Tuesday after work, I went to my regular volunteer gig at one of the local after school programs. It was cold and snowy and rather than freeze my butkus off
I opted to help out INSIDE the gym. First, I was asked to help a fifth-grade girl with her math homework.
Here’s where it’s important to note that math, in any way, shape or form, gives me hives. My brain just doesn’t work that way. Never has. Complete iron curtain.
“You know all about angles, right?” asked the teacher’s aide.
“Sure!” I answered. I also enjoy protractors, square roots, trailer park tornadoes and mind-numbing gas pain.
I moved on to my next student.
Who needed help with long division.
Er … okay, admittedly, it’s been awhile since I had to divide anything without the aid of a calculator, but meh — I thought it’d be cake. I had an inkling there might be a teensy problem when the answer came out to be something like 154823.2. I suggested we check our work and showed her how using multiplication. She did this:
GOT ABACUS?!? Clearly, I haven’t been in the math loop for awhile. Or EVER. What the hell is THIS? Come to find out she was a transfer from New York. And that made me feel better.
It was then my wayward inner teacher found her compass. A little boy sitting all alone with 25 tubs of Playdoh.
He wanted to make a castle. At his suggestion, I began with the cannon.
Which totally looked like a bubblegum cigar some expectant father should be passing out in a hospital waiting room. Or, according to my playmate, a big purple poop. Take your pick.
From there, our little project took on a life of its own. Kids quickly started coming to our table. Everyone wanted to build a part of the castle. I taught them what a moat was. They added alligators. The boys made bombs to protect the castle. The girls made food for the princess to eat inside the castle. The teacher aides looked at us with horror as they realized we MIXED the colors.
It was a thing of beauty.