easy. I went to bed thinking about problem 16.

I woke thinking about problem 16.

I showered, dressed, made and ate breakfast thinking about problem 16.


YES, the answer came. X(X+2)-288 = 0 All you math persons are nodding. Of course. 

One minute later I had the answer: 16 and 18. 

I felt like I'd won a gold medal when checking the back of the book for the answer.

Something so simple. Yet so difficult.

This experience was exactly what I needed before meeting my tutoring client this Friday. It placed me in her shoes and will hopefully help me to be a better tutor for her.

Header Photofor today's post was made in Canva

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: TutorAndHelpOthers

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Mary Vee -Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary’s list of ways to enjoy a day. She was homeless for a time, was a teacher, a missionary, and married an Air Force vet. Mary has been a finalist in several writing contests and writes for her King.
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Photo to the left was taken at the top of the Eiffel, Paris, France.


quietspirit said...

Mary: Please forgive me, if I am wrong. Shouldn't the formula be X(X+2)-288=0?
I am not a math scholar. But this worked out for me.

Mary Vee Writer said...

What is so weird is that was the formula I had when I published this post. I then had my doubts, went to the edit and changed it. Good grief. Guess I better change it back. Thanks. :)