Friday, December 07, 2007

Overcoming the Great Divide

On Monday I had to cover for a maths teacher. Yes, maths. And before any of the Lewis siblings start with the snickering, I'll let you know that it was quite a triumph.

It was a year 8 class, and I was feeling reasonably confident. I wore my omnipotent teacher's face as usual, and got the kids to line up like animals outside the room. Then another teacher came by to explain the class work to me, and suddenly I was transported back in time to 1990. It was long division. Aaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Long division has always been my achilles heel. Well, maths has always been my achilles heel, but if achilles heels could have achilles heels of their own, then long division would be mine. I smiled a smile to teacher that said, 'Oh, that old chestnut', and he left. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I just knew one of these kids was going to ask for help at some point, and sure enough, in no time a girl had her hand up. I tried to ignore her, but she persisted.

'I don't get it,' she said.
'What don't you get, which part?'
'I don't get *any* of it'.
'Have you read through the example?'

'Well look,' I said with a long suffering sigh, 'let's just go through this example together and we'll work it out.' Crafty Julian. Risky, but veeeery crafty. But it worked. In about 20 seconds I understood long division. I'm not so sure if the girl did, but that's not the point. 17 years of silliness, gone, just like that! Just like that I said. All it took was a bit of pretending.

I couldn't stop there though. When I got home I learnt how to divide to decimal places. I mean look at me, my appetite for primary school maths is insatiable!

Yes, go ahead and check the working out - it's all there!


gerrod said...


bitingmidge said...

I'm almost in awe! Certainly makes up for pretending to be a poetic genius in Slough and environs.

This is also is the first thing I've typed on the new iMac, with it's fancy scroll thing on the mouse and a few more buttons. I don't need to do long division now!



Helen | Pepperina Press said...

Fake it till you make it, Jules. It's how the world works.

I'm really very proud of you. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do long-division to save my life.

Did I say "pretty sure" ? Hahahahahahahaa.

I've already told Nathan he'll have to teach Berry everything about maths and science, because I'll just scar her. For similar reasons, he's forbidden to teach her about writing and drawing.

Aaron Lewis said...

You are a bigger retard than I thought. But by jove I wish I could do that.

Stace said...

You write good Julian. You make me laugh. Well done!