Thursday, January 19, 2012

#68: Helping with Homework

***This post was inspired by a conversation overheard at work. The transcript is below:

Dad #1: I had to help my daughter with her algebra homework last night. I never realized how much I have forgotten about that subject.

Dad #2: Yeah, when I helped my son with his calculus I used to do his homework before he did so I could figure it out before he asked. That way I looked like I knew what I was doing.

Dad #1: That is a smart move, I am going to start doing that.***

You have never experienced anything as difficult as this in your entire life. It might as well be in an alien language, you have no understanding of what is it front of you. It is worse than when you have to run the mile in gym class: the algebra worksheet. It is an insurmountable hill of math functions, Stephen Hawking himself could not figure it out. But, you know who can…”DAAAAAAAAD!! CAN YOU HELP ME WITH MY HOMEWORK??”

Dad went to college and is a businessman so he must know math. As you lay out your homework on the kitchen table (this is seriously the only time one does homework at the kitchen table), Dad puts on his readers and scans the page. A series of ummms and hmmms makes you know Dad’s gears are turning. Hopefully he will just do it for you. But it is not that easy. “Well son, how would YOU do this first one?” Crap, you won’t get off that easy.

Dad of course is a genius and knows everything. Little do you know that he has been reading your textbook a bit ahead of you so that he at least kind of knows what you are talking about. If he didn’t, he would be completely lost. Are we related to Bill Nye? Dad is soooo smart. Nope, Dad just knows how to work the system.

Before you know it, Dad is fixing your errors and those variables are cancelling out. Remainders disappear and functions simplify. Dad’s genius has sure rubbed off onto you. Before you know it, the sheet is filled out and the answers make sense. A crisis of biblical proportions has been averted. Until tomorrow of course, when Dad will be called on again. Thank goodness he has been studying up while he is at work. Or is he really a genius?

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