The Daily Republic has a special section coming out later this month called “Secrets of Success” that celebrates several local businesses that have stood the test of time. I wrote a few of the stories that will be in it and one was on downtown tutoring service Math Masters. I was impressed by their focus on fun that reflects charismatic owner and founder, Ed Pawley.
Math was not my friend when I was in school. In fact, to avoid math tests, I started making excuses and embellishing them with theatrics. Crying fits because my grandmother had just died were effective, but evidently she was a cat because she died nine times. I faked fevers, dizziness and in seventh grade, to get out of dealing with fractions, I went for it all and pretended to faint.
While my acting skills got me the role of the Ghost of Marley in the eighth-grade school play, “A Christmas Carol,” to this day when someone even mentions the word “trigonometry” I get a little nauseous.
Back then I didn’t see the point of it, but I now know we use math all the time in many different ways.
My 15-year old daughter Kaci taking all my chips in less than 10 minutes in a home No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament > me skunking her in a game of 80’s Trivial Pursuit.
Male silence interpreted as anger + questions from a female about the “status of the relationship” + her standing in front of the TV during any sporting event to get his full attention + real anger + bringing up stuff that happened six months ago + dragging mothers into it + slammed doors + hurt feelings +regret + apologies = Awesome Makeup Sex.
The lowest common denominator between me and DR columnist C. W. Plunkett is DR columnist Brad Stañhope.
I always hated it when my teachers would tell that lame pi r squared joke. “Pies aren’t square, they’re round!” So I was thrilled when I Googled “square pie” and discovered there actually is a company that has been making square pies since 2001. That is, until I found out they were a British company and some of their fare includes a steak-and-kidney square pie and a chicken, leek and ham square pie. There is a reason that when people are trying to choose an ethnic place to dine out and several options are considered, such as Italian, Mexican , Chinese, Thai and others. No one ever says “I’m in the mood for British!”
The fact that I am required to lift the toilet seat before piddling SHOULD be equal to my wife having to put the toilet seat down when she is about to do her business, but it isn’t.
Fourteen seconds is exactly half of how long I chuckled after using the word “piddling” above.
If a train left Fairfield at 8:45 am and traveled at a rate of 60 mph and stopped at Vacaville at 9 a.m. for 15 minutes and then traveled 70 mph and stopped in Sacramento at 10:15 a.m. for an hour, why the heck didn’t someone tell me there was a train here?
Ironically, the guy in high school who stormed out of the classroom after flinging his algebra book across the room and declaring “I ain’t never gonna use any of this (uh, no cutesy euphemism for the word he used) in my life anyway!” actually did use math quite a bit in his later profession. As a dope dealer, he had to measure out grams and kilos, calculate illegal income and is now using addition by carving a notch annually into his wall at Folsom.
“Ready? OK! Two! Three! Five! Seven! Next prime number is eleven!” I was asked to help Mathlete cheerleaders brainstorm.
Despite my own struggles with math, my mom was a math whiz. I mean, with all the billions of neurons in the human body, in seconds she was able to calculate which was her very last nerve that I was about to get on. Also when it came to precisely measuring things, she often quite impressively threatened to beat me and my brothers within an inch of our lives.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.