Thursday, March 16, 2006

Expensive Math

Last week I mentioned how I had a little bagel fixing issue with my oldest daughter. At the time, I felt she needed to be taught the importance of doing for herself what she is capable of doing for herself in order to avoid being an unnecessary burden on others.

This week, she needed a different lesson. On Monday, as my wife was picking the girls up from school, some of the classmates of my oldest daughter ran up to my wife and told her how my oldest daughter had tied with another classmate for the highest score in their class on a math test that day. All of the students at her school were given a math test as a first step in determining who would represent their school in a city-wide math competition. On Tuesday, the two students with the highest score from each class competed against each other to determine the two students who would represent each grade of her school in the city-wide competition.

Would I be writing this if she didn’t get selected? Not only did she get selected, she had the highest score of all of the students in the third grade at her school. Nothing in life is free though, so on Tuesday night I ended up paying for my daughter’s success.

After I arrived home from work, she asked me to take her shopping for a pair of Heelys. Never heard of Heelys? Heelys are $10 shoes with $2 wheels that sell for $60 -$85. I don’t know how the third grade ever got by without them. Needless to say, demand for these shoes is high, and supply in my daughter’s size is low. By the second time a salesperson told us to check back next week, I was ready to go home and wait until next week, but my daughter with the persistence to master third grade math was not about to give up after only checking two stores.

On this night, my oldest daughter needed to see her dad being sacrificial in a way that modeled sacrificial behavior and in a way that demonstrated how much I knew and admired how hard she has worked at math in order to achieve the highest score in her grade at her school. At 9:30 PM, after sitting in Sports Chalet for 20 minutes waiting for a sales clerk to help, we got our shoes, and headed home ready to call it the day. I don’t remember the last time I spent $75 for a pair of my own shoes.

BTW, does anyone know what the sum of the smallest prime number and the largest two digit prime number is without looking it up?


Anonymous said...

A pair of "heelies": $75. Being a Dad getting to buy them at the umpteenth store at the umpteenth hour as an act of sacrificial modeling for a deserving daughter excelling in math: priceless.
Derek Simmons

Buz said...

Either 98 or 99 ... depending on whether you consider "1" the smallest prime or not ...

So, what kind of car will you be buying her when she turns 16? Will it be a cute little red Mustang, or will you just go straight for the Porsche (I said "Porsche" because I don't know how to spell "Lamborghini" ... but you get the idea).

Oh, by the way, congrats ... you now have the official right to smile until the corners of your mouth touch your ear-lobes, and to boast until the end of the next grading period.


David M. Smith said...

Hi Derek,

You made my day, and it isn’t even 9:00 AM yet. It really is priceless. No matter how much I imagined what it would be like to have children, my imagination never conformed to what it is really like to have children. Sometimes, I can’t believe how childish they are and other times I can’t believe God chose me to be their father.

Hi Buz,

What a great surprise to have you back commenting. I’ve missed you. I think about you often and I keep your family is in my prayers. My imagination can’t even begin to comprehend what you have been through. The older my girls get, the more heartache I feel for you, but I also know you have done all you can do and the rest is up to God.

‘1’ wasn’t considered a prime number on her test. Is there disagreement over whether ‘1’ is a prime number?

At this point in time, I have no plans to buy either of my girls a car. However, since you mentioned it and since I started thinking about it, my good day just took a turn for the worse.