math 2

Noah tried to explain to me today how he does math in his head. He got so frustrated with me when I couldn't follow his description of the process. "Man, I didn't know it would be so hard to explain it to you," he said. "Maybe you just don't think enough like me." "I'm sorry sweetie." "That's okay. Man. I don't know why it's so hard for you."

I was trying hard not to laugh, because I remember being similarly annoyed when I was a kid excited about algebra and wanting to show my mom, and she wasn't grasping it at all. Then as I was starting to write this down, he happened to look over my shoulder to read and immediately protested that I wasn't reporting things accurately. "That isn't really how I do math, Linda, it was just that problem." (And he was right, he had actually come to me excited about a specific problem, which I carelessly generalized when telling the story.) "Well, how do you do math?" Exasperated sigh. "I don't have a way I do math. I just do it the easiest way I can figure it out!"