I’ve already admitted that I’m a mathist and that I hate all things number-related. Now that my children are getting older and bringing home more complex math assignments, it’s getting harder for me to respond to their whines of “why do we have to dooo thiiiiis?” At least when they were learning their times tables I could honestly say that they would use them when they grew up. But long division? (hello calculator!) The volume of a cone? (if you ever need to fill up a cone, just fill it up and when it’s full, then you know how much was needed. Why complicate things with math? Just be practical.) And my most hated foe, algebra (letters do not belong in math!)
I had to admit the truth to Finn yesterday. “You won’t use this stuff. Ever. All you need to know about math is how much something costs on sale* and how much to pay your babysitter.” (I happen to know my son is not destined for a career requiring math. It’s just not in the cards for that boy.)
Here is what I know about society. There are a lot of people who don’t know how to cook. Just look at all the fast food and restaurants. And frozen food. It’s not all because people are in a hurry. I’m shocked at how many friends I have that claim they can’t cook and bake; that they never learned how.
Let’s think about this:
1. Every person on this planet eats (some more than others. What? Why are you pointing at me?) Most people eat many times a day.
2. There is a huge problem with obesity, which is especially worrisome in children. It’s easier to become overweight by eating convenience foods than by eating homemade food (unless people spend a lot of time making cookies. Why are you pointing at me again???) But how are you supposed to make homemade food if you don’t know how, and the very thought is completely intimidating?
3. Everyone admires a good cook. Who admires somebody who is good at math? We all just think of them as nerdy.
So my idea is to start a movement to replace high school math with cooking. At least for a couple of years. Way more useful that equations and parabolas. It makes so much sense to teach people to feed themselves and the people they love. Good cooking skills can make a difference to generations of people.
I’m kind of joking, but kind of serious too.
*although if you shop at Kohl’s they have handy little signs telling you how much something costs once the discount is applied. We math-disabled people appreciated this kind gesture.